24 — No Hollywood or recording industry celebs for this one. At Game 6 desperation time, Cavs pulled out their big gun in 19-year-old Marlana VanHoose. Blind since birth, the native of Denver, Ky. was undefeated when she sang the national anthem at University of Kentucky women’s basketball games. Her version on Tuesday night was the stirring, emotional call-to-duty the Quicken Loans Arena crowd and the Cavs needed.
23 — LeBron James in pre-game huddle before tip: “Ain’t no tomorrow.” Personally, I would have channeled John Belushi: “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”
22 — Size matters. For all the talk about the Warriors taking control of the series with small ball, whether or not there’s a Game 7 depends on how long Cleveland can pound inside with bigs and control the pace. No secrets: Get the biggest guy on the floor (Timofey Mozgov) the ball in the paint.
21 — On a night when the Cavs’ margin for error has practically vanished, they start out with six turnovers in the first seven minutes. Cleveland running down too much of the clock to make decisions, get off a shot. Now third shot clock violation already. Cleveland G.M. David Griffin could probably make a trade to get LeBron James some help in time between shots by the Cavs.
20 — This is what desperation looks like. First quarter Warriors 11 assists on 11 baskets and Cavs nine turnovers with just six FGs. It seemed the one thing Cleveland could not afford to do was let Golden State play from ahead.
19 — Cavs coach David Blatt keeps asking for more effort when he should actually be asking for more players.
18 — Helluva time for LeBron to be worried about the feelings of his teammates. Time to be Terminator, not Facilitator.
17 — Does nobody believe in going up strong to the basket for Cavs? Not even LeBron.
16 — There is one reason why the Cavs are even still in this game: Mozgov’s defense. Exhibit A: block on Draymond Green in low post.
Cavs getting back to playing physical defense and rebounding.
— Isiah Thomas (@iamisiahthomas) June 17, 2015
15 — You have to love the enthusiasm and fire of Green. But if he’s going to hang onto Mozgov’s neck, the big guy has every right to put an elbow into his face.
14 — He had 15 points, eight rebounds, three assists in the first half. But it sure looked like LeBron might as well have played the first half from a La-Z-Boy. Was he saving himself for the 24 minutes to save the season?
13 — While Warriors keep moving and moving the ball, Cavs killing themselves by trying to do too much individually. There is not a single Cav who should be permitted to dribble the ball more than once except LeBron. And he’s got to go all the way to the hole.
12 — After Cavs briefly take the lead, Golden State comes back to rip off 7-0 spurt and there’s blood in the water. Cavs are gonna need a bigger boat.
11 — Doesn’t matter if James Jones didn’t catch the ball perfectly on inbounds pass. If you’re gonna be at the rim and miss dunks, you’re heading for summer.
10 — The on-court screamer with the microphone at The Q is standing a midcoast virtually begging the hometown fans to stand up and scream. But it seems they know reality when it smacks them right in the face and Warriors up by a dozen.
9 — For all that he’s done, as brilliantly as he’s played, LeBron and his somewhat passive approach to tonight are costing him a shot at becoming joining Jerry West (1969) as the second player ever from the losing team named MVP of The Finals.
8 — You want one more reason for the Cavs to worry? Steph Curry goes to bench for a pre-4th quarter rest with Warriors holding 70-58 lead.
7 — End third quarter, Warriors lead 73-61 and one word to describe Cavs: Spent.
6 — Just in case you haven’t filled out your MVP ballot yet, here’s Steph to bang in back-to-back 3s. But Iggy ties him for leading scorer with 25 points, five assists, five rebounds, two steals and all of that splendid work on LeBron. Oh yeah, and Draymond Green has a triple-double (14-10-10)
5 — Share the ball, share the rewards. Warriors put on the crowning touch with the kind of move-the-ball passing game that had them setting pace in NBA since opening night — 28 assists on 37 buckets.
4 — Been a while.
June 16, 1975:
No. 1 single U.S. — Sister Golden Hair, America.
No. 1 TV show — All In The Family.
3 — Can you top this? Steve Kerr posts 83-20 (.801) overall record and becomes first rookie coach to win NBA championship since Pat Riley in 1982.
2 — Andre Iguodala becomes first player who never started a regular season game to be named Finals MVP. Curry and Iggy become first pair of championship teammates to split regular season and Finals MVP awards since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson in 1980.
Iguodala: “I want to be Steph Curry when I grow up.”
1 — Wire-to-wire thoroughbreds:
1A — Last Western Conference NBA champion not from California or Texas: Seattle SuperSonics, 1979.