Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Let's go, Cavs: Meme me up - The NBA Finals edition

The Cleveland Cavaliers, up 2-1 in the NBA Finals over the Golden State Warriors, are a team on a mission.

The Cavs resemble LeBron James when he drives to the basket — a freight train with a lot of momentum and nothing to lose.

In Tuesday's Game 3, James had 40 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals while new fan-favorite Matthew "Delly" Dellavedova added 20 points. And the scrappiest play I've seen in years.

IMHO James and Delly are in Steph Curry's head. As are the rest of the Cavs. I don't see that stopping.

I said before the Finals started, the Warriors are soft and haven't seen a defense like the Cavaliers'.

LeBron James is averaging 41 points PPG
in the 2015 NBA Finals.
Except for when they played the Cavs at Quicken Loans Arena on Feb. 26, 2015 — a game I attended with one of my best buds, Aaron Dees, his cousin and BFF Chris Sparks when the home team beat Golden State 110-99. That was the only time the two teams played each other during the regular season.

That was when James had a season-high 42 points and the Cavs' next highest scorer, Kyrie Irving, made 24.
"We are all witnesses." BFF Aaron Dees snapped this shot
of me outside Quicken Loans Arena on Feb. 26, 2015
when the Cleveland Cavaliers downed the Golden State Warriors, 110-99.

James was on fire that night. The King was nothing short of spectacular for my first live "LeBron Moment."

(For the box score, go here. The YouTube highlight video of the game is here.)

After that victory, Cavs fans knew their team hadn't just beaten the so-called best team in basketball, but there was something special happening.

In the Finals, James is doing the same kind of damage to the Warriors.

The King nearly averages a triple-double. According to SB Nation, James is averaging 41 PPG. That's the same amount Michael Jordan averaged during the 1993 NBA Finals.

James' 123 total points this series are the most points scored through the first three games of any NBA Finals, also according to SB Nation and ESPN. Plus, get this: The King has scored, assisted or created 200 of the Cavaliers' 291 points through those same three games.

Dellie and the rest of the Cavs have lived up to their new nickname, the Grit Squad (a trending hashtag on Facebook and Instagram). 

No Irving? (Fractured knee cap in Game 2) No Kevin Love? (Dislocated shoulder in the first game of the series against the Boston Celtics) No problem!

There's a reason the Cavaliers' slogan for the NBA Finals is "All In."

The Cavs' success has been a group effort. Equally appropriate -- and maybe even moreso -- is the slogan "Next man up." Coach David Blatt and James know the entire team has to produce night in and night out -- despite being undermanned.

If James and the Grit Squad win this series, it will go down as a monumental achievement.

Not to overstate things, but such an experience would be something close to one of the greatest sports stories ever told.

Remember the storyline: James was villainized and boo'ed when he left Cleveland and "took (his) talents to South Beach" to play for the Miami Heat. He went to four straight NBA Finals and won two of them with the Heat's own Big Three: Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and himself. Even the haters who had burned the King's No. 23 jersey -- and cursed his name -- had learned to respect James.

With his Heat contract up, he informed the world he was coming home. The now much more mature James pretty much declared he was on a mission: To win it all for the city of Cleveland.

But he said he wasn't "promising a championship," telling in his essay he knew "how hard that is to deliver." The King calmly told Cavs fans to be patient, that re-establishing a winning tradition would take time. James openly admitted winning a championship would take patience, given that he saw himself as the "old head mentor" to talented young players. Plus, the Cavs had a rookie NBA coach in Blat, who has tons of experience and success overseas.

Then Love went out for the rest of the season. And Irving got injured. Twice. He returned, only to be benched for the remainder of the NBA Finals.

That was when James and the Grit Squad took it a whole new level.

But now, with Tuesday's win in Game 3, Cavs fans can taste it.

Blatt and James are playing it cool. They're taking it game-by-game -- as they should! -- but the King has That Look. He and the Cavaliers won't be denied. Every subsequent game has a must-win vibe.

Considered severe underdogs without Love -- and later Irving, the Cavs have proved everybody wrong. They playoffs have been the coming-out party for Dellie and the new rebound phenom, Tristan Thompson.

This meme (and the ones below) by CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE
It's the ultimate sports story. Separation. Heartache, The hero turned villain. The return. Redemption. The rise to glory, despite overwhelming odds.

The most fitting ending to this great story would be the first NBA championship for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

I first predicted (or hoped?!) the Cavs would win the Finals in six games. Now, I wouldn't be surprised if they won it in five Sunday at Golden State and became the NBA champions for the first time in their history. 

Chant it with me: "Let's go, Cavs! Let's go, Cavs! …"


  1. Guess this didn't turn out so well. Same thing will happen this year. Queen James is done.

  2. Hey John: Two words for you: NBA champs! I guess your prediction "didn't turn out so well," huh? ;)