THE TIME MACHINE
FOR THE RECORD:
- I was a LeBron fan when he was in high school and his early years in Cleveland, I became a LeBron hater when he formed the super team, and now am neutral since he has been with Cleveland.
- My basketball logic says the Warriors have assembled one of the most lethal rosters we have ever seen. This is not splitting the atom. On paper, the Warriors are out of this world.
- I don’t want anyone ever being in the same conversation as Michael Jordan.
- I think JOINING an already existing super team is much worse than forming a super team in general.
- Using above logic, my hatred of Kevin Durant’s Warriors move is much larger than my indifference with LeBron, or my worry about him catching MJ. Cue the phrase “lesser of two evils.”
So, enough of the “givens” in my personal NBA proof. Let’s discuss this matchup. On paper, the super team has the edge. Not only are they outrageous offensively, but they are ridiculous in defensive efficiency ALSO. That is pretty stellar. Has been. Will be. Oh, and they added some guy named Kevin Durant. Undefeated in the playoffs. Past MVP’s galore. Yada yada yada.
My only concern with the Warriors is the trivial fear of having too few of basketballs for that crew. Or maybe I am rationalizing. And about the only COOL thing about the Warriors winning would be Mike Brown sticking it to the team that fired him. Moving on…
And why do we care as much about regular season stats if what happened last year…happened? We get it. They run people out of the gym. Regular season. Lots of wins. Congrats. Playoffs is different on many levels.
I feel like the last week has been a time warp. Maybe the media had too much time in between series. Maybe the earth stepped into a time machine. Maybe it has something to do with the misunderstood times of Momento or the multiple layers of Inception. Maybe cargo shorts or popper collars on polo shirts are in play. Whatever it is, it runs deeper than the roster of the Warriors.
Here is the thing about my time warp idea. We suddenly doubt LeBron James. I have read about 60 expert predictions, and about THREE of them picked the Cavs. This isn’t the Eric Snow Sixers roster with The Answer, and this isn’t the Eric Snow roster with LeBron. (Isn’t that odd by the way that two of the worst teams in NBA Finals history both had Eric Snow?) This Cavs roster has a lot of the guys who already HAVE a ring. They have 2017 Kevin Love, who even looks a little like he cares about playing defense along with scoring and rebounding. That is just crazy. They have Kyrie, who is not only getting better, but is a highlight reel waiting to happen with people’s ankles. They have Swish, who although I dislike personally and it will pain me to root for him, he is a sharpshooter on the wings that drives defenses mad, and since he already has one ring, what is the harm with him getting two. No harm. They have Kyle Korver, just in case Swish is having an off night. They have Tristan Thompson, who somehow drives the Warriors a little nuts in his own special “I am undersized but still try and play like a big center from 1994” way. Channing Frye as another tall sharpshooter just in case Swish and Korver are throwing up bricks, Deron Williams as the perfect backup PG looking for a ring much more slowly than in his prime, Richard Jefferson as old man river from the bench talking about how short shorts WILL make a comeback, and the list goes on.
I kind of like this team, assuming Kyrie plays Robin and Kevin Love is the 2017 playoffs Kevin Love. But, this is all just ranting without this statement. They have freaking LeBron James. I am reading about how the Warriors might sweep or win in five games. Do YOU think LeBron is going to let this go down that way? Do YOU think that there will not be at least one Kyrie explosion and one Kevin Love explosion? Do you think there won’t be at least two nights when Swish or Channing Frye locks in? Have we suddenly forgotten Kyrie is not only a PRESENT superstar, but really just starting to cement his career track. And Kevin Love I think has figured out HOW to fit in. Finally. These guys are present/ former all stars, not scrubs we hope to have a decent game every ten games. You combine LeBron’s steadiness with one explosion from each (or two from one) and I think you have two wins. Granted, those nights they will still have to outscore the other team’s ridiculous lineup, but I think they easily steal two games in this way. Hmmmm. Two doesn’t win it though. I need FOUR??? OK.
Hmmm…. Well, how about LUCK in one of them? Yes. Luck. I am using luck as a reason. Bad bounce, lucky roll, bad call, bad injury, technical foul, squirrel running across the court, whatever. Let’s assume one game is close enough for a lucky break to get the win for the Cavs. Ok? Listen, we can break this down all we want, but the Cavs will NEED this small little item in probably more than one win, but let’s say one purely for now. That is three games. Hmmmm…. Three doesn’t win it either? Four? Well, that is just pushing it. OK. Back to the drawing board.
Oh, wait. Hold ON. They have that guy LeBron James, right? He is pretty good. He is pretty legendary. He is pretty much in your all time starting lineup ALREADY and he is THIRTY TWO YEARS OLD. He will of course play a part in all of the other games, wins and losses. But one game at LEAST he will remind us of how unstoppable he is. Unstoppable. It will be one of those nights when ESPN isn’t sure what is the best highlight…the three three pointers in a row, the mammoth dunk over Draymond Green, or the against the backboard block from behind on Klay Thompson. It will be a night that nudges the best performances of MJ and politely asks to be seated at the same table. It will be a night when four All Stars aren’t enough. It will be during this Finals.
And now that Kevin Durant has told us preemptively he will take less money to keep the Warriors core together, we will hold him to that when he has that sad, sad face after Game 7 knowing that once again the league underestimated LeBron James. Although this time I personally am not sure how.
Let the history books show this ridiculous Warriors team won in 2015 and then got confused about what went wrong.
Cue KD getting a sympathy text from Westbrook, hopefully while in the locker room right before he faces the media (wait, or maybe WHILE he is being questioned)…
(Wait, or maybe he will just be IN the media audience when this goes down and HE asks his own questions. I can’t wait.)
Cavs in 7.