June 28, 2017

Cavs rely on survival mentality to extend Finals

12 June 2017, 10:55 | Jackie Morgan

Warriors' Green stays in Game 4 after technical foul fiasco

Draymond Green delivered a low blow to the entire city of Cleveland

The referees should never see the side of a basketball court again but they were not primary offenders on defense, leaving shooters open repeatedly, turning the ball over on offense with ball movement a foregone preclusion. "They settled in extremely fast". So if they managed to piece together three consecutive virtuoso showings last time, it's not outside the realm of possibility that they could do it four timesin a losing Finals effort - in Game 3, despite coming out on the short end that night.' this year. Who knows, maybe the Spurs could have challenged the Warriors this season with Leonard, and if they add Chris Paul this offseason, they'd be even more unsafe.

Remember: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Co. overcame a 3-1 deficit against the Dubs to win last season's NBA Finals.

This year they have already been there once and survived it. They had a lead of 19 points at times, it was remarkable. But four plucky teams were able to slow the eventual champions' roll, and now the Cavaliers are the fifth. If you come to the game chanting my name, you at home thinking about me. Their domination from beyond the arc was far too much for Golden State to handle. It's definitely fueled us all year, just trying to keep that hunger to get back to the stage.

"We finally settled in, man, it was about damn time, for all of us just to really see what playing well as a group looks like against a great team like the Warriors", said Irving.

"We are the defending champs, and we believe that we have enough here to win a championship". We're battle tested, they're battle tested. You get punched in the face you want to respond. "If it's talking trash or knocking guys on the floor, whatever you got to do, you got to do it".

"I think it came from Draymond (Green, a Warriors forward), which is OK, that's Dray anyway".

Now they need the biggest ever in the NBA's postseason. Thompson had 11 total boards in the first three games of these Finals.

During Game 4, Green was booed soundly at times, and fans chanted, "Draymond sucks" more than once. A key player the past two years because of his relentless rebounding and hard-nosed play, Thompson had been mostly invisible the first three games with just 11 rebounds. "But you take those other things away and it's a different ballgame". Cleveland won games six and seven to cap the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history and dethrone the Warriors. The Warriors players must remain calm and not give up any extra points that could be the difference at the end of the game. There is no stopping K.D. There is no stopping LeBron or Steph [Curry] or Kyrie [Irving]. The Dubs dug themselves a hole early in this one, and Cleveland's perimeter shooting, along with 22 free throw attempts, had everything to do with it. "It was just one of those nights", coach Steve Kerr said. Curry got it going with a mid-range shot to begin the scoring for the Warriors. "It was just one of those nights". That's right, a Game 5. James said. "I feel good about our chances". Those 12 uncontested makes in Game 4 were more than the Cavs hit in Games 1, 2 and 3 combined, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group.

"You never want to be in those moments of elimination games, but when you are, you want to be as prepared as possible".

"We have to be physical at the point of attack. We are here for a reason".

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