Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, June 20, 2016 at 9:37 AM
Jim Hurley Wins Game 7 With Cavaliers to cap off another winning basketball season!
IT'S PARTY TIME IN CLEVELAND - A/K/A TITLE TOWN, USA - PLUS OUR BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES
Hold on just a second:
You're meaning to tell us the Cleveland Cavaliers just ended a city's 52-year championship drought by becoming the first team in NBA history to rally from a three games-to-one deficit in the Finals to snag the crown ... after the first 32 teams put in that very same position all went down for the count.
And you're telling us that LeBron James - forevermore known as the real "King of Cleveland" - brought a title to Northeast Ohio on Father's Day 2016 ... yes, exactly 20 years since Father's Day 1996 when the legendary Chicago Bulls capped their 72-win regular season with an NBA crown behind Michael Jordan.
This time the 73-win Golden State Warriors were the NBA Finals "victims".
Sure funny how sports history can get, eh?
NBA FINALS - THE LAST 10 YEARS
NBA FINALS - GAME 7: CLEVELAND 93, GOLDEN STATE 89 - Cavaliers win series 4-3
Now, let's not all get silly and claim - as one sports web site stated late Sunday night - that this might have been the "greatest NBA Finals ever".
Maybe folks forget that this year's Finals included six games that were decided by double-digit margins leading up to this thrilling Game 7 when one step-back three-pointer by Cavaliers' G Kyrie Irving (with 53 seconds left) and one slam-sensational blocked shot by James (with 1:50 left) proved to be the signature plays for the title-starved Cleveland side but what we wanted to sink our teeth into this "morning after" was the fact that Golden State's famed backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson came up so darn small in this Game 7 with a combined 31 points on 12-of-36 FG attempts and never mind how careless Curry was with the ball all night long (see foolish behind-the-back passes, etc.) ... and why did he insist on trying to get off a three-pointer against the dogged cover by Kevin Love late?
Why not go for a conventional two-point basket, foul and extend the game?
In the end, what we prophesized way back at the beginning of this NBA Finals that the longer the series went, it was advantage Cavaliers ... and we were right!
Golden State played on fumes for much of the last three games of this series - the Warriors did play in 24 post-season games, more than anyone else - and Curry and Thompson merely couldn't shake free or "get their legs" here for the winner-take-all game.
While everyone's soaking up the accolades on the Cleveland side, keep in mind the Cavs didn't exactly distribute the ball very well here in Game 7 - it "stuck" to James (27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists) way too often - but at least the Cavaliers played at their pace, the Warriors could not say the same.
History will treat the Cavs kindly - they are only the fourth road team to ever win a Game 7 in the NBA Finals - but it won't be so nice to Steve Kerr's Warriors who received a massive Game 7 from Draymond Green (32 points, 15 rebounds and 9 assists) but not much from anyone else.
No crying, Curry. No talk of Green's Game 5 suspension, coach Kerr.
You blew it.
Long live "The King" in O-HI-O!
Now, here's the Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals series in game chart form (all home teams are in CAPS below):
|6-2||GOLDEN ST.||- 6||Cleveland||104-89|
|6-5||GOLDEN ST||- 6||Cleveland||110-77|
|6-8||CLEVELAND||- 2||Golden St||120-90|
|6-10||Golden St||+ 2.5||CLEVELAND||108-97|
|6-13||Cleveland||+ 6||GOLDEN ST||112-97|
|6-16||CLEVELAND||- 2||Golden St||115-101|
|6-19||Cleveland||+ 4.5||GOLDEN ST||93-89|
NBA PLAYOFFS POINTSPREAD CHART
Now, let's get you the NBA Playoffs Pointspread Breakdown chart with all 16 teams that participated in this year's post-season:
The NBA Finals - and the whole 2015-16 NBA season - is officially in the books but that doesn't mean Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will stop all the winning! There's plenty of Major-League Baseball daily winners coming your way when you check in either right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 after 1 p.m. Eastern time for the weeknight action, after 11 a.m. ET for the weekday games and any time after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners. Plus, the Football Season isn't that far off as NFL Preseason action swings into gear in early August - can't wait!
BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES
Guess now that the Cavaliers have pocketed their championship, it won't be long till the city of Cleveland starts to ratchet up the heat on the baseball Indians.
After all, the Tribe has not won a World Series title since 1948 and, heck, we don't want to say that was a long time ago but Satchel Paige pitched on that team!
The Indians (38-30) exited their three-game weekend home series sweep against the nose-diving Chicago White with the best record in the American League Central and how about the fact the Indians are an electric 21-10 inside their division.
Note that Cleveland ranks second in the AL in team ERA (3.74) but there remain rumblings that they could be eyeballing another starting pitcher - did someone say Oakland RHP Sonny Gray - and maybe a bullpen arm too - how does Arizona closer Brad Ziegler (14-of-14 saves) sound? ...
Finally, there are lots of in-the-know folks who believe we'll see a bevy of trades way before the July 31 Trade Deadline and some key names hitting the rumor mill included Milwaukee C Jonathan Lucroy, Cincinnati 2B Brandon Phillips, Minnesota 2B Brian Dozier and Colorado OF Carlos Gonzalez - don't be shocked if the swooning Seattle Mariners (lost seven of last 10 games) and the New York Mets (just swept at home by the Atlanta Braves!) make their move for a couple of these guys.
NOTE: Lots of NBA Draft and Major-League Baseball Notes in the next edition of Jim Sez, so don't dare miss out! And remember we'll have our NBA Mock Draft in Thursday's Jim Sez.