The Cleveland Cavaliers have lost seven straight games to the Golden State Warriors, including back-to-back Finals games by 48 points. The last two games in particular for Cleveland have been, in a word, embarrassing.
You have to wonder: Would this series be any different if the Thunder were in the Finals?
“I don’t know if they would have their act together as a team to take advantage, but the fact is, if the Cavs couldn’t get themselves fired up to play the Warriors, then they probably weren’t going to get themselves fired up to play the Thunder, either,” NBA.com’s Ian Thomsen said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “So as well as the Warriors have played, let’s say the Thunder didn’t play that well. Well, you would still have the Cavaliers playing like they’re on cold medicine – and I’m not talking about the daytime kind.”
The Warriors won Game 1 by 15 points and Game 2 by 33.
“That’s who they are,” Thomsen said. “The ball gets moved around and they’re just so comfortable. That’s part of the problem. They’re allowed to be comfortable and confident and draw on all their experience. They have to be made to feel uncomfortable. That’s what this whole stage and season is all about. There have been stretches where this has looked like a Harlem Globetrotters game. I don’t think this is an anomaly or a fluke or anything. The Warriors are that good. It’s up to the Cavaliers to be good at what they do.”
While LeBron James will receive the lion’s share of the blame if the Cavs lose another NBA Finals, you have to wonder how David Blatt feels right now. After all, he had the Cavs up 2-1 in this series last year. The Cavs are now down 2-0 and look like they could get swept.
Thomsen, though, doesn’t think Tyronn Lue is necessarily at fault for the Cavs’ lackluster performances.
“Well, I think this whole episode of the last few months is a sequence that’s not of his making,” Thomsen said. “I don’t think he asked for this. He’s doing the best he can. It’s amazing that Steve Kerr last year came in as a rookie head coach and won the championship, but he had a whole year to work his way in from the start of training camp. Now the Cavaliers are asking Tyronn Lue to do something that’s at least twice as hard: to come in midseason and institute whatever changes he thought needed to be made and then win a championship when you have no head-coaching experience whatsoever. I don’t feel any sense of blame for Tyronn Lue so much as I feel a little bit of sympathy toward him right now.”
Game 3 is Wednesday in Cleveland at 9 p.m. ET.