Cleveland Cavaliers Pregame Scribbles: Don’t panic if LeBron James loses opener — Terry Pluto (photos)

OAKLAND, Calif. — Cleveland Cavaliers Pregame Scribbles as a 2017 NBA Finals opposite a Golden State Warriors loom, commencement tonight:


1. I’ve been a sportswriter for a prolonged time … my initial byline seemed in a aged Cleveland Press in 1975 when we was still during Cleveland State. As a Cavs prepared to face a Warriors, we had this thought: “Can we trust this?”

2. By this, we meant a Cleveland group … any Cleveland group … personification for a pretension 3 years in a row.

3. By this, we meant a Cleveland group with a actor who is in a discuss for a biggest of all time … and he’s from Northeast Ohio!

4. By this, we feel beholden to cover these games during this theatre of my life. Because like many of we of a certain age, we know how special this time will be deliberate in a back perspective counterpart of Cleveland sports story — win or lose.

5. When we picked a Cavs to win in 6 games, we suspicion I’d be on a waste island with that call. But associate Plain Dealer columnist Bill Livingston had a same opinion. we was repelled since we hadn’t talked about it in advance. And both of us have been around prolonged adequate to know better. But it was roughly like we pronounced … indecently … Hey, because not? The Cavaliers have LeBron James, and no other group can make that claim.

6. Kevin Love said: “Game 1 sets a tinge for a rest of a series. We have to come out and be ready, generally on their home court.”

7. we also consider Game 1 is when a Cavs can waylay Golden State. In a opener opposite San Antonio, a Spurs led by 25 points during a game. The Spurs outscored a Warriors by 21 points when Kawhi Leonard was on a court. Leonard left that diversion in a fourth entertain with an ankle injury. Golden State rallied to win, 113-111. Leonard didn’t play in a rest of a array as a Warriors swept.

8. Not customarily was San Antonio though Leonard, though star indicate ensure Tony Parker also was injured. It’s loyal a Cavs were never unequivocally tested in this season’s playoffs, though a same is loyal for a Warriors. Both teams faced roughly token postseason antithesis in a playoffs.

9. Cavs fans have to be prepared for a Warriors onslaught. Odds are there will be a diversion when they’ll come out creation shots from San Diego to Eureka. They can shoot. They can get prohibited and blow out any team.

10. But as James mostly says when he loses a playoff game, “It’s only one game.”

11. Tyronn Lue pronounced what he has pronounced before each playoff diversion this season: “We’ve got to come out with a defensive mindset. we consider a best invulnerability is going to be a offense. That means we can’t spin a round over and take good shots.”

12. All of that sounds elementary, though a Cavs can be a terrible defensive group when not in a mood to concentrate. They could get divided with it opposite many teams, though not a high-scoring Warriors. Remember a Game 7 score: Cavs 93, Warriors 89. The Cavs won a pretension with invulnerability final season. That’s because Lue is aroused of a Cavs being sloppy, branch over a basketball to set adult Golden State quick breaks.

13. Lue is reminding his players what happened progressing in a year when they weren’t concentrating on defense. The Warriors kick them, 126-91. The diversion wasn’t even that close. “We didn’t come out with a right mindset and they kicked a butts,” Lue pronounced Wednesday. “The guys know if we’re not prepared to play, if a minds are not right, a same thing could happen.”

14. Game 1 customarily hasn’t been fun for James in The Finals. His record is 1-6 in openers! And a one feat was a 2011 opener vs. Dallas. His Miami Heat mislaid that series. So losing a opener doesn’t tell us most about how his teams will do in The Finals.

15. In 2012, James and Miami mislaid a opener to Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City in The Finals. Then Miami won a subsequent 4 games to overpower a Thunder. In 2016, a Cavs mislaid a initial dual games in Golden State. They won Game 3 during home, afterwards mislaid Game 4 during home. That set adult a epic 3-1 quip for a title. So don’t panic if this is a severe night for a Cavs.


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