The word across the NBA is that LeBron James is 2-1 up on the Golden State Warriors, while his supporting cast at the Cleveland Cavaliers contribute little to one of the most singular efforts in the game’s play-off history.
It’s true that James is carrying the Cavs on offense. The Ohio native has scored 123 points through the first three games of the series, beating the record set by the Warriors’ own Rick Barry the last time the franchise won the title in 1975.
But while Cleveland’s last-standing star continues to put on superhuman displays to push his hometown club closer to a first major sports championship in the city’s history, the theory that his teammates have had little say in the series is a little farfetched.
James is not, for instance, guarding Stephen Curry on defense. The task of stifling Golden State’s MVP has fallen to Australian point-guard Matthew Dellavedova, a player so unknown even people in his own country are oblivious to his fame.
Dellavedova is responsible for throwing Curry’s shot off for the past two games, something previously unheard of in the NBA season prior to these Finals.
So exhausting is the effort to curtail Curry that the 24-year-old required IV treatment at hospital after scoring 20 points of his own in Game 3.
Although he expects to be back for Game 4, the last at Quicken Loans Arena before the series heads back to the Bay Area, a drained Dellavedova could be the glimmer of light Curry needs to turn around this series.
The Warriors have already overcome a 2-1 deficit in this postseason, rallying from that position against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Now, against a side playing a similar style of gritty basketball to the Tennessee club, Steve Kerr’s men need to draw on those experiences.
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