Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Champions 2016

in

The Cleveland Cavaliers have completed a historic comeback from trailing 1-3 in the series and climbing back and winning the Championship game on the road to end the city of Cleveland’s Championship drought in 5 decades. Lebron James finished with a triple double with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. Kyrie added 26 points and most importantly the 3-point shot that buried the Warriors. A Championship could have been the best ending for the Warriors historic 73-win season but as it turns out it just became a larger story for the Cavaliers conquest of the Finals in 2016.

Celebrations and reactions on Cleveland Cavaliers winning the title

Lebron talks to Turner Sports

The Warriors looked like they were coasting for a sweep when they won Games 1 & 2 in blowout scores with an average of 24-point winning margin.

Games 1 saw the Warriors win by 15 points despite Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry only scored a combined 20 points on 8-27 shooting. Shaun Livingston was the hero for that game scoring a personal playoff record of 20 points while Green added a double double 16 points and 11 rebounds. Steve Kerr put it this way —

 “We play a lot of people, and we feel like we have a lot of talent on the bench that can come in and score when we need it. So it’s a great sign, obviously, that we can win in the finals without those two guys having big games, but it’s not really that surprising to us. This has been our team the last couple of years.”

The bench of Golden State scored 45 points against the 10 points from Lebron James’ supporting cast.

Game 2 and the Warriors continued with their dominance by winning on a 33-point margin and most of Cleveland starters put up the white flag early in the 4th quarter by watching the Warriors run away with a victory. Stephen and Curry did not score to their full potential by just having 18 & 17 points respectively. The Warriors bench scored the points with Draymond Green leading the charge with 28 points 7 rebounds and 5 assists. As Steph says about their teamwork —

“What we’ve done the last few years, everybody, every night has an impact. You don’t know where it’s going to come from any given night. We’ve got to keep our focus and our edge and hopefully get two more.”

Game 3 as Lebron summed it up —

“We can’t afford to go down 3-1 and go into their building and give them confidence going back. So it’s a do-or-die game for us still.”

The Cavaliers were able to bounce back huge with a 30-point winning margin and brought the Cavs back to life and in contention closing the series gap 2-1. In this game, the Cavaliers showed why they haven’t lost at home in the playoffs — they hustled, rebounded and put on an offensive show with Lebron and Kyrie leading the team.

Tristan Thompson showed strength and defense that helped limit the Warriors offense

Game 4 was supposed to be the equalizer and for most part the Cavaliers controlled the tempo and the game until the third quarter when the Splash Brothers came back to life and began hitting those 3-point shots. The Warriors won by 11 points and made a historic 17-3 pointers in the Finals. Stephen Curry had 38 points and Klay Thompson hitting 25. On Curry’s comeback Green has this to say —

“All the slander. He’s a competitor. He’s been under a heavy microscope, and rightfully so. Two-time MVP, you’re expected to have a great game in the finals. He struggled the first three, tonight he was our guy.”

 

The Cavaliers are now down 3-1 in the series and no team has ever been able to comeback from this deficit.

Most importantly, this is the game that the Splash Brothers have risen from slumber hitting 3-pointers, layups, making small runs to close the gap, take the lead and eventually win the game.

Game 5 is when Lebron James and Irving each scored 41 points a historic finals milestone that saw them push the series to Game 6 in their home court.

Lebron James wouldn’t let his team go down, the half ended tied at 61 all.

Game 6 and the Cavaliers became the third team to push the series to Game 7 after being down by 3-1 games. Lebron had a back-to-back 40++ point game and major milestone unheard of for a very long time.

Lebron’s monster game saw him scoring 41-points contributing 11 assists, eight rebounds and most notably have outshined Stephen Curry in the game.

Game 7 and Lebron just managed to closeout the series on an incredible performance.

Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Finals 2016

in
Cleveland Cavaliers Wins the Series 4-3
GAME SUMMARY
Game 1: GSW 104 CLE 89
Game 2: GSW 110 CLE 77
Game 3: CLE 120 GSW 90
Game 4: GSW 108 CLE 97
Game 5: CLE 112 GSW 97
Game 6: CLE 115 GSW 101
Game 7: CLE 93 at GSW 89
GAME 7 played on June 19, 2016, CLE wins title 4-3 on the score of 93 (CLE) – 89 (GSW)
Game 7 Western Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

The Cleveland Cavaliers have completed a historic comeback being down 1-3 in the series and climbing back and winning the Championship. Lebron James finished with a triple double with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. Kyrie added 26 points and most importantly the 3-point shot that buried the Warriors and winning the first Championship for the city of Cleveland in over 50 years.

The first half can be summed up into – “we are waiting for Lebron or Steph to take over; instead Draymond Green is taking oer as the leader with 22 points, 8-10 fg, 6 rebound and 5 assists giving the Golden State Warriors a 49-42 lead.

JR Smith started the second half strong —

JR Smith opens the second half with what looks like a 3-point shot but was just inside the arc to cut the lead to 5, 49-44. Thompson quickly responded with a 5 point swing to give the Warriors their largest lead early in the second half — 54-46. JR Smith however responded with another 3 point-shot scoring his 8th point in less than 3 minutes to cut the lead to 54-52. Irving then followed up with a driving layup from the right side corner to even the score at 54-54 prompting Steve Kerr to call a timeout.

Stephen Curry 3-point catch and shoot.

Cleveland was looking to pull away from game when they pushed the lead 68-61 with a 3 point shot by Irving. With a Barnes and Thompson free throw the Cavs were still leading at 70-63 until Draymond Green fished a foul from Lebron from beyond the arc and making 3 free throws. With another 3 point shot and a driving layup from Livingston tied the game at 71-71.

With over 6 minutes remaining is when we first saw signature pulling and hitting a 3-pointer almost 5 feet away from the top of the key against Irving to tie the game at 83-83, followed by fellow Splash brother Klay Thompson hitting a very long 2-point shot from the left side to give them a 2-point lead.

With 3:36 remaining we already had 20 lead changes and 11 ties. There was a back and forth possession with no one able to score until Kyrie Irving hit the 3-point shot with 53 seconds remaining that proved to be the go ahead basket for winning the game.

Game 7 Western Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

We predicted this was going to be short series as the Golden State Warriors won a dominating 73-wins in the regular season, have survived the OKC onslaught and the fact that the East is an easier conference, the Warriors should be coasting along in the series. For a moment there it looked like that when the Golden State Warriors led the series 3-1 before the epic performances of Lebron James and Irving, pushing the series to Game 7.

This is going to be an epic performance and NBA ticket sales are proving it as StubHub reports.

NBA Game 7 should get you all excited as we might not see a comeback of epic proportions like this in a long time.

A cool and funny video on the intensity of both teams.

In an interesting article it questions whether the Warriors can recover or Lebron closes this out

Whatever the outcome be sure to seat, relax and get ready for a full 48 minute of NBA Game 7 action.

GAME 6 played on June 16, 2016, CLE win ties series 3-3 on the score of 115 (CLE) – 101 (GSW)
Game 6 Western Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

LeBron James led the Cleveland Cavaliers to Game 7 becoming only the third team to push Game 7 after trailing 3-1 in the series.

James had a back-to-back 40 plus point game scoring 41 points, a performance only achieved by a few, Kyrie Irving scored 23 and winning Game 6 against the Golden State Warriors 115-101.

