Cavs face tall task, but they won't go away quietly

The Cavs don’t look over-matched or intimidated in the NBA Finals

Jake Chapman
June 05, 2018 - 11:09 pm

© Kyle Terada/Kelley L Cox/Cary Edmondson/Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It was just as ABC’s post-game coverage of Game 2 was beginning Sunday night when it really crystallized for me what a monumental upset a Cavs win in the NBA Finals would be.

Mike Breen talked about how Kevin Durant “eased into the game,” one in which he shot 10-14 from the field and scored 26 points.

Durant is the 2nd-best player in the world, and his team only needs him to “ease into the game” to win Game 2 of the Finals by a cozy 19 points.

Adi Joseph of CBS Sports, a man who knows hoops, tweeted:

It hit me right in the face, then. The Warriors biggest problem is they have too much damn talent.

We all knew the Warriors didn’t “need” Durant. But the Warriors are essentially telling Kevin freaking Durant: “Just don’t screw this up.” It’s a little more jarring when you think about it that way.

The Cavs had a shot in Game 1 and they came up painfully short. It’s easy to suggest that they lost the series the moment Smith was swimming upstream as the regulation clock wound down, but that’s not true. The Cavs played about 38 minutes of good enough basketball in Game 2 before they petered out down the stretch.

They don’t look overmatched. They don’t look intimidated. They don't look shook. They’ve been physical, they’ve rebounded and they’ve taken care of the basketball in both games. They have to be sharper on D and they have to hit some dang threes.

Now it all comes down to Game 3, an absolute must-have for the Cavaliers. I don’t doubt they can win this one, but to string together four wins in a five game span?

In this economy?

The good news is they don’t have to win all four Wednesday night. One Game 3 win would shift the tenor of the entire series. The King is home, and his palace should be a zoo by the time 9:00 rolls around.

The Warriors boast a legendary collection of talent, and they’re still heavy favorites to win the series. But if we know one thing about this Cavs team it’s this: They won’t go away quietly.