The Golden State Warriors had a 3-1 lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers in this series and were getting pretty full of themselves as they called out LeBron James for being a baby. Since then, LeBron has responded by racking up 41 points in two straight games, and Steph Curry found himself in the locker room as the Cavs closed out Game 6 wondering what went wrong.
This has been a very strange series, as every game has been a blowout, but the Cavs and Warriors are also tied in overall points after six games.
Momentum is on Cleveland’s side, but the Warriors are still the favorites as they will be playing Game 7 at home.
The stakes are huge for this game as we all know. The Warriors will either cap off their record-setting 73-win season or suffer an epic choke job being the first team ever to surrender a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. As for Cleveland, this game offers yet another chance to break a 52-year championship drought, along with a storybook chance of redemption for LeBron James.
When the guy on the tiny Delta plane that I was sharing a seat with told me about “Cincinnati chili,” all I could think about was the notorious “Cleveland Steamer.”
I mean, how was I to know any different?
Everything I knew about Cincinnati had been mainlined into my body via two sources: “WKRP in Cincinnati” and my favorite NFL head coach of all-time, former Bengals boss Sam Wyche. And this guy looked nothing like Johnny Fever. Or Wyche.
The man’s hands were strong – too strong. And when the flight attendant stopped in our row and examined a lanyard around his neck, he nodded at her — a slow, pronounced nod that was accompanied by the universal “shhhhh” hand signal of an index finger placed tenderly over his lips while making intense eye contact with the stewardess — it became clear he was some kind of TSA officer.
Needless to say, I crossed my legs and looked the other way. But all this guy wanted to talk about was chili.
“Yeah, so you can have a two-way Cincinnati chili, a three-way, heck, even a four-way.”
Old Spice is known for weirdness, and on the tarmac in Detroit en route to the “Queen City,” the weirdness was already cranked up to one billion percent. Old Spice actually came into existence due to a four-way of sorts.
With the Cleveland Cavaliers losing the first two games of the NBA Finals by a combined 48 points, everyone has already written their eulogies and buried the Cavaliers. It’s crazy how fast things change in the NBA. Not too long ago, the Warriors were down three games to one to the Oklahoma City Thunder and everyone had prematurely punched the Thunder’s ticket into the NBA Finals.
LeBron has climbed out of an 0-2 series hole before and can do it again. In 2007, the Cavs lost the first two games on the road to the Detroit Pistons, and in Game 3 of that series, King James scored 32 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and shot 57% from the field. He then went on to average 31.3 points for the rest of the series and the Cavs went onto win that series and advanced to their first NBA Finals.
After the Golden State Warriors came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, it set the stage for a rematch in the NBA Finals that everybody wanted to see. The Cleveland Cavaliers breezed through the first two rounds of the playoffs, sweeping the Detroit Pistons and the Atlanta Hawks, before finishing off the Toronto Raptors in six games. The road wasn’t as easy for the defending champion Golden State Warriors after completing the best regular season in NBA history.
No disrespect to Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder, but this is the best match-up for the NBA. It’s the top seed from each conference, it has the revenge factor from last season, and it will feature the best player in the NBA, LeBron James, and the league’s back-to-back MVP in Steph Curry. Together, they have won six of the last eight MVP awards, and three of the last four championships.