How does everyone react to the term “Trilogy?” I keep hearing NBA media folks refer to this Finals as the Trilogy of Warriors-Cavs. As if people don’t realize this is real life, not the third screenplay in a movie franchise. If this were scripted, here’s how it would go:
Game 1: Cavs blow out Warriors in Oakland. Kevin Love hits 9 threes. Draymond starts yelling at Durant in the third quarter about ball movement. Cavs, 120-103.
Game 2: Warriors trail most of game, but Steph and Klay rain 30-footers during a ridiculous fourth quarter run, leading to overtime. Warriors cap the comeback on last-second corner three….from Ian Clark. Warriors, 121-119 (OT).
Game 3: Double overtime. LeBron puts up 35/10/10. Durant doesn’t miss a shot until overtime. Kyrie Irving, who’s been quiet for most of the first two games, scores 12 straight in second OT, as Cavs take 2-1 lead. Cavs 132-128 (2 OT)
Game 4: LeBron attacks the rim relentlessly, has 25 at halftime. In third quarter, LeBron tries to goad Draymond into another testicle punch, but Draymond just lays on the court, laughing. For the next six minutes, Draymond blocks shots, deflects passes, dishes to Steph and Durant, and generally takes over the game. Warriors win on last second steal and breakaway dunk…from the ageless Andre Iguodala. Series tied at 2. Warriors 108-106.
Game 5: Three-point festival. Both teams make 20 three-pointers, setting playoff records. End of regulation, Warriors up 128-125. LeBron finds Korver in the corner. Tie game. Overtime. LeBron and Durant go back and forth, attacking the rim, getting to the line. Zaza and Durant foul out. JaVale McGee gets all the overtime minutes, and can be seen scraping the top of the backboard, throwing down lob dunks from Steph. On the other end, with seconds remaining, McGee stuffs LeBron at the rim. Warriors win by 2, 140-138. Golden State takes 3-2 series lead.
Game 6: Kyrie chooses the second quarter to unleash an avalanche on Golden State, spinning lay-ups from all angles and dropping in pull-up threes, duplicating his 42-point playoff-career high vs Boston. LeBron’s defense smothers Durant. Steph and Kyrie go back and forth, but Tristan Thompson’s offensive rebounding, and a few timely corner threes from Korver and Smith keep the Warriors from completing the fourth quarter comeback. Cavs,118-113. Series tied at 3.
Game 7: Back and forth, neither team can take control. Refs letting both teams maul each other. Steph and Kyrie can’t get any openings. Klay Thompson, who has been relegated to an afterthought since Game 3, goes into one of his zones. Draymond keeps finding Klay in transition. The Warriors gradually pull away and take a 12-point lead heading into the fourth. LeBron looks like a man possessed. Having played every minute of Game 7, he summons extra reserves, and slashes into the paint, absorbing contact, not getting calls, and manages to finish drive after drive.
Clearly, LeBron is running low on steam, but Love can’t get open, and Kyrie is denied relentlessly by Livingston. With less than 2:00 remaining, and the Warriors up 4, the Cavs change up their strategy and start trapping Steph at the top of the key. Durant gets three wide-open looks…and misses them all. On the other end, LeBron gets fouled…and misses both free-throws…on two separate trips to the line. Warriors up 3 with 30 seconds left. Cavs force Golden State into a 24-second clock violation. Cleveland has possession with the shot clock off. LeBron holds the ball at the top of the key, harassed by Iguodala. LeBron drives, passes cross-court to Korver, barely keeping his feet inbounds. Swish. Tie game, with 2 seconds remaining. Warriors call timeout, move the ball to half-court. Iguodala inbounds to Curry at half-court. Pump-fakes, then heaves it up as time expires. Fouled by none other than J.R. Smith. (Yes, this season will be determined by the most annoying play in the NBA, the three-point foul call). With a tie game and no time left on the clock, Curry misses the first foul shot…adding to the drama. Curry somehow bricks the second free-throw off the back rim. Final free-throw. Swish. Warriors win the title. Warriors 128-127.
That’s one version of how it might be scripted…if this year’s Finals were indeed a screenplay.
Instead, I’m afraid half of the games will be blowouts. With all the hype leading to this point, it seems impossible that we’ll get a genuinely dramatic series, filled with last-second shots and unexpected heroes.
Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Let’s just hope it goes 7.