Culture of Hoops

NBA Finals: Cleveland Cavaliers aim to rebound as they head home down 2-0

Image courtesy of Erik Drost/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Erik Drost/Flickr.

It’s very easy to think that the Golden State Warriors, up two games to none, will win the NBA Finals versus the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, look for The King to do all he can to “defend his land.” If you have some extra scratch, now is the time to research betting sites before betting on the game. Good money, though, should be placed on LeBron James and company getting hyped up with a sense of urgency and making the series interesting. If they can’t do in Game 3, then all hope will be gone the rest of the series and there will be nothing left to protect. In fact, it may make The King look for a new kingdom to rule over during the offseason.

Rodney Hood, who has been sparsely used this postseason (both of his own volition and Tyronn Lue‘s) will get a chance to see what he can do tonight versus the Warriors. If there’s an x-factor in the game, possibly this series, it could be Hood who was a proven scorer, both with the Utah Jazz and upon being traded to the Cavs. Any possibility of lessening the burden for LeBron is always a good thing.

Kevin Love will also need to be a factor, and not only with his scoring and rebounding, but how he defends the high pick-and-roll and closing out lanes on help defense. For someone with a pretty good BBIQ, he hasn’t always made the best decisions on defense. Too many times, Love gets stuck with Stephen Curry at the three-point line and it’s just roasting time then – either through dribble penetration or a triple from deep – by Curry.

Truly, any of many Cavs role players can have a statement game – both J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver can get hot from deep; Jordan Clarkson can also get into a streak (although, it’d be nice if he actually looked to pass the ball also), Tristan Thompson has been a factor in previous NBA Finals with his work down low; and George Hill can also get buckets and defend on the perimeter and cut off passing lanes. All this said, it could happen for Cleveland as we saw in a near-win Game 1 on the road. The potential is there, and should be heightened with the Cavs in their home arena. But, will it? So far, the only constant for them has been LeBron. However, with him dropping 51 and getting near triple-doubles, has proven not enough to get victories. A true team effort is needed for the Cavaliers to win Game 3, and any other future games.

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