By Griffin Hill
Wow. At this point I am sure all of you have seen hundreds of tweets on George Hill’s missed free throw, JR’s series changing mistake, and the absolutely abysmal and inexcusable officiating by the referees… painful, but I can’t stop scrolling either.
This one hurt. In what was possibly LeBron’s greatest NBA Finals game to date, totaling 51 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assist, he had to face a team of two MVPs, two other all stars, three referees, and even a couple of his own teammates! There wasn’t much more James could do.
So, in no way, shape or form is game one’s loss any fault of LeBron. SIX players in NBA HISTORY have scored 50 or more points in one NBA Finals game: MJ, Elgin Baylor, Rick Barry, Jerry West, Bob Petit, and now LeBron James. All other five of those players won the game.
Tonight’s loss weighs in the hands of two people, and one group of people.
1.) George Hill– misses a free throw to go up one with 4.7 seconds left… tough.. but FORGIVABLE.
2.) JR Smith– grabs the offensive rebound with the game tied at 107 and decides to dribble the clock out because he believed the Cavs were up by one. Not only UNFORGIVABLE, but also hands down the worst mistake IN SPORTS HISTORY. This tops Webber, Thomas, and even Buckner, all of them. Personally, I would rather not see JR Smith play the sport of basketball ever again.
3.) The Referees- Worst officiating performance I have seen since the NFL replacement refs from three guys that shouldn’t be making mistakes. Usually I am not one to blame the referees, or say the outcome of the game was altered because of their mistakes… This is an exception. Ken Mauer, Tony Brothers, and Ed Malloy were all awful. They missed fouls down the stretch that should of been called, made ones that shouldn’t of, and as you all know overturned a clear charge by a rule that the NBA has never once utilized. No excuses here, plain and simple: These bums blew the game for LeBron.
(Deep Breath) Frankly, the Cavaliers were robbed of a game one upset Thursday night. Partially to the fault of their own, and mostly to the fault of the referees. This loss is extremely demoralizing to the players, and doesn’t look like a result they can bounce back from. So, is the series over?
While it may seem impossible to recapture the thought of Cleveland winning this series; they can.
The Cavs played the Warriors even in the 1st through 4th, and even when the Warriors sparked a run in the second, third and fourth quarters, LeBron and his “teammates” responded accordingly. Cleveland also shot the ball poorly from three point land and relatively poorly from the field outside of the king.
Going forward, the Cavs learned that they can compete with the Dubs, just as I believed they could. They need to win two out of the next three games to get the series to 2-2, and then its a toss up from there. LeBron will continue the dominant performances, and even out-do what he gave all of us in game one. The Cavs are not done, it’s time to bounce back.
I’ll stick with what I started with… Cavs in 7.