Cleveland’s hasn’t had a Championship team since Dec. 27, 1964 and Lebron James could bring one to the city, he has this to say — “One more game left. I’ll play it anywhere.”

Lebron had a monster game aside from the 41-points he contributed 11 assists, eight rebounds and most notably have outshined Stephen Curry in the game.

The Warriors will be tested and the legacy of their 73-win season will be amplified if they close out the series or be outshined with Lebron and his ability to rally the team back from 3-1/

Stephen Curry became the first MVP to be ejected out of the game due to fouls and Steve Kerr has this to say — “He gets six fouls called on him, three of them were absolutely ridiculous. As the MVP of the league, we’re talking about these touch fouls in the NBA Finals. I’m happy he threw his mouthpiece.”

Curry has this to say — “I didn’t think I fouled either Kyrie or LeBron. It was obviously frustrating fouling out in the fourth quarter of a clinching game and not being out there with my teammates. So it got the best of me, but I’ll be all right for the next game.”

Cavs coach knows what Lebron is capable of — “It’s LeBron being LeBron. He’s one of the greatest of all-time. Our back was against the wall and he took it upon himself, him and Kyrie, they put us on their backs. They’ve got us to where we wanted to be – and that’s Game 7.”

Ayesha Curry is in the news again because of her comments against the NBA saying it was rigged to push the series to Game 7

Game 6 Western Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

The Cleveland Cavaliers have managed to push the series to Game 6 and while they have a chance to become the first team in history to climb back from a 3-1 deficit I doubt they are thinking about that right now. The team is focused on playing it one game at a time and while the idea of making history is sweet they have more things in minds like making sure to keep the Warriors from closing them out at home.

In a similar situation last year where the Warriors managed to close the series at Game 6 in front of the Cavaliers home-court, the Cleveland will come out strong and determined led by Lebron James and Kyrie Irving.

There are only two teams in history that was able to push Game 7 after trailing 3-1 in the series and the Cavs have a good chance of becoming the third team.

As James put it — “I think that’s always been the case in the postseason. I think it also depends on the way you played and where you played at. I think that helps. But, I mean, both teams in this series have shown that they can win on each other’s floor, so I don’t think that matters much.

I feel like we’ll be prepared for Game 6. Our coaching staff has given us another great game plan. They’re going to give us some more insight on what needs to be done tomorrow morning at our shootaround, and it’s up to us as the guys to go out and execute that.”

Irving puts it this way — “Not really even thinking about that game (Monday night) right now. As soon as the buzzer ended in Game 5, all I could think about was preparation for Game 6. Watched some film and the next 24 hours would be just solely focused on how we can be better for Game 6.

As a competitor, you want to sustain it. Obviously you want to have a big night, especially playing on this platform. But sometimes it can go either way, and you have to be willing to play through both ways and remain confident in what the game plan is offensively and defensively. And if we stay that course, we feel pretty good that we’ve put ourselves in a great position to be in the game. So for us, it’s just about coming out with that aggressive mindset, pushing in transition, and getting easy opportunities that we can take advantage of.”

It is not yet clear if Kevin Love would play in Game 6 and how effective he could be. Kevin Love has not gained footing in this series and even missed Game 3 because of concussion protocol but when Lebron and Irving are playing the way they play Kevin’s big contributions might not be needed.

Draymond Green is expected to be back from suspension on a flagrant foul slapped on him against Lebron James.. He notes that he believe they could have won the game if he wasn’t suspended.

Curry has this to say — “When you have two guys play the way they did, you obviously notice because you see the ball going in the basket every time. But for me, you kind of get a little edge about you trying to go back at them, but you’ve got to do it within the system of our offense and how we go about things and not get the temptation to abandon that just to get into the little back-and-forth, one-on-one. So that’s kind of my approach. You enjoy those kind of moments, even though we didn’t get the win. But an opportunity to go right back at them.”

GAME 5 played on June 13, 2016, CLE wins trail series 3-2 on the score of 112 (CLE) – 97 (GSW)
Game 5 Western Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

The Warriors started strong in Game 5 with a score of 9-3 on a Curry 3 point shot, a jumper by Klay and two layups from Iguodola. Cleveland would not let the game slip by with Lebron James hitting the 3-point shot off an Irving assists for a score of 8-12. When the Warriors were threatening to widen the lead anew Lebron James had a 5-point swing — free throws and three points to even the score at 22-22 with 4:07 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Second quarter was tight with both teams going back and forth scoring on multiple lead exchanges. One highlight was a dunk of Shaun Livingston to tie the score at 38-38.

This quarter also saw Klay Thompson scoring from every corner of the court.

Lebron James wouldn’t let his team go down, the half ended tied at 61 all.

The third quarter is when the Splash Brothers re-emerged in Game 4 however in Game 5 it was the tandem of Lebron James and Kyrie Irving as they have quickly built an 8 point lead on a dunk of Lebron (30 points) on the 8:07, then a 3-point miss by Curry, and a return 3-point shot by Kyrie Irving (26 points) on a James assist with 7:45 remaining. The Cavaliers had a 10 point lead 85-75 after Jefferson scored on a driving layup. The quarter ended with Cavaliers leading by 9 points, 93-89.

The Warriors started the fourth quarter with a 3-point shot by Curry at the 11:40 mark while Kyrie Irving answered back with a pull-up bank shot 18 seconds later for a 95-87 score. This was a tough quarter for the Warriors as Stephen Curry and everyone else were only able to score 35 second half points while the Cavaliers scored 51 points with James and Kyrie carrying most of the load. As Curry continued to miss his shots Irving couldn’t miss hitting a bank shot on the 6:20 mark, followed by turnaround fadeaway, and 3 point shot at the 5:33 mark. Lebron James scored a jump shot and a free throw with 3:22 remaining for a 111-96 lead.

This is the first time in an NBA Finals that two players scored more than 40 points a piece; Lebron and Irving both finished with 41 points.

I must say this has been an offensive and one of the greatest performances of two superstars in an NBA Game

Game 5 Western Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

The Golden State Warriors is one win away for a Championship title repeat becoming only the seventh team to achieve the feat.

The task might not be easy as they would be playing the game without Draymond Green who is Mr. Hustle for the Warriors and can matchup perfectly with Lebron James and limit the effectivity of Tristan Thompson and the Cavaliers on the paint. Without Draymond Green they need to get more of the hustle and defense from Harrison Barnes, Iguodola and Bogut.

The Warriors will have to a chance to  win the Championship on their home court in Game 5, something they had to win on the road in last year’s Finals.

A ray of sunshine for the Warriors is the resurgence of the Splash Brothers who led the team to a historic 17-3 pointers in the Finals. Stephen Curry who had 38 points is expected to have another monster night that could spark everyone’s offensive output.

Curry says this about missing Green – “Yeah, we’re going to come out aggressive and confident, just like we would if Draymond was playing. We understand what we’re playing for, and that’s all that matters. So we hope to have a great night, take care of the details of the game. Individual guys step up and play pretty special and have special efforts and come out with a win.”

Tyronne Lue of the Cavs says this — “He’s the heart and soul of their team, but we’ve still got to play. His suspension doesn’t make us win the game. We’ve got to go out and win the game and take the game. So it’s a big suspension on their end, but we’ve still got to play.”

Klay Thompson added 25 points for the Warriors and we are expecting him to rain 3s tonight. Klay has this to say — “If you don’t get up for that, there’s something wrong with you. We can’t wait to get to Oracle on Monday. I’ve been fortunate to play there for five years and we really do have the best fans in the league. They probably won’t have ever seemed as excited before as when we get to Monday.”

