Can Cleveland recover from 0-3 hole?
We ask local basketball personalities if Cavs still have a chance in this Finals series
Nothing’s going in Cleveland’s way, so far, in the 2018 NBA Finals.
The Eastern Conference champion Cavaliers find themselves in a deep 0-3 hole in the best-of-seven series after losing to the defending champion Golden State Warriors, 110-102, yesterday at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
The Cavs, who lost to the Warriors in last year’s Finals, are in danger of being swept this year, even despite the monster numbers LeBron James is putting up so far.
Now the Cavaliers find themselves in the hole from which no NBA team has ever escaped.
Can Cleveland still recover in this championship series? Cebu Daily News asked several local personalitites this question.
The most blunt answer came from University of Cebu head coach Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba.
“No chance at all. 4-1 Warriors,” Alcoseba said.
Jem Ryn Betia, assistant coach of the Far Eastern University in the UAAP and the Gilas Pilipinas National Team, also said it is less likely that the Cavs can recover.
“I see no chance for now ‘coz it’s only LeBron [doing it all for Cleveland],” said the Cebuano. “Too many fire power for the Warriors.”
But University of the Visayas head coach Gary Cortes has some faith on the Cavaliers.
According to him, the Eastern Conference champs are capable of winning four straight.
“They were already playing their kind of game in Game 3. It just so happened that Kevin Durant played exceptional and Stephen Curry hit a timely three-point shot in the dying seconds of the game,” Cortes said.
But of course, Cortes said Cleveland will need to play a near-perfect game if it wants to pull off a miracle.
“They still need lots of adjustment and communication on defense.”
Cleveland had its chances in Game 3.
All of these events were downright ideal for the Cavs: Stephen Curry’s shooting game was awful for most of the night, Klay Thompson’s wasn’t much better, the Cavs led by as many as 13 in the first half and some non-producers from the first two games of these NBA Finals were starting to finally give James the contributions he’s craved.
But it still wasn’t enough.
“It’s definitely a tough loss and we had our chances,” James said. “We have another opportunity on Friday to win on our home floor … to extend the series. But we’ve got to come out and got to play 48 minutes.”
James was fantastic, again: 33 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. The Cavaliers rolled the dice and put Rodney Hood into the series, and got 15 points from him. Kevin Love had 20 points and 13 rebounds and J.R. Smith finished with 13 points, finally making some shots.
They just couldn’t stop Durant.
With Curry and Thompson non-factors much of the game, combining for 21 points on 7 for 27 combined shooting, Durant finished with a playoff career-best 43 points.
So this series is just about finished, or at least, that’s what the history books say. The 3-0 deficit has, until now, been insurmountable in NBA playoff annals. Not even the most optimistic Cleveland fan could expect that to change in the coming days.
The next two days will be angst-laden for Cleveland, though hardly anyone should be fretting the outcome of this series. The mystery is gone, and Golden State — which hasn’t lost four consecutive games in the same season since 2013, back when Mark Jackson was coaching the Warriors instead of calling their games on ABC and ESPN — needs only to avoid an apocalyptic collapse to win their third title in four years.
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