clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

At long last, a Curry Flurry

New, comments
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Because of other commitments during the course of the season (work and my own games), and because Spurs games often had early start times, I watched a fair amount of hoops this year on tape delay.  There are obviously real advantages to watching games on tape - primarily the ability to fast forward through commercials and halftimes.  Of course, there is always the risk that someone tells you the final score, or even that someone got hurt, or some other fact that affects viewing pleasure (e.g. "I won't tell you who won, but the game went to overtime!")  However, my basketball group has generally been pretty good about maintaining the media blackout, so the "inadvertent disclosure" problem has not been a big issue.

All that being said, when I watch a game on delay, I know that I am living a lie. Close games are still exciting, but  I know that everything I am watching has already happened. That takes away from the great thing about live sports - it is true "reality TV" with nothing scripted.  Unlike, for instance, every other form of so-called "reality TV".

More importantly, only when watching a game live can a fan influence the outcome of a game. Nothing is more sure to cause a free throw shooter to miss a big free throw than by simply commenting as to how many he has made in a row.  Even more significant and scientifically irrefutable than that example is the effect a fan can have by wearing (or not wearing) a particular shirt, hat or shoes. For instance, I have created a remarkable amount of good karma over the years by simply wearing my Ginobili road #20 during Spurs playoff games.

Game Five Sunday night is further proof. I had hoped that the home crowd and the thin Cavs' bench would be enough to ensure a Warriors victory. Not so much. By the end of the third quarter, the score was still too close for comfort, foul trouble was rearing its ugly head, and Lebron had stolen some rest - both by actually sitting out for a few seconds, and occasionally playing a passive "point forward" role. 

Luckily, super brother Mark had gotten me a Davidson Basketball hat on my trip to Telluride for his birthday.

As the fourth quarter began, I doffed that hat. (Good word -"doffed".)  As a direct result, Davidson College alum Steph Curry went off, scoring 17 points in the quarter, and the Warriors took a 3-2 lead in the series. And none of this would have happened had I been watching the game on tape delay. Let this be a lesson for all of us - whenever possible, watch sports live. Only by watching live can you help the team you want to win actually do so.

I will be wearing that hat Tuesday night, too. Unless I can find a Washington State Basketball hat - it sure would be nice to see Klay Thompson make a few shots in a row before the Finals are over. I guess spending much of the game covering Matthew Dellavedova must be wearing Klay out.

Other thoughts:

1.       Cavs' coach Dave Blatt is taking a fair amount of criticism for not playing Timofey Mosgov more minutes.  The critics rightfully pointed out that Mosgov had dominated the Warriors small front line in Game Four, scoring 28 points.  They also pointed out that by going small, the Cavs were suddenly playing the Warriors game instead of the slower power-game that the Cavs favor.  Blatt, a Princeton grad, had a good answer in the post-game (actually several questions) - "Did we win Game Four?"  (no)  "How much did we lose by?" (a lot).  What he didn't ask, but could have - "How many points did we score in Game Four, with Mosgov getting 28 points? (82 - yechh).  Blatt also correctly pointed out that with less than 5 minutes left in Game Five, on the road against a Warriors team favored by 9 ½ in Vegas, the Cavs were down only two and had the ball looking to tie or go ahead with a three (if, you know, anyone other than Lebron was willing to take a three at that moment).  Unfortunately for my two friends from Cleveland, this happened instead:

4:24

LeBron James misses 8-foot jumper

84-86

4:22

84-86

Draymond Green defensive rebound

4:13

84-89

Andre Iguodala makes 24-foot three pointer (Draymond Green assists)

3:53

Iman Shumpert bad pass (Stephen Curry steals)

84-89

3:46

84-89

Klay Thompson misses 24-foot three point jumper

3:45

84-89

Harrison Barnes offensive rebound

3:45

84-91

Andre Iguodala makes layup (Harrison Barnes assists)

3:45

Tristan Thompson shooting foul (Andre Iguodala draws the foul)

84-91

3:45

84-91

Andre Iguodala misses free throw 1 of 1

3:44

84-91

Stephen Curry offensive rebound

3:31

84-91

Andre Iguodala misses 26-foot three point jumper

3:30

84-91

Harrison Barnes offensive rebound

3:26

84-91

Stephen Curry misses 26-foot three point jumper

3:25

LeBron James defensive rebound

84-91

3:21

84-91

Draymond Green shooting foul (Tristan Thompson draws the foul)