Kerr on Game 5 — “I just think that it’s the NBA Finals. We’re at home. We have a chance to close things out. I don’t think we need any more of an edge, any more psychological advantage, anything like that.

The game gives us all the motivation we need, and the biggest thing for us is to just tweak things a little bit here and there to try to get the right rotations on the floor at the right time. And because of our versatility, I feel like we’ll be able to do that.”

On the other side, we cannot rule out the Cleveland Cavaliers that while winning 3 straight games against a team that has won 73-regular season games is nearly improbable to comeback but they might be able to win Game 5 especially without Draymond Green.

Warriors is only the tenth team who was able to rally from a 3-1 deficit but no one in the Final was able to do that.
James has this to say — “We’ve already got to take a flight home back anyways, so we might as well come home with a win and play on our home floor again. Being a confident bunch, we feel like the chips have been stacked up against us all year anyway.”

Lue says this — “Just win one game. Bring everything we’ve got to win one game. I told the guys when we left — we have to come back to Cleveland anyways, so why not come back and play a game. So we’ve got to give everything we’ve got. Our backs are against the wall, so we’ve got to be prepared to win just one game.”

GAME 4 played on June 10, 2016, GSW wins leads series 3-1 on the score of 108 (GSW) – 97 (CLE)
Game 4 Western Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

This is the game that the Splash Brothers have risen from slumber hitting 3-pointers, layups, making small runs to close the gap, take the lead and eventually win the game.

Stephen Curry looked normal in the first three games of the NBA Finals and critics are vocal about Curry’s ability to push more in the finals.

Stephen Curry exploded for 38 points while fellow Splash brother Klay Thompson had 25 points beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-97.

Curry who just averaged 16 points in the first three games in Finals showed why he is the MVP and what he is capable of doing.

Check this Curry highlights

Third quarter with over 8 minutes remaining is when the Splash Brothers came back to life in the NBA Finals 2016. Stephen Curry hit a three point shot, followed by another three by Thompson.

Iguodola had his moments when he tied the game with over 4.5 minutes remaining on a 3 pointer. Stephen Curry followed up with another 3-point shot with 4:07 remaining to give the Warriors the lead 72-69.

When the Splash brothers came back in the third quarter, James fought hard and was determined to win this game grabbing an offensive rebound in a paint of Warriors with 2:41 second and getting two points. James followed it up with a block against Curry with .7 seconds left in the shot clock.

On Curry’s comeback Green has this to say — “All the slander. He’s a competitor. He’s been under a heavy microscope, and rightfully so. Two-time MVP, you’re expected to have a great game in the finals. He struggled the first three, tonight he was our guy.”

Curry downplays his return back to action — “Business as usual. We answered the bell. We got back to who we are as a team.”

Steve Kerr feels that Curry getting back to business is as expected — “He’s Stephen Curry. He’s the MVP for a reason. He doesn’t have the size and strength to dominate a game physically, so he has to dominate with his skill and that’s not an easy thing to do because your shot sometimes isn’t going to go in. Tonight they went in.”

The Cavaliers had a hard time containing the Warriors especially when they hit a finals record of 17 3-pointers.

Kerr adds — “They got going. Sooner or later it’s going to happen. You can’t keep guys like that down forever.”

The Warriors have a huge chance of closing this game at home in Game 5, something they weren’t able to do in last year’s Finals when they won on the road against the Cavaliers.

Game 4 Western Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

This it the game that would test the character of the Golden State Warriors as they were blown by 30 points in Game 3 and the momentum has now shifted to the Cleveland Cavaliers with Game 4 on the Cavs’ arena, a place they have not lost in the playoffs this year.

Having gotten back from a 3-1 has the Warrior still optimistic with Curry still have a lot to give in the Finals, as Steve Kerr notes — “Just think about the OKC series. We’re down 3-1, he hadn’t played well. Look what he did the last few games. So that’s Steph. That’s who he is. He always responds. He’s got a huge heart, competitive as hell, and extremely talented. I know how he will respond. He’ll play well. He always does.”

Credit also to the Cavaliers defense who doesn’t allow Stephen Curry to shake out of screens and rotations.

Kerr knows they have to put Stephen in better scoring opportunities and would also need Curry to step up the game especially now in the Finals — “We can definitely help Steph out and we will. We can put him in better position to catch the ball or to handle the ball and to come off screens and that kind of stuff with more space, and we’ll do that tomorrow. Then the other side of it is just him playing better, and that’s what the Playoffs are about.”

After Game 2, the Warriors looked very bullish and the Cavs didn’t look like they had any chance of winning but after Game 3 people are worried that the Warriors might have slowed down while the Cavaliers are accelerating to winning status.

Kerr is alright with the situation and no need to worry — “All this stuff about, ‘Oh, my God, what are we going to do? All we have to do is take stock. We’re up 2-1. We’re in pretty good shape. We haven’t played that well. Let’s play better.”

Lebron James knew in Game 3 they cannot go down 3-0 in the series but same could be said in Game 4 as there is no team that were able to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals.

The Cavaliers still need three more games to win the series

James says — “We can’t afford to go down 3-1 and go into their building and give them confidence going back. So it’s a do-or-die game for us still.”

We should expect Kyrie Irving to continue his offensive game which helped the Cavs win Game 3 while Kevin Love might play and contribute some given that he is coming back from concussion and doesn’t seem to find the flow in the Finals against the Warriors.

Irving has this to say — “As a maturing young player, young man, I had to really just remove myself emotionally and realize that the journey isn’t going to be easy in order to be a champion in this league, a great player or anything. And when you have the chance to learn from someone like that and you have a group of guys in our locker room like we do with veteran leadership, it makes my job a lot easier and a lot more fun to be a part of. So I’m happy about the team that we’re part of and the teams that I’ve been part of. But being around him every single day has been great for my career.”

What we are most interested in Game 4 is whether Stephen Curry can come back and show a mighty offense we have missed in this year’s Finals.

GAME 3 played on June 9, 2016, CLE wins trail series 2-1 on the score of 120 (CLE) – 90 (GSW)
Game 3 Western Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

Cleveland has played very well at home in the playoffs keeping their record unbeaten. They did not only beat the Warriors but took them for a crushing spin on a 30-point margin win.

Lebron James scored 32 points and 11 rebounds but most notably he put in jumpers whenever the Warriors are starting a mini-run to keep their opponents from closing the gap. Kyrie Irving who did not play well in the first two finals game scored 30 points.

The Cavaliers could not afford to lose this game and trail 0-3 in the series so they had one mission going into Game 3 – give everything and win. The Cavaliers spirits could have been crushed after blowout losses against the Warriors but today they showed character and the ability to bounce back.

As James noted — “We finally got back to our game. It was a good flow, a collective team win.”

The Cavaliers had to rely on their two superstars Kyrie Irving and Lebron James to carry most of the offensive load. Kevin Love is out on concussion protocol and the Cavs was able to find a way to win without him.

Tristan Thompson showed strength and defense that helped limit the Warriors offense

Missing in the finals series is MVP Stephen Curry who just scored a dismal 19 points. Curry started slow by only scoring two points in the first half and wasn’t able to pick it up in the second. Fellow splash brother Klay Thompson is also missing in action as he only scored 10 points while Harrison Barnes was able to contribute 18.

