CLEVELAND - A few thoughts from a loud and crazy Quicken Loans Arena at Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
10 - While it's nothing we haven't seen before, there is something about the alley-oop dunk to yourself that still drives a crowd wild.
9 - The Cavaliers (Tristan Thompson specifically) promised an increased level of physicality for Game 3 and they delivered that and more early on. That's the only way they get the Warriors out of their comfort zone in this series, is to make this a much more physical affair, which plays to the strengths of some of their role players (and of course, LeBron).
8 - Sure, it's a somewhat primitive approach in this day and age of analytics and pace-and-space basketball, but if LeBron decided to go Shaq on the league and attack the rim at all times, who could stop him? I mean it literally, who in the world could stop him with totally compromising their defensive principles?
I know his shooting stroke has improved dramatically over the years. But when LeBron attacks the rim relentlessly, the way he is doing tonight, there is literally nothing the defense can do to stop him short of a felony. #NBAFinals- Sekou Smith (@SekouSmithNBA) June 7, 2018
7 - Kevin Durant with the cold-blooded step into it 3-pointer in the final seconds of the second quarter kept the Warriors within striking distance, 58-52, heading into the locker room. Durant's first half was sick (24 points on 7-for-10 shooting, 3-for-4 from distance, eight rebounds and two assists). He outscored the rest of the starting lineup (17 points combined) by himself to keep the Warriors in it. What was that people were saying about him struggling a couple games back?
6 - From the bizarre department. The NBPA announced their fourth annual Players' Voice Awards at 10:46 p.m. ET, during the third quarter of Game 3 of The Finals … a fantastic game, by the way. James Harden is their MVP and LeBron is the "People's Champ." Why this couldn't wait until morning is beyond my comprehension. I'm willing to listen to reasonable explanations.
I do love the premise, by the way. And I wholeheartedly endorse P.J. Tucker as the Sneaker Champ Award (best shoe game).
5 - We see it now, Cavaliers fans. Makes total sense after seeing Rodney Hood on the floor in this series.
Seeing Rodney Hood in the flow of this game finally, it makes so much sense to play him in this series. Just having another long, athletic shot maker on the floor changes the way the Cavaliers can attack, when they dig in. #NBAFinals Setting up for a wicked fourth quarter.- Sekou Smith (@SekouSmithNBA) June 7, 2018
4 - Andre Iguodala might be "pain free" but he sure looks like he's labouring dragging that knee around the court down the stretch. He's still making plays and the Warriors clearly need him to finish what they've started in this series without him.
3 - You know you are caught up in it when you look at the monitor and realize Steph Curry is 1-for-14 from the floor, 0-for-9 from deep and the Warriors have a lead (96-95) with 3:19 to play.
2 - Kevin Durant = Savage!
Just 43, 13 and 7 for the reigning Finals MVP … and the flashback to last time dagger with 49.5 to play to put this one away.
1 - LeBron with the 33-point, 11-assist, 10-rebound triple-double right now and he got help from all over the place tonight and it still wasn't enough to fend off these Warriors, who rallied for the 110-102 win.
Not sure what else the man can do other than tip his cap.
That's 3-0 Warriors.
Get the brooms out for Friday night's Game 4?
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