This is how it starts: Cavs vs. Warriors. Game 1.
And we've recruited ESPN the Mag contributing writer and Crooked River Burning author Mark Winegardner to help us cover the 2015 NBA Finals — maybe our best chance in 51 years for that elusive title. But he's not #AllinCLE. Not yet anyway.
MW: The Warriors team is almost impossible to root against. Kerr is one of my favorite people in all of sports. Curry is Dell's kid. Always rooted for Shaun Livingston after his brutal knee injury and fun stint with the Cavs. Draymond Green is a 2nd rounder turned blue collar star. Etc. You can't even use the SF/Silicon Valley privileged thing against them b/c they play in Oakland.
Steve Gleydura, editor: To hell with that. If we're ever going to win a championship in this town, we need every ounce of energy devoted to us. In theory I agree with all of that but this is THE FINALS. Don't mess with the chi. This is real — not some Mavs-Cavs bullcrap. Either you're All In or you're not. Sorry.
MW: Don't know how I'm supposed to take the All IN stuff. I mean, on the one hand, winning would surely be my happiest moment as a sports fan. On the other, I need to protect my heart. Plus the slogans make me uneasy (i.e. Cleveland's a Plum). Plus I'd rather have an excellent villain not a likable, entertaining team with strong ties to Cleveland. I realize that's one hand over here and three the-other-hands over there. It's a mutation created by 51 years without a title.
SG: Come on, it's been 51 years. Can we really be picky about our opponent? Let's not start getting greedy. I'm nervous as it is with Kyrie's knee. The first quarter will tell us a lot.
Less than 5 minutes to tipoff
MW: Finals drinking game. Take a shot every time they show Steph's family. Take 2 every time his mom does that ceiling point or chest thing or look concerned. Take 5 if his parents KOTL.
SG: Not sure I'm going to even make it to halftime.
MW: Cavs are smoking them on the boards.
MW: Cavs are smoking them on the boards.
#Cavs are 12-0 this postseason when winning rebound battle. Tonight, up 14-7 (4-1 off reb) - TT, Timo, 10 of CLE's 14 pic.twitter.com/0AYr9WYVpa— Joe Gabriele (@CavsJoeG) June 5, 2015
Cavs time out with 5 minutes left. Score tied.
MW: Doesn't seem like they game planned for Maurice Speights at all.
SG: And yet, he was on the roster two years ago.
MW: Unlike most of the guys on the roster now.
MW: Hoodies during warm ups might be a thing now. #JRSwish
SPECIAL NBA FINALS EDITION OF JR SMITH UNLOCKED https://t.co/uwUSz9NlYY— Complex Sports (@Complex_Sports) June 5, 2015
Start of the 2nd half:
MW: Thanks, Kyrie. Zoom Zoom
Time out. Midway through 3Q. Cavs lead 69-66.
MW: I like the Cavs calmness.
SG: At least they're calm. I'm sure not.
LeBron James (27pts) continuing to impose his will on this game. The @Cavs are up 3 late in the 3rd on ABC. #NBAFinals— NBA (@NBA) June 5, 2015
End of 3Q
MW: Myself=less calm. Tight chest.
MW: Cavs second unit not pulling its weight.
MW: Speights = a Florida Gator. SO there's one guy I can dislike.
6:29 in the 4Q. Cavs lead 86-82
I hope we win it all so I can go back and watch these games and actually enjoy it. #ALLinCLE— Eric Knappenberger (@CavsWITNESS) June 5, 2015
SG: Fifth foul on Green.
SG: Ugh. Lots of shots — and Curry family cameos — in the last few minutes.
Under 3. 95-93 Warriors
SG: Not sure if I could handle that.I'd take 7 games of this.— Jim Rome (@jimrome) June 5, 2015
1:16 left. Tied at 96.
MW: Someone's been in the Finals before.
SG: Ugh.Almost, Shump. 5 more minutes?
OvertimeNeed to see LeBron going to the rack there. I'll pass on a step back 20-footer, even from LeBron.— Complex Sports (@Complex_Sports) June 5, 2015
MW: Shot selection in OT for the Cavs has been heinous.
MW: Oh, no. Kyrie's knee. ... and dagger.
MW: Miss a buzzer beater to a good team on the road and this is what happens next.
MW: As bad an overtime as you'll see.That did NOT look good. Kyrie struggled to limp past us on the way to the locker room.— FrankWileyJr (@FrankWileyJr1) June 5, 2015
Final: 108-100 Warriors
MW: That games was Cleveland sports in a nutshell: Hey, something awesome might happen. WAIT NOPE YOU WILL GET NOTHING AND LIKE IT.
SG: My head hurts. If I was 10 again, I'd be on the steps of my basement sobbing.
MW: Don't use age as a crutch.
MW: Also, you may have just come up with the only positive side to having no basements in Florida.