The Cavs are not yet out of the woods and call this a series until they have won Game 4 and make this a best of 3 series.

Steve Kerr was disappointed with his team — “We were soft. When you’re soft, you get beat on the glass and turn the ball over.”

Stephen Curry who still has to find his flow and range has this to say — “I’ve got to play 100 times better than that. I’m fine. Not the way we wanted the night to go.”

The Warriors need to steal one on the road to better their chances of winning the Championship instead of hoping to finish them off in Game 7 utilizing their home-court advantage.

It would be interesting how the Cavaliers will continue their dominance at home and whether the Warriors can bounce back on the road, most specially Stephen Curry.

Game 3 Western Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

The Cleveland Cavaliers are now down 0-2 in the NBA Finals 2016, both games played at the Warriors home court where they have been outstanding this season although not as much as the points and point margin win against the Cavaliers.

Cleveland has been able to score but could not play defense as the Warriors went on a scoring spree. Lebron James in an interview said they have to win Game 3 as they cannot be down by 0-3.

Warriors defense key for Game 3 on the road

With a 33-point win, the Warriors looked invincible especially since both the Splash Brothers just scored less than 20 a piece, more than half of what they are capable of scoring on big times.

The good thing going for Lebron James and the Cavaliers is they are playing at home where they play extremely well having routed the Raptors and every other team in the playoffs.

Both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love has not played well and it was reported that Kevin will be out in Game 3 because of concussion. Kyrie Irving will have to step up in Game 3 to make this a series.

As James noted — “It’s a do or die game for us”.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have not yet lost at home in the playoffs and while it is known that the East has weaker teams; the Warriors might find themselves trying to keep up with the Cavs.

Tristan Thompson notes — “We feed off each other. We’ve been great at home. We’re excited.”

James adds — “If we can score a little bit more, which I believe we will do in Game 3, that will help our defense out a lot, too. When you miss versus those guys it gives them the ability to get out and run, which they’re very good at. Either from Draymond (Green) pushing the break or Iguodala pushing the break or Steph and those guys run the floor and they run to their spots and create a lot of problems. So if they’re taking the ball out of bounds, then it slows it up just a little bit. So we’ve got to do a better job of putting the ball in the basket.”

Draymond Green, the main hustle man for the Warriors is optimistic they could find energy on the road — “I’ve always said the best feeling in the world is to quiet another team’s crowd, so that right there is motivation.”

Steve Kerr on the total team effort — “We just want to win. It doesn’t matter who scores the points or who gets the credit. We do feel like the strength of our team is our depth, and we’re not overly reliant on one player, even the MVP. So our depth has shown so far, and I’m sure we’ll have different players continue to step up as the series goes on.”

GAME 2 played on June 5, 2016, GSW wins leads the series 2-0 on the score of 110 (GSW) – 77 (CLE)
Game 2 Western Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

The Warriors came into the game knowing what happened last year when they won Game 1 and lost the next two games to a depleted Cleveland Cavaliers. They arrived focused and with so much strength and force that it looked like they were playing against a bunch of amateur players when they routed the team for 33 points.

The Cavaliers didn’t even put up a fight in the fourth quarter when the Warriors were trying to break away as Lebron James continued to rest the quarter.

The offense for the Warriors on Game 2 was outstanding

There is a lot of pressure for the Golden State Warriors to win the Championship especially after breaking the Chicago Bulls record of regular season wins by finishing with 73. The historic regular season would have been for nothing if they didn’t end up with a Championship trophy. The Warriors are now two wins away from making this an incredible season whose records may not be broken for the next few decades.

The supporting cast of the Warriors delivered once again with Green scoring 28 points, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out five assists and hitting five 3-pointers. MVP Stephen Curry scored 18 points still far from what he is capable of but the Warriors still won by a huge margin of 33 points, the Warriors biggest finals win.

Lebron has this to say on the loss — “They just beat us. We didn’t win anything. At no point in the game did we win anything.”

Coach Steve Kerr says this — “I’m definitely surprised at the margin of victory tonight. It happens in the NBA, sometimes things get away from you. Sometimes shots go in, sometimes they don’t. … Everything changes when we go to Cleveland, we know that.”

Klay Thompson scored 17 points and the Splash brothers had almost twice the performance they had in Game 1.

Stephen Curry says this — “What we’ve done the last few years, everybody, every night has an impact. You don’t know where it’s going to come from any given night. We’ve got to keep our focus and our edge and hopefully get two more.”

Lebron James have to talk things over with the team and coach Tyronne Lue needs to pull something from his sleeve to at least close the gap when they host the Warriors on Wednesday for Game 3 of the NBA Finals 2016.

Kevin Love was put in the NBA’s concussion protocol after he felt dizzy in the second half of the game.

Lue has this to say — “The guys are not discouraged. But we’ve got to be tougher. … They did what they were supposed to do, they won two games at home. We’ve got to get home and do the same.”

“Stop it,” Green said as he had a great night with five 3-pointers. His 3-point accuracy got Thompson to say this — “Tonight, he’s one of us”.

The Warriors’ 87 victories combined from their record 73-win regular season and the playoffs matched the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, the group Golden State topped for the most regular season victories in NBA history of 73.

Andrew Bogut delivered on the defensive end with five blocks while the Warriors had nine overall.

Thompson thinks the Warriors are better than the Lakers — “We’re better than the Showtime Lakers”.

The Cavaliers need to get their act together and would have their best chance of coming back on Game 3 at their homecourt; otherwise, they will be down 0-3 in this series. In the next game they are just a win away to making this a series.

Game 2 Western Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

If the Cleveland Cavaliers have a chance of winning the NBA Finals Championship 2016 it has to start in Game 2.

The Warriors was able to beat them by 15 points without their superstars contributing much in Game 1. The Cavaliers will have to be ready for the Splash brothers explosion while keeping up with the rest of the reserves to level the series in Game 2.

The Cavaliers seemed to be a stronger opponent when they didn’t have the two other stars in the game. Lebron will have to rally his team similar to how he got everyone to elevate their game to stretch the series to Game 6 in last year’s finals.

The Cavs looked superior on their playoff run only losing two games and not it seems the weaker Eastern Conference has not done them a favor.

James however remains confident — “We’re not a team that loses our composure over anything”.

Cavs coach Tyronne Lue has this to say — “It was funny because people were talking about not having been through adversity, and, I mean, we’ve been through adversity all season. And I thought our guys did a great job of just coming together and understanding we have one common goal to start the season, and throughout that we had a lot of bumps in the road and a lot of things that happened.”

Kevin Love thinks being down in the series is an opportunity to show how they fight — “There’s good things that can come from it and feeling like your back is up against the wall. Then you have to push back and fight. I think we’ve been a team that has kind of thrived in, I don’t know if chaos is the right word, but thrived in adversity and been able to bounce back. We’re going to look to Sunday as definitely a bounce-back game and try to go 1-1 back to Cleveland.”

The series that the Warriors had with the Thunder strengthened them more as Green says — “I think that experience of going through that definitely makes us closer and a lot tougher. That wasn’t an easy series by any means. Then coming down and coming back from down 3-1, it gives you a certain amount of confidence.”

The Warriors will be working harder despite taking Game 1 as they do not want to be in the same situation they were last year when they went down 2-1 in the series after winning Game 1. Steve Kerr on this — “I don’t think it will be a problem. “I think we’re much more experienced. We have that memory in our mind. We’ve been through this now, and we understand you can’t let up ever. Sunday is obviously a huge game. We’d like to go take care of business and get out on the road with a 2-0 lead. But we’ve got to play well.”

