Game Four of the 2017 NBA Finals could have been the highest high and one of the lowest lows for each team. For the Cavs, they could have been swept right out of the Finals on their home floor. Ouch.
On the other hand, for the Dubs, aka the Golden State Warriors, they could have won their 16th straight playoff game and gone undefeated in these playoffs. They could have run out of Quicken Loans Arena and soared out of Cleveland and galloped off into the sunset as the best playoff team ever. I said could have, aka shoulda, woulda, coulda.
Instead, Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers mustered more than enough mettle and played like a pack of rabid, wild wolves protecting their young in order to avoid being swept out of the Finals.
Instead, the Cavaliers played with the resiliency of POW’s breaking out of solitary confinement and overtaking their evil captors en route to saving a town full of forlorn fair maidens.
Instead, the Cavaliers didn’t just stave off elimination; they made a collective statement by scoring the most points in a quarter and in a half in NBA Finals history. Wow. Who saw that coming?
So what happened?
I’ll tell you what happened; Kyrie Irving and Lebron James told their teammates that they absolutely refused to lose to Golden State on their home floor and they absolutely refused to be swept into insignificance. The Cavaliers refused to lay down and roll over, as they put on an impressive performance that has become one of the highest points of their not yet over season.
Kyrie Irving played with disciplined reckless abandon that was infectious and contagious. Now, it’s the Golden State Warriors who have to come out and prove that they are worthy of winning a championship. So where was this high wire, high scoring, center ring, almost circus act during the first three games?
Fear is a fierce motivator. Fear of failure leads to fight or flight. And last night, those Cavaliers put up a fight second to none. They got out to a big lead and anytime the Warriors even tried to get close, Kyrie and LeBron took out the hammer and lowered the boom.
The question is, can the Cavs play like this again in this series? The odds say no, but then again, the way they played last night, the Warriors better be wary of letting these rabid wolves come back from the brink and giving them an outside chance of doing the impossible.