By: Rob Botts
No. It’s not a typo. Only myself and a small number of people know what it means.(Sorry, Trump Covfefe joke) The Cleveland Cavaliers packed everything they needed for game one against the Golden State Warriors. They had their uniforms, their warm-ups, their kicks, their armbands, their water bottles, their music, their motivations. Or at least they thought they had brought everything they would need. I know, it’s just one letter. How important could that one measly letter be to success in game one right? Well, last time I checked, in order to stop the other team, you will need to play defense. Not _efense. Defense. It really is the only way in sports to stop the offensive team from their ultimate goal of scoring every time. The result of them leaving the letter D on the tarmac back in “The Land” did them in. Warriors 113. Cavs 91. 1-0 series lead for the most talented team in the league in this 2017 NBA finals rubber match between the two squads.
Harrison Barnes goodbye. Hello, Kevin Durant. That was the Warriors this past offseason. Goodbye role player. Hello, former MVP and big octane scoring machine. Not a bad upgrade eh? Knowing this, you would think the Cavs might have wanted to pick up KD as he came over the half court line. Durant had about 6 or 7 uncontested dunks and it felt more like 600-700 dunks. “Durantula” as he is known to many of his basketball victims, is used to thunder(sorry Oklahoma fans for the word reference) slamming over dudes at the peak of their jump at the rim. The man does have a seen foot wingspan remember. To offer Mr. Durant an open, unprotected rim is such a basketball atrocity. But when you are playing _efense instead of Defense, what can you do?
It didn’t matter who it was that was not playing defense trying to cover Kevin Durant the other night. He blew right by them as if they had never gotten off the plane. It almost seemed as if Lebron James had admitted to himself quietly as KD zoomed past him that the only thing left he had was the chase down block. Even THAT option didn’t work against the long-armed Warrior gunslinger.
It wasn’t just King James who looked mortal. I think I even saw at one point J.R. Smith actually running away from Durant as he entered the paint with the basketball to go cover a dude in the corner who didn’t even have the ball. Yes, he actually did that. It is basketball 101. STOP THE BALL. NOT STOP THE MOTIONLESS DUDE FAR AWAY IN THE CORNER. The result of that absolutely brilliant move by Smith? Another KD dunk. _efense articulated at it’s best. It was just buckets…buckets..and more buckets for Mr. Durant who finished with 38 big points.
I can just see Cleveland head coach Ty Lue at halftime riffling through the bags and opening and slamming the lockers while he furiously looks for the letter D that should have come with them. Maybe somebody left it under a bench here in the locker room. Maybe in the shower. Maybe in the bathroom stall. Maybe….Nope. Without the letter D, there was no way to make any halftime adjustments because without the D they are only a_justments.
Along with not having the letter D with them they also decided to compound their misery by turning the ball over a non-stop(LeBron in particular) and getting obliterated on the offensive glass that gave up second chance points after second chance points. Oh, and J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson and Kyle Korver might want to have a pulse in game 2.
Don’t worry Cleveland fans. I hear the team had the letter D priority mailed to get here in time for game 2.
Let’s hope their mailed the right letter.