GAME 1 played on June 2, 2016, GSW wins leads the series 1-0 on the score of 104 (GSW) – 89 (CLE)
Game 1 Western Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

James said before Game 1 that facing the Warriors is unique – “The fact that we’re going back to back, I think, is pretty unique.” James adds that it would be an interesting write-up in history — “It’s pretty unique to be in this position to have another opportunity for guys to write about, for us to play it, for the people to talk about it throughout the world. I’m blessed that I can be a part of conversations.”

I highly doubt this is what James thought about being written for this Championship series. The Cleveland Cavaliers got blown out by 15 points in game dominated by the Warriors. James was probably confident they would fare better compared to last year’s finals especially because Irving and Love are in the roster.

What adds insult to injury is that the Warriors was able to win by 15 points while the Splash brothers were having a bad night. Both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson only combined 20 points on 8-27 shooting, less than half of what they were capable of. The supporting case were the ones who delivered the loss to the Cavaliers with Draymond Green scoring 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, and Shaun Livingston adding 20 points, his highest personal playoff record.

Curry has this to say on their performance — “You don’t win championships without the entire squad coming in and making an impact on games. That’s why we’re here.”

The bench of Golden State scored 45 points against the 10 points from Lebron James’ supporting cast.

The next game will still be played on the Warriors ground and Lebron knows what is at stake — “When you get outscored 45-10 on the bench and give up 25 points off 17 turnovers, no matter what someone does or doesn’t do, it’s going to be hard to win, especially on the road. Don’t matter what you do with Steph and Klay, don’t matter what you do with Draymond.”

The supporting cast of the Splash brothers delivered with Barbosa scoring 11 points on a perfect 5-5 shooting night, Iguodala scoring 12 points, adding seven rebounds and six assists.

Steve Kerr praise the bench of the Warriors — “We play a lot of people, and we feel like we have a lot of talent on the bench that can come in and score when we need it. So it’s a great sign, obviously, that we can win in the finals without those two guys having big games, but it’s not really that surprising to us. This has been our team the last couple of years.”

The Warriors battle cry “Strength in Numbers” fits how the Warriors performed to win the first game of the Finals. Livingston reinforces this — “That’s our motto. That’s what we believe in. We pick each other up. We believe in each other and we just fight.”

Lebron James scored 23 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, while Kyrie Irving added 26 points, 11 on free throws.

Iguodala is a great team player as he had performed very well when he played at the starting lineup for  Game 7 clincher against Oklahoma City but did not miss a beat when he went back to the bench contributing from both ends of the floor.

Harrison Barnes who is starting in Iguodala’s place, scored 13 points. Superstar Curry only had 11 points but had six assists and five rebounds, while Thompson only scored nine points.

Cavaliers coach said this — “I thought our guys did a great job of locking into those guys. Their bench played well. So we’ve got to go back to the drawing board and try to figure out how to take those guys out of the game.”

Kevin Love had a productive night with 17 points and 13 rebounds.

Game 1 Western Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

This is a rematch of last year’s Finals. More than that it features a head to head competition between two of the best ballplayers in the world. Both are MVP players. Both are endorsers of big sports products — Nike vs Under Armour.

The Warriors have defeated the Cavaliers last year and we would expect Lebron James to rally his team and end the 52-year drought of the city of Cleveland from winning a Championship title. The task would not be easy however as the Warriors are way better this year having won 73-regular season games and was able to show their ability under pressure after climbing back from a deficit of 3-1 against the Thunder.

The same could be said for the Cleveland Cavaliers as they are more complete than last year when Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love was out and James had to carry his team.

Is this going to be a team rivalry? We are not yet sure given that Lebron James could transfer to another team next year and the rivalry maybe between these two superstars.

Curry’s take on the matchup finals — “It’s really annoying for me. That’s not what I’m playing for, to be the face of the NBA or to be this or that or to take LeBron’s throne or whatever. You know, I’m trying to chase rings, and that’s what I’m all about. So that’s where the conversation stops for me.”

Curry does not seem to be bothered by the attitude of James towards him when during last year’s finals James has proclaimed he is the best player on the planet despite Stephen Curry winning the MVP title. James posted 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists but could not deliver the Championship to the city of Cleveland.

James took another shot at Curry when he won his second MVP award and became the only  unanimous winner — “but when you talk about most `valuable’ then you can have a different conversation, so, take nothing away from him, he’s definitely deserving of that award, for sure.”

The media have been eating the comments of James and tries to make a rivalry out of them, James however downplays it — “You guys make rivals. I think it’s great for the sport. It’s great for all sports. I don’t think me and Steph, when you talk about rivalries, you talk about Carolina-Duke, you talk about Ohio State-Michigan. It’s hard to say LeBron and Steph. If there’s a smaller scale or another word for a rival.”

Klay Tompson says this about these stars — “I don’t think there’s just a face in the NBA. I think there are faces because it’s such a star-driven league. … But I think it might be easier for the common fan to relate to Steph because it’s hard to be 6-8, 260 and have a 40-inch (vertical) and be the fastest guy on the floor.”

Stephen Curry is a superstar that most of the fans can relate too, small, thin, people doubting his ability. As such he had to work harder to keep up with players of superior athletic ability. He had to work the hardest to overtake players bigger and stronger. Curry has become the hero most fans want to be and the surging sales of Under Armour proves this.

As Thompson notes — “The casual fan might relate better to Steph because he doesn’t have that athletic just God-given ability. It’s tough to say. It’s just personal preference, honestly.”

James on facing the Warriors again — “The fact that we’re going back to back, I think, is pretty unique. It’s pretty unique to be in this position to have another opportunity for guys to write about, for us to play it, for the people to talk about it throughout the world. I’m blessed that I can be a part of conversations.”

Game Highlights Warriors vs Cavaliers NBA Finals 2016

in

This video shows the game highlights from pre-game, to all four quarters. It was an intense and exciting game up until the middle part of the 4th quarter when the Cavaliers doesn’t look like they will mount a comeback.

 

Exciting game that saw Cavaliers controlling the earlier part before the Splash Brothers hit consecutive shots to give the Warriors a 3-1 lead.

Kevin Love out for Game 3 in NBA Finals 2016

in

Kevin Love was injured in Game 2 of the NBA finals when Harrison Barnes accidentally elbowed him when scrambling for a rebound of a free-throw attempt.

The Cleveland Cavaliers is in a must-win situation against the Golden State Warriors as another lose would put them 0-3 in the NBA Finals 2016. The Cavaliers are hoping the home-court advantage together with huge contributions from Irving and Love would help them secure Game 3.

Kevin Love remained on the floor after the incident with Barnes while play continued. He eventually stood, finished the second quarter and appeared at the start of the third. He appeared fine in the game but requested to be taken out after he felt dizzy.

Doctors determined to place Love on concussion protocol. With two days rest the Cavaliers were hoping to get Kevin Love back in the game and help them climb back in the series. It doesn’t look Love is healthy and would have to sit this one out.

