Game 4 of the NBA Finals is hours away. The Cleveland Cavaliers are coming off a dominating performance against the Golden State Warriors. During the Finals we tend to analyze every subtle change. The Cavaliers got blown out in game 2 and lost Kevin Love due to concussion. The series is over and we can all stop watching. Mike and Mike, First Take, His and Hers, and every channel I turned to was the same perspective. Richard Jefferson was tabbed to replace Love in game 3. A savvy veteran in his own right, but far from his prime and not one of the big three.
From tip off you could see and feel the difference. Lebron was confident, Kyrie was magical, and the Cavs team defense was like a swarm of bees tracking the ball all over the court. The Cavs dominated from start to finish. The ball movement was beautiful and the chemistry was undeniable. Before the game was in the 4th quarter the analysts started dissecting the game and looking for what had changed. It wasn't long before Love became the scapegoat for all the troubles that ailed this team for two games. Could this be true? Could Love be the reason behind the 2-0 deficit leading into game 3? I think not.
Game 3 was about heart. James was going to the paint, Irving dropped 16 points in the 1st quarter, Thompson and James crashed the boards, and perimeter defense was sensational. The play in the 3rd quarter where James dives for the ball and saves it then gets up for a reach back dunk said it all. Cleveland was up by 18 and still playing like they were down by 18. That's heart and that's what has been missing from this team. If Kevin Love was playing they might have won by 40 points instead of 30.
As a fan of Lebron James and Steph Curry I really can't lose in this series. I was losing my mind in the first 2 games because the Cavs looked defeated and seemed to be ok with that. Could it be that they don't think they can win? I couldn't understand what was happening. I told my friend Jordan who is from Cleveland and a die hard fan. These guys are quitting. If the Warriors are really that good then that's what it is, but you have to go down swinging. Give it all you got and leave it on the court. After so many Finals and coming up short surely James knew this. Then game 3 happened.
One game doesn't define a series. One play doesn't define a game. One thing does determine how fans and teammates will always remember you. Heart is the definition of what someone is willing to give to accomplish something that is special. This means so much to Cleveland and fans like Jordan. They have waited their entire life for this chance at immortality. With the series slipping away and with it the hearts of Cleveland fans everywhere. These Cavs came out and gave them the effort that was deserved. They might have been without Love, but they surely had HEART!