The NBA Finals Game 3 as just like the other two, only the other way around.
LeBron James and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers practically murdered the Golden State Warriors, 120-90, to inch back into the series at 2-1. The Cavs bench is still a non-factor but the starters’ combined 105 points has proved more than enough.
Here are the three things we learned from NBA Finals Game 3:
1. Having Kevin Love out vs Warriors is a plus for the Cavs
I mean, the result speaks for itself. It’s not that Love is a bad player but his deficiencies on defense will be magnified a hundred times against a quick 6-foot-7 and under team with jets for feet. There are match-ups versus many teams, like the OKC Thunder for instance, that Love could exploit and excel. The Thunder has decent big men but none of them are featured prominently in their offense unlike the Warriors’ spread offense. That will be quite a dilemma for the Cavaliers going forward unless Love proves he can keep up with the speedier Dubs. Until then, having him on the bench is the better option.
2. J.R. Smith is the X-factor
Or you can argue about Tristan Thompson or Richard Jefferson but Smith’s streaky ways make him the ultimate X-factor in this series. Smith has a combined 8 points for the first two games on a clip that is not even worth mentioning. Game 3? How about 20 points on five threes and a team-high +33 in +/- rating. We can talk about Kyrie Irving‘s seeming inability to move the ball or LeBron James‘ aggressiveness but the real key is J.R. Smith and his impact on offense. If somebody is as unpredictable as the guy, then he’s got to be the X-Factor. Just a fun fact: Smith’s Game 3 onslaught made him second among the starters in net rating, just behind Tristan Thompson.
3. We’re due for a good game.
As the SB Nation headline said, this NBA Finals is full of garbage time and not much else. And like the guys at NBA TV projected, it’s time we see a real basketball game out there. After seeing Game 3 unfold, I think it’s right about time. Or else, this could officially be the worst NBA Finals I have ever seen. Nobody wants to see four blowouts in June. Come on.
Photo via: yahoo.co.jp