Channing Frye will put in the workload tonight and hopefully he can have the same impact as Delladova. It would be remembered that the Cavaliers went down 0-2 last year against the Warriors before winning two straight games. Without Love and Irving, Delladova stepped up offensively and defensively that helped them event he series at 2 games apiece.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Toronto Raptors Eastern Conference Finals 2016

in
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Toronto Raptors Eastern Conference Finals 2016
GAME SUMMARY
Game 1: CLE 115 TOR 84
Game 2: CLE 108 TOR 89
Game 3: TOR 99 CLE 84
Game 4: TOR 105 CLE 99
Game 5: CLE 116 TOR 78
Game 6: CLE 113 TOR 87
GAME 6 played on May 27, 2016, CAVS wins the series 4-2 on the score of 113 (CAVS) – 87 (TOR)
Game 6 Eastern Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

Lebron James is going to his six straight NBA Finals by closing out the series against the Toronto Raptors with a 26-point margin.

The Cavaliers who have not done well at the Canada Air Centre and was 0-4 this season was able to get their first win at the Raptors home court while closing the series and securing a return trip to the Finals for the Cavaliers. James had a monster game of 33 points, and Kevin Love who was missing in two games here was able to contribute 20 points and 12 rebounds.

The Cavaliers have a chance of ending Cleveland’s 52-year championship drought,  which is the longest drought of any city which has at least three professional sports teams. The last time a professional sports team won in Cleveland was in 1964 when the Browns won againts Baltimore 27-0 to win the NFL championship.

Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue says — “This city has been craving a championship. We have the right team and we have the right talent.”

James grew up in Akron, a place near Cleveland and knows how this city has longed for a Championship win.

James has this to say — “I know our city deserves it, our fans deserve it. But that gives us no sense of entitlement. We’ve still got to go out and get it. We’ve still got to go out and prove ourselves.”

The Cavaliers came with a winning mentality on a road game as they refused to go back for a Game 7. Kyrie Irving added 30 points to face-off either the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Golden State Warriors.

The Cleveland Cavaliers would probably prefer a Finals against the Thunder where they hold home-court advantage compared to the Warriors team that seems invincible having won 73-wins in the regular season. However, the Warriors are having a tough time against the Oklahoma City Thunder and are surprisingly trailing the series 3-2.

Irving is not happy winning the Eastern Conference Finals 2016 — “We’re still not satisfied at all. There’s still a goal at hand that we have to accomplish and I know these guys are going to be ready for it.”

This is the third time the Cavaliers have reached the NBA Finals all of which was led by Lebron James; these were in 2015 against the Warriors and 2007 against the Spurs.

James added 11 rebounds and six assists on top of the 33 points.

Lue says — “We needed LeBron to set the tone for us early and I thought he did that. He’s just a great player. He’s a proven winner. He’s always won over the course of his career. To go to six straight finals is unbelievable.”

Despite the loss the Toronto Raptors have a lot of reason to celebrate as this is the first time they have reached the conference finals in 21 years. They also had a franchise record in the regular season by winning 56 games.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey has this to say — “a tremendous learning experience, a step ahead” of being a championship contender. He adds — “We’re learning. We’re not where (the Cavaliers) are right now. We’re going to be.”

Lowry however doesn’t see the positives of the Raptors historic season and says a lot of how far he wants his team to go — “Of course you’re going to look back at some point but right now I’m disappointed. Simple as that, I’m disappointed.”

The Eastern Conference Finals is now concluded with Lebron James leading his team to the Finals.

Game 6 Eastern Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

The Raptors play well at home and hopefully they can extend the series and go back to Cleveland for a Game 7.

The Cavaliers need to match the physical game of Raptors Biyombo, shoot the ball better and contain the Raptors all-stars who are having great games at home.

LeBron James however after their 38-point win in Cleveland is still a better team on the road and can clinch the win for their second straight NBA Finals appearance.

Kevin Love was the key missing player for the Cavaliers when they lost two games but was able to get back with 25 points in Game 5.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking for their first win in the Raptors arena as they are 0-4 this season at Air Canada Centre. As for the Raptors they cannot be too confident but needs to remain aware that the Cavaliers will do everything to close out the series.

Raptors guard has this to say — “We’ve got to play the same way we played the two home games we’ve had so far. That’s all we can do. Can’t worry about the road. We might not get a chance to go back on the road if we don’t play the right way tomorrow.”

Lowry has this to say about the way Lebron and Cavs routed them in Game 5 — “They’re drastically bad when you’ve got LeBron coming at you”.

Raptors DeMar DeRozan sounds confident in their chances despite being down in the series — “I don’t know why we get so comfortable once we put ourselves in a tougher situation. We’ve been doing it all year and we always bounce back. I think we just thrive off adversity.”

Tyron Lue thinks of this game as Game 7 wherein they will come out and close it — “We want to come in with the approach that this is our Game 7. We’ve worked hard all season to get to this point, and we want to treat this next game as our Game 7.”

Irving has learned how tough road games can be in Toronto as he notes — “probably my first legitimate two road games that I’ve experienced in my playoff career. Our communication, everything had to be a lot sharper. We took a lot that we had to learn from that game, including myself. Going into Game 6, I feel a little bit more prepared than I was going into Game 3 and 4 of knowing what to expect, what it’s going to be like.”

GAME 5 played on May 25, 2016, CAVS wins leads the series 3-2 on the score of 116 (CAVS) – 78 (TOR)
Game 5 Eastern Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

The Cleveland Cavaliers flexed their muscles reminding the Raptors who is dominating in the playoffs as they destroyed the Raptors on a 38-point margin led by LeBron James scoring 23 points, Kevin Love added 25.

The Cavs came out on fire as they built a 34-point lead in the first half and had a high 43-point lead in the second half.

The Cavaliers who play very well at home and the Raptors who is playing below average on the road in the playoffs with a 2-6 record made this game into a “no-contest” game.

James has this to say — “We gotta come out from the beginning and that starts with the Big 3. We’ll be much better.”

Raptors coach says — “They kicked our butts, bottom line. That’s been all three ballgames.”

James worked only through three quarters as the Cavs were already leading by as much as 37 points added eight assists and six rebounds.

When the Cavaliers are on fire against the Raptors they bring it on having won by a combined 88 points in their last three games.

Raptors coach knows the Cavaliers play differently at their homecourt — “They are a different team here. We came in here with a chance to do something special and we didn’t get it done. They pushed us around and took what they wanted.”

The Cavaliers would not be looking to close out the series on the road for Game 6.

Game 5 Eastern Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

Cleveland Cavaliers now have a series on their hands and what looked like an easy sweep has turned into an even series with a pivotal Game 5 at home.

Coach Tyronn Lue has this to say — “They flipped the script on us”.

The Cavaliers looked invincible in the series after they have won the first 2 games on a combined 50 point margin. The Raptors bounced back at home with two wins and has turned this into a best of 3 series.

The Cavs were not able to limit Toronto All-Star guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan from offensively hurting them as well as Bismack Biyombo who is guarding the boards with monster like performances of 40 rebounds in the last two games.

Kevin Love could have played the boards with force but is missing in the series and the only way for the Cavs to remain in the game is to stay small. With a small lineup they need to shoot the ball better as they won’t have the rebounding ability that the Raptors have anchored on Bismack.

Lue has this to say about Love — “We talked about it before the game and the night before how his body felt and wanting to play more minutes because we knew it was a big game for us, but it didn’t work out”.

Lue on Lebron — “LeBron knows when he has to take over a basketball game, but also knows he has to trust his teammates. He’s just missed shots. That’s part of the game,” Lue said. “He’s been playing great all playoffs and at some point you’re going to miss some shots, but that’s not our main concern, we gotta be better defensively and we’re going to make shots.”

