In 2007, LeBron James led the Cavs to the franchises’ first NBA Finals appearance. The 22-year-old emerging “King” put an All Star-less group on his back, passing the All Star-filled Detroit Pistons to the Finals. It’s regarded as one of the best Playoffs performances in NBA history, but unfortunately the same can’t be said about the Cavs this year, with the exception of Kevin Love.
The Warriors hold a commanding 3-0 lead over Cleveland, highlighted by Kevin Durant’s masterful performance in Game 3. His hustle on the court put them in a position to repeat as champions in broomstick fashion. Take a minute to relive Durant’s Game 3 clinic via House of Highlights below:
Now, the Cavs will have to do a few key things if they want to avoid the brooms. Follow along with us:
5. Cavs Supporting Cast — not named Kevin Love
LeBron James needs help, period. The four-time MVP has committed to excellence the entire season, and the Game 1 mishaps certainly drained a lot out of King James and the rest of the Cavs. J.R. Smith and George Hill have yet to make up for their blunders, and Game 4 is the be-all and end-all for those guys to right their wrongs. If the rest of Cavaliers roster (not named LeBron James) doesn’t show up, prepare to say bon-voyage to the King.
4. Kevin Love
Love once averaged 26 points and 13 rebounds per game in an NBA season. Despite his superstar averages, the Timberwolves could not contend for a Playoffs spot. Nevertheless, Love’s numbers have never translated during his stint in Cleveland. Trade rumors have surrounded the five-time All-Star for a while now, but his performance may turn the tables.
3. Controlling the Tempo
Draymond Green is the Golden State’s best playmaker. His ability to push the tempo after a defensive rebound makes the defending champs scary in transition. The Warriors lead the league in fast break buckets. Tristan Thompson and Jeff Green must win the battle on the boards and dominate the paint to slow the tempo.
2. Score Early
The Cavs must repeat the first half effort from Game 3. They jumped out to an early double-digit lead, but couldn’t sustain the effort. They forfeited the lead in the second half and it was all she wrote from there. Hey – more pressure on the Warriors to close out the series, we say.
1. King James, do your thing!
We have witnessed one of the greatest Playoffs runs ever, executed by arguably the NBA’s greatest talent ever. It’s expected for the 33-year old James to leave everything out on the floor tonight and nothing less.
Truthfully, whatever happens will not alter his decision to test the free agency market in summer 2018.
Feature Image: Daily News Coverage