What a great game.
After more than 2,500 games, the entire NBA season came down to the last few minutes. It couldn't have been more dramatic: a seventh and deciding game between the same two teams who played for the championship last year – the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Only this time, the ending was different.
In one of the most remarkable achievements in pro basketball history, Lebron James led the Cavs from a 1-3 game-deficit to defeat the best team in NBA history (the Warriors were 73-9 in the regular season) and bring the city of Cleveland its first professional championship of any kind since 1964.
Lebron was unanimously voted the Most Valuable Player and became the first player in any playoff series to lead all players – from both teams -- in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.
But it was his teammate Kyrie Irving's 3-pointer at 54 seconds to go that sealed the victory. (Of course, that winning shot was made possible by a heroic Lebron chase-down block on a sure-bucket by Andre Iguodala a few moments earlier.)
The TG was rooting for the Warriors, and she wasn't the only one. The Warriors are the most popular NBA team since Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls and with good reason. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and company comprise an interesting, attractive team. The three-point shooting of The Splash Brothers has fundamentally changed the game – for good and bad. There is no denying that they are remarkable players.
But when it counted, in the clutch, in this critical game 7, Curry and Thompson went a combined 12-for-36 from the floor, and the entire team scored only 13 points in the fourth quarter. You don't deserve to win if you score only 13 points in the fourth quarter. Of course, the Cavs scored only 18, but the Warriors went completely scoreless in the last 4:40. By the end, except for Draymond Green, the Warriors looked like a beaten team.
We watched a lot of NBA games this year: Lakers games, Clippers games, and any other game that was on TV. (The NBA is comfort-viewing for the TG.) The Lakers tormented us. The Clippers raised our hopes. And the rest of the teams filled in the gaps. We didn't buy NBA TV, but I have a feeling that that's next.
Already, the Warriors are the betting favorites to win the 2016-17 championship. (Current odds put the Warriors at 7-4, followed by the Cavs at 5-2, then the San Antonio Spurs at 6-1 and the Oklahoma City Thunder at 8-1. Sort of like this year.)
And now on to baseball: it's Clayton Kershaw (10-1, 1.58 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (10-0, 2.90 ERA) tonight!
Serenaded by the dulcet tones of Vin Scully.
** At the last minute, Strasburg cancelled. Can't blame him: it was 106 degrees when the game started.
Randy Newman – "Burn On" live – "Cleveland, city of light / City of magic / Cleveland, city of light / You're calling me"
The Pretenders – "My City Was Gone" live – "Way to go, Ohio" – (Chrissie and Lebron are both from Akron.)
Lebron – Top Ten Plays
Lebron – Top 30 Plays
Lebron – Best Dunks
Kyrie Irving – Top Clutch Shots
Stephen Curry – Top 10 Impossible Shots
Stephen Curry – Clutch Shots and Game Winners
Klay Thompson – Every made basket in his record-breaking 37-point Third Quarter
Greatest NBA Assists of All Time
Top Ten NBA Plays of All Time