GAME 4 played on May 23, 2016, TOR wins ties the series 2-2 on the score of 105 (TOR) – 99 (CAVS)
Game 4 Eastern Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

The Toronto Raptors remained true to their claim particularly Lowry who said they are confident at home and would be able to play a lot better than they did at the Cavs homecourt as they were able to tie the series 2-2 with the score of 105-99.

All-star Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with a score of 35 points, and key plays in the final minute. Fellow all-star DeMar DeRozan added 32 points to bring the series to an even score in the Eastern Conference Finals 2016.

Biyombo who pulled down 26 rebounds in Game 3 still had a stellar game with 14 rebounds but was unable to pull more boards as the Cavs shot a lot better than last game.

DeRozan has this to say — “We’ve been counted out, and we like that challenge”.

Lowry comments — “We have to continue to make sure that when they punch, we punch back. And if they punch three times, we punch four times.”

The Cavaliers who had a 10 consecutive winning streak in the playoffs have not lost two in a row and are hoping to get back to their homecourt and turn things around.

The good news for the Cavs is that the Raptors play poor on the road especially int he playoffs with a record of 2-6.

Lebron has this to say — “Going back home we have to play a lot better and I think we will”.

Coach Tyron Lue of the Cavs — “We had a few defensive breakdowns that you can’t have down the stretch of a game, especially in the playoffs. They executed every time we made a mistake.”

James put in 29 points, Kyrie Irving had 26 for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Channing Frye added 12 points.

Lowry and DeRozan carried the Raptors in the 4th quarter as they scored 9 and 12 respectively on 5-6 shots.

The Raptors are riding high on their win but needs to figure out a way to win on the road. For now, they should have breathing room in the series.

Game 4 Eastern Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

The Toronto Raptors has said they feel comfortable and confident at home and having won Game 3 they are looking to equalize the series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers will have to neutralize Biyombo who pulled down 26 huge rebounds that is enough to get any team in trouble.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey says Biyombo is a “nightmare” and “nuisance” to play against.

Biyombo has this to say — “Until you really get to know the real side of me, then you know who I am,” he said. “But on the floor I don’t have friends.”

The Cleveland Cavaliers need to get their shooting percentage up to limit the ability of the Raptors to gain momentum on rebounds. This is an important game for the Cavs though not really critical. At worst, the Raptors can tie the series while the Cavs has a chance to bounce back at home.

For the Raptors this is a must-win game as they do not want to get buried with a 3-1 deficit that would make it very difficult to bounce back up.

Cavs coach has this to say about Biyombo — “If you don’t foul him hard, he’s going to get an and-one and a three-point play. You’ve got to try to be physical with him so he can’t take the contact and finish at the rim. When you get around the neck, like Biyombo did last night, that’s different. But when teams hard-foul, you’re supposed to get hard-fouled when you’re going to the basket, especially being that strong and that powerful.”

James didn’t get a lot to the foul line and has this comment about it — “I really don’t get involved in it too much. I just play the game and let the referees decide what the call may be and move on. I can’t have my focus go somewhere else. That allows my energy to be somewhere it shouldn’t be.”

GAME 3 played on May 21, 2016, TOR wins trails the series 2-1 on the score of 99 (TOR) – 84 (CAVS)
Game 3 Eastern Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

Cleveland is no longer gonna be able to make history of consecutive playoff wins as the Toronto Raptors played very well at home.

The Raptors were led by DeMar DeRozan with his 32 points, and Bismack Biyombo had 26 rebounds for a Toronto playoff record. The Raptors have closed the series gap 2-1 by beating Cleveland 99-84 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals 2016.

Kyle Lowry who said they have no reason not to be confident going into the game despite losing the first two games scored 20 points, and Cory Joseph added 14.

What looked like a losing cause when the Cavaliers won the first two games with a combined 50 points, the Raptors came back with a win.

Raptors coach has this to say — “It’s a long series. It’s not over with yet, but everybody thought we were going to get swept. I think that fuels us and if that’s what it takes, so be it.”

LeBron James scored 24 points for the Cavaliers and was disappointed how they played the game — “We didn’t play our game and they made us pay for it. We didn’t start the game as physical as we should have at the point of attack.”

Raptors DeRozan has this to say — “It was amazing, honestly. He was big time tonight. Without him, we probably would’t get this win.”

Kyrie Irving just added 13 points, and Channing Frye 11 points for Cleveland. This marks the first time the Cavs scored below 100 points.

Cleveland coach has this to say — “They came out and they beat us. They were more aggressive. They were more physical. They were more active. They were faster. They beat us to the ball.”

The missing performance for the Cavaliers is Kevin Love who just scored three points on 1-9 field goal attempts.

For a moment there was a scare when Irving checked out at the 1:38 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter on a collision with Joseph.

Irving has this to say — “I just got the wind knocked out of me”.

The Toronto Raptors are far from trouble but somehow they were able to get a win at home and can even the series in Game 4.

Game 3 Eastern Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

The Toronto Raptors are relying heavily on their All-Star guard Lowry to step up unless he wants his team to get swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Lowry shot a measly 8 of 28 and going 1 of 15 from long range, in Games 1 and 2. The Cavaliers coasted and burying the Raptors with lots of points in the first two games. The Cavaliers are also going for their 10th straight victory in the playoffs, the record now stands at 12 set by the Spurs in 1999.

The Raptors star feel they will fare better at home — “I think we’ll be better at home. We’re supposed to be better at home. We’re down 2-0 but we haven’t played on our home floor yet.”

The Toronto Raptors looked very good in the playoffs with a home record of 6-2 and were 32-9 in the regular season.

Fellow Raptors star DeMar DeRozan says this — “We’ve got to go out tomorrow night and hold down our fort.”

Raptors coach has this to say — “It’s always important to have your top player but, again, we’ve been here before. There’s nights he has hasn’t played well.”

Lowry is the poster boy of inconsistency among the all-stars as he can score a lot of points on a series of consecutive games like when he tallied 96 in three games against the Miami but has a lot of games where he shot poorly below .300.

Lowry says that Clevland has done a good job defending him — “They’ve done a good job of collapsing and getting the ball out of my hands. I’m making the right passes, we just haven’t made shots. I think we’ll make shots tomorrow. It looks a lot different when we make shots. Assists go up and turnovers go down.”

He adds — “We have no reason not to be confident. We have to be. We got here for a reason. It wasn’t by luck. We had to beat two teams, we had to play a regular season. We got here for a reason.”

The Toronto Raptors need to take advantage of the home game and close the gap otherwise Cleveland can bury them 3-0 and would be setup for a sweep.

GAME 2 played on May 19, 2016, CLE wins leads the series 2-0 on the score of 108 (CLE) – 89 (TOR)
Game 2 Eastern Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

Cleveland Cavaliers is making a run on history by winning their 10th straight post season game to remain perfect in the win column. They are silently building this historic run which is somehow been sidelined in the media since all eyes are on the Golden State Warriors, the injury of Stephen Curry, and anything and everything about the Warriors.

