Cleveland Cavaliers

Thoughts on Cleveland Cavaliers’ 109-108 victory over Golden State Warriors: Bill Livingston (photos)

CLEVELAND, Ohio –Don’t you think the “Dubs” — the Golden State Warriors, the national basketball press’s darlings — felt they had seen the end of this movie before?

This was after Kyrie Irving outplayed two-time defending NBA Most Valuable Player Steph Curry again and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Warriors on Christmas Day?

Irving’s 3-pointer over Curry in the last minute was the shot that ended Cleveland’s 52-year championship drought in Game 7 of the last NBA Finals. Perhaps you remember it.

(Note: For my Facebook friends, this is an enlargement of yesterday’s post-game comments by me.)

1. This time Irving did so with a 10-foot human Twister game of a fadeaway shot over a much tougher defender (and better all-around player), Klay Thompson.

2. Apparently, no one ever set a screen in the NBA until Curry did. At least Jeff Van Gundy seems to think that.

3. Biggest man crush to pass through Cleveland? Terry Francona and Jason Giambi? Joe Buck and Kyle Schwarber? Jeff Van Gundy and Curry?

Gotta be the last.

When Curry sets a screen, he staggers backward, as if struck where it hurts by Draymond Green, at the slightest brush of contact. Since referees favor all superstars, and since Curry has been the face of the league for two years, any kind of contact is apt to be whistled for a foul. That enhances screen effectiveness.

4. The “T” on Richard Jefferson was outrageous after his turning-back-the-calendar dunk. The no-call on LeBron’s gymnastics on the rim after his own dunk, which could have been a technical foul, was a make-up call.

5. Why does a dirty player like Draymond Green get a no-call when he flattened DeAndre Liggins on a charge? Oh right. Because the latter isn’t a star.

6. Yeah. Green loves being a villain on the road, as the ABC broadcast team said.

Riiiiiight.

Green shriveled up like a tiny, wee prune in Game 6 of the Finals here, after getting his thuggish self suspended for Game 5 on the coast for crotch kicking LeBron James here in Game 4.

Big, bad Draymond, the rogue on the road, took seven shots in 41 minutes, made three, and scored eight points in Game 6. He rebounded well (10) and passed willingly (six assists), but that was because he didn’t want to shoot.  

Draymond Green < Bill Laimbeer or Isiah Thomas.

7. Kyrie Irving is a Dubs killer. What a great fadeaway over Thompson to win it although it was termed a layup by the sideline reporter, Lisa Salters.

TV people work live and can’t edit themselves, so I cut her some slack.

It also happens with print reporters, such as when someone asked Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer about J.T. Barrett’s fourth-and-1 “sneak” in the second overtime against Michigan. I muttered at the same time as Meyer, “It wasn’t a sneak.”

But the comment wasn’t made on national television, and few people were the wiser. Not so with Salters.

8. Nevertheless … Doris Burke, you’d never have said that.

9. LeBron’s thrilling drive and upended layup, followed by his block 94 feet away on Zaza Pachulia, which was accomplished after LeBron first ran into Jefferson, was another play that seemed familiar.

Right, Andre Iguodala?

10. It was odd seeing two-time former Cavs coach Mike Brown, a defensive  specialist, on the Warriors’ bench. But he might be having an effect.

The Cavs shot only 38.9 percent.

11. Still, their Big Three came through with 76 points — 31 for James, 20 for Kevin Love, 25 for Irving.

The Dubs’ Big Three had 75 — Durant 36, Thompson 24, and Curry, ahem, 15.

And there is your one-point difference, ladies and gentlemen.

12. And the Cavs shot the 3-ball better than the Warriors, making a better percentage (34.3 to 30) and sinking three more (12 to nine.)

13. When the knockwurst of team-stacking weenies, Kevin Durant, fell at the end. I wouldn’t have called a foul either.

And when Curry poses for the cameras after only his second (2nd) 3-pointer of the game in the last 30 seconds, you really do wish someone would tell hm to get over himself.

I just tire of hearing how “joyous” the Warriors are. 

There was no joy in Dubville yesterday. Kyrie the Grinch stole their Christmas.

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