Friday, June 9, 2017

NBA Finals and ghosts of 2016

Well OK then. The Golden State Warriors won't be the first team to go undefeated in the playoffs. After starting 15-0, needing only one more to complete yet another sweep and claim the championship, they fell to Cleveland in Game 4. Alas.

Yet perhaps something more ominous is now afoot. Ghosts of last year. Are they whispering?

Let's not forget the current situation is eerily like what happened at this time in 2016 between these two teams.

Golden State, after having put up the best regular season record of all time, which entailed home court advantage throughout the playoffs, was heavily favored to dispatch Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. After four games, they also had a 3-1 lead, with two of the remaining three, if necessary (they were) on their home court.

No way were they going to get beat three games in a row.

But they did.

With Draymond Green serving a long overdue one game suspension for his thunderous groin kicks to opponents in games past, Cleveland went into Oakland and captured Game 5.

And the momentum turned. Few were surprised Cleveland would go on to win Game 6 at home, but the deciding Game 7 was back in Oakland, and Green was back from the purgatory of testicle no-no land.

Golden State was supposed to win. All the odds-makers said so.

But in a one game for all the marbles scenario, sometimes strange things happen. You never know. What we DO know is the Cavs would go on to win it. GS had blown a 3-1 lead. Sigh.

During that contest, Lebron played like he was a man possessed -- on a mission. His teammates chipped in admirably, while the Warriors seemed to be in a bit of a funk.

Game, set, match, checkmate. It was over just like that.

So here's the deal. Once again Golden State is going back home with a 3-1 lead. They better hope they win Game 5 and close this thing out. Certainly, they will be favored to do so.

But if they don't, the whispers of those ghosts from last year will get louder. And if Cleveland goes on to win Game 6, a possibility, the spooks will be screaming.

Can you even imagine the fall-out if, after having acquired super-star Kevin Durant in the off-season last year to all but guarantee a championship, the Warriors were to come up short again, in a replay of last year?


Nah, that can't happen.

Can it?

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