Thursday, June 4, 2015

NBA Finals: Game 1


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.

After 1Q
MW: Cavs are smoking them on the boards.

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.

Half time

MW: Hoodies during warm ups might be a thing now. #JRSwish

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.

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

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.

1:16 left. Tied at 96.
MW: Someone's been in the Finals before.

SG: Ugh.Almost, Shump. 5 more minutes?

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.

Final: 108-100 Warriors

Postgame reaction:
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.

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