Running notes from a wild game seven

A little bit of this, a little bit of that…

Kevin Love matched his rebound average for the NBA Finals in the first eight minutes of the game. Good for him. He didn’t come out and pull a Michael Jordan in game seven, but he busted his ass and proved worthy of valuable playing time on the NBA’s biggest stage. Say what you will about Kevin Love, but there is no doubt in my mind he can be a premier player on a great team. Perhaps not Cleveland, but at least he redeemed himself with a tough-nosed, blue collar performance in game seven…..

We had a Mo Williams sighting in the second quarter! Mo chucked up two Mo shots, then was the direct beneficiary of an amazing steal by old pal LeBron James. Mo is the only one on this team from the pre-Miami Heat Big Three Cleveland days. Nice to see him get actual minutes. Even if they were mostly a disaster. Something about a ring for Mo seems right…..

I found myself having trouble wrapping my head around what I was watching last night. How can a 73 win team be in a lose-the-game-lose-the-Finals scenario? That type of stuff does not happen in the NBA. I was only three years old when MJ’s Bulls won 72, but it seems like their eminent NBA title was never in doubt. It didn’t seem real last night. It took until LeBron’s sob fest on the Oracle ground to fully comprehend what had just happened. I hesitate to call this the biggest upset in NBA history because LeBron James was the opponent, but can you think of a bigger surprise? This team was the best regular season team ever. EVER. I suppose that’s why you play the game…..

It was very entertaining to see Andy Varejao and LeBron James having a passive-aggressive tiff in the first half. Stop it, guys. LeBron, just say sorry and get over it. You two are meant to be best friends, and besides, I bet there might be an open roster spot in Cleveland next season….

So Richard Jefferson finally gets a ring, huh? For years (and until the last three games), he seemed destined to be a so-close-but-wrong-time type of role player. He lost two NBA Finals in his first two seasons in the league (RIP New Jersey), then he joined the Spurs for two years before the Kawhi revolution and after the Timmy D prime years. Then he bounced to Oakland and witnessed the first few years of the Curry-Thompson renaissance, only to dart to Utah before any real success began. Then he reached the Finals again this year, and for a while it seemed like he would come up short again. But he finally did it. He has a ring, and he played a big role in it, too…..

This is not news, but how good is Klay Thompson? A shooting guard who shoots and defends at an elite level. Name five of those…..

I have to say, that Taco Bell promotion is far more underwhelming than I thought it would be. A four hour window on a Tuesday from 2-6 when everyone is working? Come on, Taco Bell! Now the only people who will cash in on a free taco are the high school kids with immune systems and junkies who don’t have jobs. That’s their regular clientele? You don’t say…..

Lost in the confetti and tears of last night was an all-time game from Draymond Green. 32-15-9 with six three pointers, the same amount as the Splash Bros combined. That’s big time. Without Draymond, the Warriors might have gotten blown out…..

Festus Ezeli had an all-time bad game. He played only 10 minutes, shot 0-4 (including a few missed dunks) and had only one rebound. He also fouled LeBron James with 5:27 to go while shooting a three, a play that completely switched the momentum from Golden State to Cleveland. He should have been on the bench with every other inexperienced player in that game….

Steph Curry’s turnover with five minutes left was……awful. It was an attempted pass to Klay Thompson, who curled off a screen expecting a decent pass and a chance to add to a one point lead. But Curry did one of those weird behind the back floating passes that floated the hell out of bounds. The next Cleveland possession, LeBron James hit his only three pointer of the game, putting his team up by two….

SOMEONE SCORE A POINT. IT SEEMED LIKE IT WAS 89-89 FOR THE ENTIRE FOURTH QUARTER. LeBron misses a step back shot. Curry misses an open three. LeBron misses a (fadeaway?) over Curry. Thompson misses a makeable two. LeBron blows by Curry but misses a layup. Initially it looked like he just blew the shot, but replay shows Andre Iguodala making a wizardly defensive play. Iguodala missed a three after that. If you’re Cleveland, you take that shot attempt 10/10 times. On and on….until Kyrie’s legendary shot…..

So Harrison Barnes is really going to go out like this? Five points per game and 5 of 32 shooting in his last three game with the Warriors. That’s horrible. A decent last three games from Barnes probably means a Warriors title. Shame. But still, I don’t think this will hurt his stock in the slightest. Some desperate team (hello, New York) will throw $20 million a year at him next season. He will proceed to score 17 points per game while shooting 40% from the floor for the next 10 years. People will call him a loser, but when you’re making $20 million a year, the only loser is the person calling you a loser. Congrats to Harrison Barnes on his new future contract….

A graphic flashed with a few minutes to play. Triple-doubles in game seven of the NBA Finals..Jerry West….James Worthy….LeBron James…. Strange list. No Magic? He played in two game sevens. No Russell? (He played in five, and probably did have at least one, but they didn’t record blocks back then) No Wilt?….

The announcing, as always with these three, was top notch. But I do wonder how Mark Jackson feels deep down. He is a proud man. There is no way he isn’t at least a little bit hurt by this whole situation….Mike Breen points out the 20 lead changes and 11 ties up to the 3:40 mark of the fourth quarter. Now that’s a game seven….

That block!!

Holy shit, that block! That was the greatest block I have ever seen. That was the most important block I have ever seen. That was the most dominant single play I have seen in NBA history. That’s vintage LeBron…..

Jeff Van Gundy pointed out with a minute and a half left the fact that the Cavaliers simply could not organize themselves enough to get into their offense before the seven second mark. Amen. Every play when the game was tied at 89 was a last second isolation fallaway. They needed to do better than that. Luckily for them it didn’t matter because Golden State couldn’t hit anything in the last few minutes…..

So Curry’s step back three point attempt with 73 seconds to go missed everything. I didn’t see that coming. The people I watched the game with kept saying ‘It’s only a matter of time. It’s only a matter of time.’ I agreed. I was waiting for the Curry-Thompson dagger. It never came. The fact is, the unanimous MVP had chance after chance after chance to ice this thing and he couldn’t do it. And that’s not a hot take….

That Kyrie Irving three, man. That was cold-blooded as it gets. He shook the MVP and hit the biggest shot of the season. Welcome to the pantheon of greatness, Kyrie…

And how about that defense on Curry on the following play by Kevin Love! My oh my. What a moment for the sidekicks. Curry couldn’t shake him…..

Why did Kyrie immediately try to drive the lane and score with a three point lead and 30 seconds left? If he didn’t bail himself out that could have been an all-time mistake….

LeBron’s almost dunk was almost the most incredible NBA Finals closeout play of all-time. But instead it was one final overdramatic LeBron flop! If your wrist isn’t flopping around, you should be up shooting those free throws….

You could almost hear the air coming out of the Golden State bandwagon at that point. Where’s Ayesha? Where’s all the 73-9 shirts? Where’s all the overconfident non-basketball fans? Boooooooooo Golden State. I can’t believe your team made me vote for LeBron…

Imagine if LeBron missed both of those? Actually I guess it wouldn’t matter because Curry choked again….

On the inbounds, the Warriors take four seconds and can’t get a shot off. They are falling apart. Curry misses one last desperation shot. Mo Buckets misses a meaningless jumper. The Cleveland Cavaliers just beat the freaking Warriors in game seven of the NBA Finals.


Props to LeBron, Kyrie and Kevin Love. Not David Griffin, though.

Props to Draymond Green. That’s about it. Curry choked. Thompson didn’t do enough. Steve Kerr was a phantom coach.

Props to Ty Lue! He just became the second straight rookie coach to win a championship.

Props to Cleveland. After all those years. Something to be happy about.

Image via AP

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