The Cleveland Cavaliers are facing a seemingly insurmountable deficit in their NBA Finals clash with the Golden State Warriors as they prepare for the fourth game today.
The Cavaliers are staring at a 3-0 deficit in the best-of-seven championship, a hole that no NBA team has ever climbed out of and one that must seem even more frustrating given that they had a chance to win two of the first games.
“That’s why they’re such a great team. But we’ve given ourselves a chance. I know that we’ll come out in Game Four and really compete,” Cavs forward Kevin Love told reporters. “We’re not going to give in.”
Making matters even more difficult is that the team with one hand on the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy happens to possess a high-octane offence that can score seemingly at will from anywhere on the floor.
The Cavs know a little bit about rewriting Finals history as they did stun the Warriors in 2016 when they became the first team to rally from a 3-1 series deficit to win the title.
That talented Warriors team, however, was weeks away from signing Kevin Durant, a move that shifted the balance of power heavily in favour of Golden State.
“We know we can beat this team and we have to have the confidence to do that,” said Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue. “We’ve got to be better in some areas that we had some breakdowns in.”
Lue said his players were down after Wednesday’s loss, a game in which they led by as many as 13 points, but have moved on and are raring to go for Friday’s do-or-die Game Four.
With LeBron James on their side, one can never count out the Cavaliers, even if the heart of their team twisted his ankle on Wednesday and is still sporting the ill-effects from an inadvertent poke in the eye during Game One.
“I still feel good, even with turning my ankle last night or getting a finger jammed into my eye and taking the bumps and bruises and grinds throughout this playoff series,” said James. “I still feel like I’m excited to put on the uniform tomorrow.”
Lue said the Cavs are ready to move on from the Game Three loss, in which they trailed by one in the final two minutes until the Warriors pulled away for a 110-102 win.
“You get to certain positions and certain spots, and if you give it your all and you’re prepared and you don’t win, you take it hard. But you don’t give in, because you’ve done everything you could to try to win,” Lue said.