LeBron James remain focused as he recorded a triple-double as the Cavs improved to 10-0 in the playoffs on a 108-89 victory against the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night, Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals 2016. The King scored 23 points, 11 rebounds and added 11 assists to help make the Cavs the 4th team to start 10-0 in the playoffs. The previous three teams were the Los Angeles Lakers (1989, 2001) and San Antonio Spurs (2012). The Cleveland Cavaliers have a real shot in going back to the NBA finals but might still be a level behind winning it all the way against a balanced outstanding Golden State Warriors.

The other superstarts of the Cavs Kyrie Irving added 26 points and Kevin Love chipping 19 for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Lebron has this to say on their 10-0 run — “I don’t think it feels like a streak. It feels like we won one game, we won the next game. We’ve taken one step at a time. We’ve tried to take care of business.”

The Raptors are in trouble having lost by a huge 31-point margin in Game 1, followed by 19 points in Game 2.

Cleveland is a complete team at both ends of the floor as Lebron chimes — “We play offense, we play defense and we’re great at special teams as well,”.

Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals 2016 is Saturday in Toronto and hopefully they get to play better on their home court. Raptors superstar Lowry hot a horrible game on 8 of 28 from the field and scoring only 10 points, he also shot miserably from beyond the arc on 1 of 15. Lowry tries to remain confident — “I’m super confident. I missed countless 3s that I thought were good and that I made last series. That’s why I’m not down on myself. We’ve got a game on Saturday, and I know I’m going to be much more effective. Simple as that.” Fellow superstar DeMar DeRozan fared better scoring 22 points for the Raptors.

Raptors coach has this to say — “We’re not quitting. Everybody can bury us, but we’re not quitting. I refuse to believe that.”

James became the fourth on all-time career postseason scoring list moving past Shaquille O’Neal, and also recorded his 15th playoff triple-double.

Does all this winning help them in their Championship run? James doesn’t think so — “We don’t want to lose”. Cavaliers coach rookie Tyronn Lue who just started last January to replace David Blatt now has a 10-0 playoff record though he admit “It’s not easy,”.

Game 2 Eastern Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

The Cleveland Cavaliers now have a 9-0 playoff record and they are on track to win their 10th playoff game and become only the fourth time this has happened in the league — Los Angeles Lakers (1989, 2001) and San Antonio Spurs (2012).

Cleveland had an easy victory against Toronto 115-84 on Tuesday and are now heavily favored to quickly reach the NBA Finals 2016.

James is on fire in Game 1 as he made his first nine shots towards a 31-point win against the Raptors. The last time a team, Spurs, went on a 10-0 record they didn’t win the Championship but Lebron has this in mind — “I think don’t think we have complacency in our minds. We have a goal and our goal is not nine wins. I’ve won nine games before. I’ve won 14 games before. We will face some adversity.”

The Cavaliers pounded from close range for a 56-36 edge in points in the paint and stunned a Raptors team without injured center Jonas Valanciunas, doubtful for this game. Cleveland also hustled better on a 45-23 rebounding lead.

Toronto Raptors has built character in the first two playoff games that carried them up to seven games against Indiana and Miami but with a single day to perform they looked unprepared against the Cavaliers in Game 1.

Raptors coach says — “I thought they were the fresher team, the quicker team tonight. Again, that’s to their credit, and again, it’s one game. This series is not over by any means.” He also adds — “We’ve got to make sure we force the issue, force the contact, if we’re not, and make sure we get to the free-throw line.”

Cleveland Cavaliers superstar Lebron want to elevate their game — “I think for us, we want to push the tempo. We want to move the ball from side to side, and we want to attack. With myself and Ky, we love to live in the paint.”

Coach Tyronn Lue says “We understand who we are as a team, I think defensively and offensively we understand who we are, who we want to play through, who we want to go through, and it’s been easier for the guys.”

GAME 1 played on May 17, 2016, CAVS wins takes 1-0 lead on the score of 115 (CAVS) – 84 (TOR)
Game 1 Eastern Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

Lebron James led the Cavaliers to an easy 31-point win against Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals 2016 against the Toronto Raptors which is the franchise’s postseason history record for margins.

LeBron James scored 24 points in three quarters, while fellow superstar Kyrie Irving scored 27 to take the Eastern Conference lead 1-0. James started on fire by hitting all first 9 shots in the game and shooting 67 percent from the field in the first half.

The Cavaliers now improved to a 9-0 playoff start led by Lebron James who started the game very hot by making his first nine shots together with a powerful dunk. The city of Cavaliers has a 52-year championship drought and the Cavs are closing in to ending this drought.

Lebron is focused on winning it all as he says — “I think don’t think we have complacency in our minds. We have a goal and our goal is not nine wins. I’ve won nine games before. I’ve won 14 games before. We will face some adversity.”

With the 31-point winning margin, the Cavs are looking very good at full capacity as last year they didn’t have Love and Irving. The lopsided win allowed Lebron James to rest on the final quarter as he finished scoring 11 of 13, six rebounds and four assists in just 28 minutes of gameplay.

James has this to say of his teammates — “They waited a full regular season to get back to this moment. They trained their bodies all season long to get back to this point and those guys have been spectacular.”

Game 1 Eastern Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

It has been 9 years back in 2007 when Lebron James helped the Cavaliers reach the Eastern Conference finals, it was the first one for the King. Lebron then followed up with five straight Finals appearances and are hoping to make it his sixth with the Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers have coasted to the Eastern Conference Finals 2016 while the Raptors team had to win 2 game 7. Even with all the rest period for the Cavs, Lebron has this to say around it — “It’s not an advantage. They’re here for a reason. You got to go out and play. They also played two seven-game series and we didn’t. So they can have the upper edge on that. So, there’s no advantage to either team. Both teams are 0-0 and it’s the first to four.”

The key items we need to understand here is that the current team of Lebron James doesn’t have the experience of going past 4 games in the postseason. When they eventually lose and have to fight in the series the Cavaliers might or might not respond. In the postseason Lebron has averaged 23.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists. Among all the superstars he is the one with the most experience as such would be leading this team should the series get stretched out.

Lowry, scored 35 points in their clinching game over Miami and has taken a stab at Lebron James — “LeBron’s probably one of the best players in the league – besides Steph (Curry).” For the Cavaliers Lebron is the best player in the world and James even questioned the meaning of an MVP award.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey came to his guard’s defense, saying on a conference call that Lowry’s comments were overblown and that “There’s nothing but respect in our locker room and our organization for LeBron James.”

The Raptors will be without center Jonas Valanciunas in Game 1 and maybe for the entire series. The 7-footer is still recovering from a sprained right ankle sustained in Game 3 against the Heat, and his loss damages Toronto’s depth and rebounding.

The injury gave backup Bismack Biyombo more playing time and the Congolese player has delivered.

The 23-year-old scored 17 points with 16 rebounds and two monster dunks in Game 7 against Miami. The Cavs know they’ll need to account for him.

“He’s the kind of guy that’s a spark for their team,” Love said. “He runs the floor, cleans the glass on both ends and he’s really been the X-factor for them that got them over the hump.”

While being without Valanciunas could pose problems inside for the Raptors, the Cavaliers have caused plenty from the outside. The Cavs made 77 3-pointers in their sweep over the Hawks, dropping an NBA record 25 in Game 2. Atlanta chose to protect the paint with defenders and paid for it.

Casey said stopping Cleveland’s outside game is crucial.

“That’s going to be the issue,” he said. “They’re such a great transition team, such a great penetrate, pick-and-roll team that you try to stop everything and you don’t stop anything. We have to pick our poison. They’re very lethal.”

Go to Top