The Golden State Warriors took a 3-0 stranglehold in the NBA Finals over the Cleveland Cavaliers after a hard fought Game 3 went their way. With the game staying really close throughout it’s course, the Warriors closed the game out on an 11-0 run to win 118-113. With lots of action on the court, the game provided a handful of narratives that we’ll have a few days to digest before the Warriors look to capitalize on match point.
Cleveland needs to do something about its bench in the off-season
Watching Deron Williams play basketball this series has been difficult to say the least. The former all-star hasn’t looked played at an elite level since his days with the Utah Jazz, and by the looks of it won’t be doing so any time soon. For the majority of the Finals, the Cavs have been running a nine man rotation, with all four players coming off the bench playing primarily perimeter positions. Without the ability to get bigger, the Cavs are forced to play a game that teams like Golden State are just better at, which is spreading the floor and making space for shooters. Having a smaller bench in both numbers and size makes this a feast for guys like David West and JaVale McGee, who almost never have to deal with larger players. With three max contract players on their roster, it will be interesting to see if the Cavaliers can find quality bench players so sign for less money for a chance at winning a title.
Enjoy this Warriors team while it lasts
Earlier this week, Jeff Van Gundy says the Warriors have the potential to make it to the finals every year for the next eight to ten years. Golden State’s core is obviously good enough to do so, but with only six players on the team’s payroll for next season, it will be interesting to see how the Warriors will be able to pay everyone. Despite Steph Curry’s contract expiring this year, it seems highly unlikely that the league’s best shooter will be wearing a different team’s jersey next year. The real questions is whether or not guys like Klay Thompson and Draymond Green will be willing to take less money to keep the band together. The two all stars are definitely worth max contract money, but from who is the question. The Warriors had to give up a lot of the team’s depth to make room for Kevin Durant’s contract last summer. As fun as it is watching this Warriors team play basketball, it’s unsure how long this squad will play together.
LeBron James is still the best player in the world
Regardless of how bad the rest of his team is, LeBron James still continues to drag these guys through the mud (with the help of Love, Irving and when ever J.R. decides to show up). At the age of 32, James is still playing at a level that puts him with the Jordans, Bryants and O’Neals of the world and has been doing so consistently. On a night where he put up 35% of his teams points, James has shown that he has nothing left to prove when it comes to his place amongst the game’s greats. Despite his place in history, it remains to be seen if James can overcome the most difficult task of his career and pull the Cavaliers from a 3-0 deficit to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy for the second straight year.