3:21

Tristan Thompson misses free throw 1 of 2

84-91

3:21

Cavaliers offensive team rebound

84-91

3:21

Tristan Thompson makes free throw 2 of 2

85-91

3:10

85-93

Stephen Curry makes driving layup

3:02

85-93

Andre Iguodala shooting foul (LeBron James draws the foul)

3:02

LeBron James makes free throw 1 of 2

86-93

3:02

LeBron James misses free throw 2 of 2

86-93

2:59

86-93

Draymond Green defensive rebound

2:44

86-96

Stephen Curry makes 27-foot three pointer

2:43

Cavaliers Full timeout

2.       Poor Delly. After being the toast of Cleveland after Game Three, he has reverted back to being, well, Matthew Dellavedova. Although he did wind up with a "triple double".  Two made baskets, two assists, two turnovers.  Not quite the same as Lebron's triple double, but still.

3.       Interesting fact conveyed to me by Claremont All-American, former Faces in the Crowd honoree, and huge Warriors fan (6'7'') Chris Greene.  The decision to go small before Game Four was prompted by the Warriors' 28 year old video coordinator after re-watching tape of the Spurs 2014 Finals. As you may recall, the Spurs magic run in Games Three, Four and Five started when the Spurs replaced Tiago Splitter with Frenchman Boris Diaw.  (Did Steve Kerr think Andre Iguodala is French?)  The great thing about the story is that the video guy called Warriors assistant Luke Walton with the idea (probably because the young video guy was comfortable with Luke - in fact a very nice guy).  Luke ran it up the chain of command, and the coaching staff as a whole made the decision.  It says a lot about the Warriors' management being open to ideas, wherever they come from, and shows they have a culture encouraging those ideas from everyone. Must be a Silicon Valley thing. The full story, from SI.com, is here:

4.       In Game Four, the Cavs pounded the Warriors on the boards, getting almost 1/3 of their misses back: 16 offensive boards on 49 misses.  The Cavs also held the Warriors to 6 offensive boards on 41 misses, 15%.  (Remember that the Warriors got 4 of those offensive boards in the first quarter.)  In Game Five, the Warriors won the rebounding battle, especially in the fourth quarter.  For the game, the Warriors got 11 offensive rebounds on 39 missed shots, while the Cavs had only 10 on 49 misses.  (Maybe the Blat critics had a point.)

5.       The play in music coming back from the first quarter was from the Tower of Power.  Great band from Oakland, great call by the music guy at ABC.  Much better than the call from Van Gundy and Mark Jackson that JR Smith's flagrant foul was just "playoff basketball".  No - it was assault with intent to inflict great bodily harm.  The basketball gods intervened, and removed JR Smith's "hot hand".  After 4 threes in the first half, he had zero in the second, winding up with his typical line:  5/15 from the floor, 4/14 from three.  What a knucklehead.

6.       At one point, the tallest guy on the floor for the Warriors was Shaun Livingston, 6'7'' and about 135 pounds.  The tallest guy for the Cavs at that moment was Lebron, 6'8'' and about 270.

7.       Iguodala covered Lebron for the entire 42 minutes he was on the floor.  Iguodala committed only 2 fouls in those 42 minutes.  Remarkable.  All of which would have increased his potential to be Finals MVP (as predicted here earlier) if not for two facts.  One, for a guy  getting credit for his amazing D on Lebron, he still only "held" Lebron to 40 points.  Second, Andre went 2 for 11 from the free throw line, 18%.  DeAndre Jordan sits at home and heckles Iguodala and his free throw shooting.  Brother, that hurts.

8.       Regardless of who wins Game Six, and Game Seven* (if necessary), Lebron has to be MVP of the Finals.  I suppose Curry could have one or two more Curry Flurry type games to make the voteclose.  But unless Lebron puts up another 11 for 35 type stinker, Lebron has been the focal point of this series, and should be the Finals MVP even if the Warriors close it out.  If so, it should make for an interesting Trophy presentation.