The NBA FInals are like Space Jam, and the Cavaliers are Tune Squad.
The Cavaliers are in familiar territory with their backs against the wall in Game 3. The Warriors survived Game 1 thanks to Cleveland's mbadive implosion, then flexed their muscles with Stephen Curry's MVP worthy performance in the Game 2. No team has returned from a 0-3 series deficit in NBA history. The Cavaliers do not want those odds against them.
It might seem like a remote possibility. If this Cleveland tag team led by a great player of all time were going to be upset against this Golden State team armed with a horde of stars, it would be as if the Tune Squad beat the Monstars.
Even Michael Jordan needed help. But first things first.
If the rumors are true that LeBron could be chosen as the main star in Space Jam 2, he is going through his auditions right before our very eyes. Meet the Monstars, twice MVP in Stephen Curry, the most dangerous scorer in the league in Kevin Durant, an unconditional defender in Draymond Green, and one of the best two-way players in Klay Thompson.
Now you know the Tune Squadron. LeBron James and a list that was built, destroyed and rebuilt in the middle of the season. You've probably seen Space Jam, and you know how that story ends. The teammates of Michael Jordan's cartoon characters are so inept that he has to take the matter into his own hands. The Tune Squad continues to defeat the Monstars thanks to a (legitimate) MJ half-court charge.
That's the kind of greatness that LeBron James has to show if his Cavaliers want any chance of re-entering these series. It is unfortunate that his 51-point Game has been knocked down by an atrocious error by JR Smtih, but he has to refocus, decide to put this team on his back, commit to accomplishing it, win the victory and repeat, no matter the cost.
He has been wounded and mistreated, and his left eye, half red, is only visible evidence. But James had different gears to take to his performance in Game 2, as much as that would be excellent for mere mortals. If he wants to be the best to do it, this is his chance.
At a certain point, role players have to be fed up with the jokes against them. The "others" can not be others.
George Hill has been a solid starting point guard throughout his career. J.R. Smith is only a year and a half away from being considered a legitimate double-entender guard. Kevin Love had 22 and 10 in Game 2, but 7 of 18 shots will not cut him. Jordan Clarkson was not brought here to shoot 3-for-13 through two games. Kyle Korver can not go 0-for-3 in a game, period. Larry Nance has to remain Larry Nance and bring energy to the glbad. Jeff Green has to be the same player who scored 19 points in Game 7 against the Celtics, not the guy who combined for 13 points with 1 of 8 pitches since the first three games of the Finals.
Yes, it's James' job to find his teammates and get them the ball in their comfort zones, but it's his job to earn their trust and shoot down those open shots. The Cavaliers are 8-for-32 from the three-point range when LeBron James pbades them the ball. His teammates are shooting 5 out of 16 in three unopposed attempts, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Home cooking should help those numbers.
Try something new: Insert Rodney Hood
Rodney Hood averaged 17 points per game this season before Utah changed it to Cleveland in the Jae Crowder deal. Man can hoop, but somehow we have lost sight of him.
Hood has lost all confidence in the playoffs after refusing to participate in a game during the junk time. He is averaging only 4.4 points in an abomination of 15 percent from three. But this is a player who was a consistent double-digit scorer with the Jazz earlier this year.
The Cavaliers can not count on a game of 51 James points each night. And if we have learned something about his rotation, it is that his list is like a box of chocolates: we never know what we are going to achieve. Hood can shoot jumping projectiles and, if he's comfortable, he's one of the few players on the list who can create his own shot. Much of the offense falls on James's shoulders. It's time to try something new.
Tyronn Lue said after Game 2 that Hood will have his chance. It is better to take advantage.
STOP VIEWING STEPHEN CURRY!
Yes, it's easier said than done. Curry is the best three-point shooter in NBA history, and his NBA Finals record nine triples in Game 2 and it's just the icing on the cake.
But very often, the Warriors execute Peek-a-Boo play where Curry gives him the ball and relocates in the corner to open three. He can do it because the Cavs defense relaxes when he throws the ball, when they should be alert.
When he throws the ball, the man chasing him must change with the man in the area that is running much faster than they have. So, they need to do it over and over again.
It's a difficult task that the teams have not been able to decipher. The Cavaliers need answers, fast.
Much of life is rooted in faith, and basketball is no different. If the Cavaliers do not think they can beat this Warriors team, this series will end in three. That belief has to start with the pre-university message of head coach Tyronn Lue, but more importantly, it has to reverberate with the team leader.
LeBron James has to believe that despite his team's shortcomings in Game 1, and despite Stephen Curry dancing Line three points in Game 2, his Cavaliers team is good enough, talented enough and tough enough to recover at home in Game 3. And he has to take that belief and instill it in every player on that list.
At one point, they called Cleveland "Believeland." That's what it has to be if the Cavs want any chance of defeating the Warriors in the future.
It will not be easy. The Rockets swore they had the number of Warriors, only to fall short with the wounds and the three-point misfortune. The Cavs are not Rockets, but they are Eastern Conference champions with the best player in the world on their side.
Kevin Garnett said it best: Everything is possible. It is only possible if you believe The Cavaliers have to believe that they can win. Otherwise, they will not have any opportunity.