The Cleveland Cavaliers trail three games to one in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors. Yes, it was the same in 2016, when the wine and gold trailed came back and won three consecutive games to bring Cleveland its first major sports championship in 52 years. It was a celebration of a lifetime, and one that Cavs fans hope can happen again this month.
In 2016, the Cavs trailed 3-1 in the series after winning Game 3 and losing Game 4 before returning to Oakland for Game 5. Having lost their previous game before returning to Golden State, it seemed as though the Warriors had all the momentum, especially considering they needed just one more win for their second consecutive championship. The series seemed over as the teams traveled to Oracle Arena. But, it wasn’t.
Yes, a 73-win Warriors team added the second-best player in the world in Kevin Durant, but, if the Cavs play to their full potential, then they can still win. As was the case in Friday night’s Game 4, the wine and gold set records while beating the Warriors and avoiding elimination. Their defense still struggled, but the offense was better than Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and company. For at least one night, there was nothing the Warriors could do about it.
The Cavs have the momentum heading into Game 5, unlike last year. Add in that Golden State has 2016 in the back of their minds, and it gives the wine and gold a little more advantage if the series does go to a Game 6 and Game 7. Cleveland may trail 3-1 in the series, but if Twitter was any indicator, Warriors fans are already nervous, if not their team. The closer the score is as the game goes along, the more that nervousness continues to boil over for the Warriors. Like Richard Jefferson referred to during Sunday’s shoot-around, the Dubs had to add the second-best player in the world in order to have a shot at beating the LeBron James led Cavs in a series when they are at 100 percent. That’s not only telling in terms of just how good Cleveland is but has also placed the pressure squarely on Golden State.
As Cleveland fans, we know to never give up even when our teams hadn’t won a championship in 50+ years. Anything can happen, especially when you have the best basketball player in the world in LeBron James. While the Cavs have to win three straight games for the second straight year, stealing Game 5 on Monday night should have the Warriors doubting themselves and having flashbacks.
Don’t ever give up on this team, Cavs fans. Just take it one game at a time and root this series comes back to Cleveland for a Game 6. Remember, Cleveland is referred to as Believeland for a reason. Cavs in 7.