By David Frick
Before I begin discussing the “Strength in numbers” Warriors and the “Lebron and the D-League” Cavs of the 2015 NBA finals, let me say that I’m a HUGE Thunder fan. Growing up in OKC you have no choice in the matter. The Thunder are the first professional team in state. Lucky for Oklahoma, it’s an easy team to root for. There’s a point to me mentioning the Thunder other than my personal interest in only wanting to talk about them:
Lebron “I’m not worried because I’m the best player in the world” James
The self proclaimed best player alive took his first title from my beloved Thunder back in 2012. This picture still haunts my dreams….
Lebron was straight up a Bad Guy when he was with the Heat. The evil empire Pat Riley built in Miami tried to destroy everything that was good in the world. He was the villain of the NBA, but damn that a good team…
Anyways, back to the 2015 NBA Finals. The Golden State Warriors were the favorites with a talented top to bottom roster and the easy team to like. Watching this team make it rain three’s and play a smart suffocating defense is what great basketball is all about. Splash Brothers, Draymond Green’s intensity on every play, Iggy, AND good guy Steve Kerr is the coach? SOLD. This is my team. Make room, I’m getting on the bandwagon. DUBS NATION WHERE YOU AT????
But then this happened:
Without Kevin Love and Kyrie the Cavs quickly found themselves in the finals with the starting five of…
1. Lebron James – Small Forward, Best player in the world. Good start
2. Timofey Mozgov – Center, Solid player. So far so good
3. Tristan Thompson – Also Center… we need 2? Isn’t small ball a thing now?
4. Iman Shumpert – Shooting guard, also the winner of the best hair award
5. Matthew Dellavedova – Shooting guard, the Cavs may have found him in a pickup game at the local YMCA
Woof. That’s brutal. Maybe the bench is a better story?
1. James Jones – Streaky shooter, but decent option off the bench
2. Mike Miller – Can barely walk
3. J.R. Smith – The most fun player off the court and follows a strict 80/20 rule. 80% of time he does nothing helpful and usually hurts his team, 20% of the time plays incredible, making buckets and winning games. Absolute wildcard.
4. Kendrick Perkins – Stopped doing basketball things around 2012
5. Shawn Marion – He’s still in the league? GM Lebron wanted him on this team? LOL
6. Brendan Haywood – Who?
7. Joe Harris – Who?
So it was Lebron and the scrubs. The Finals were looking like they would be over in 5 games, maybe even 4. It was basically Lebron against one of the most efficient teams the NBA has seen since Jordan’s Bulls. This was looking a like another mismatch NBA Finals where it’s not even worth watching.
Game 1 – Warriors win. Of course they did. Nothing to see here.
Game 2 – Cavs win? Did that really just happen? Lebron put the Cavs on his back, with some heroics from Matt Dellavedova, and won the game in overtime. WOW.
Lebron earned the best player in the world title after a huge effort leading to 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists in 50 minutes. Lebron actually had decent help this game, but make no mistake, he won it. This is when my thinking started to change. Can the Cavs pull this off? More importantly, can Lebron pull this off? Will Cleveland win their first title so they can shut up about it forever?
Time to switch sides. Get me off this overcrowded Warriors bandwagon. Let’s do this Lebron!!! Sorry for calling you a villain earlier… If you can drag a team this far into the NBA playoffs, you deserve a championship.
Game 3 – CAVS WIN! I knew this was the right call. History is being made and I switched teams just in time.
Game 4 – Warriors win. Stupid game. The Cavs hardly showed up and the lack of urgency was too obvious that a causal fan could easily notice. No one said it would be easy, but Lebron’s been here before. He’ll get this done.
Game 5 – Warriors win. The series is getting out of hand. Kind of concerning.
Game 6 – Warriors win. The “good guys” won.
“Not surprised, just disappointed” *in the condescending tone that only a parent can convey to a child.*
Watching this game, everyone knew the outcome. It would take some major blunders for the Warriors to lose this game or the series. The only thing to note was that J.R. Smith did J.R. Smith things. He hit a big 3 with under a minute left in the 4th quarter.
101 Warriors 97 Cavs - 0:33 seconds left to play
Every Cavs fan and the City of Cleveland had a glimmer of hope that a comeback was underway. Next possessions involving J.R.:
J.R. Smith misses 24-foot three point jumper
J.R. Smith misses 30-foot three point jumper
Yep, sounds about right. Showing just enough that one might believe J.R. Smith could become a great basketball player and keep the Cavs alive in Finals. Wrong. Always wrong. J.R. Smith is the biggest troll in the league. He does stuff like this:
Riding around without a care in the world.
With that, your 2015 NBA Champions!