The Cleveland Cavaliers are the first team to win an NBA Finals game without two of its top three regular-season scorers, we’re told, but never mind that.
LeBron James’ supporting cast is the worst ever to steal a Finals road game, and as much as the four-time Most Valuable Player won’t fess up, he knows it, too. That’s why the Cavaliers’ player-coach attempted an astounding 100 total shots in the first two games of the series.
Hey, think James can count on Iman Shumpert to take over?
Take away James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, and here are the rest of your 2014-15 Cleveland Cavaliers: 11 players you probably never heard of until a few days ago, seven coaches, one trainer and one strength coach.
Brendan Haywood, Mike Miller, Shawn Marion and Kendrick Perkins haven’t been good in years. The only noteworthy thing about Shumpert and J.R. Smith is their haircuts. James Jones hasn’t been the same since Aaron Rodgers was his quarterback. Matthew Dellavedova makes for a cute story, but he went undrafted for a reason. Tristan Thompson can rebound and take up space, but that’s about it.
Now will somebody explain what Joe Harris does for a living?
That leaves Denver Nuggets reject Timofey Mozgov as the second-best player by default. Timofey Mozgov?! C’mon, the guy didn’t play a second in the fourth quarter on Sunday.
In the off-season, Mozgov doubles as a human cocktail that Cleveland cops throw at protesters, by the way.
The Warriors are so much deeper at the moment, it takes a Roto-Rooter to find them. If coach Steve Kerr stays the course and plays the reserves, his team will win the war of attrition eventually. Because even if James brings his A+ game every night, he can’t beat the Western Conference champs by himself, right?
BRACE YOURSELF: Now the series moves to Cleveland, where James is certain to receive Most Valuable Player treatment after the referees pretended like he was just another player in Game 2 on the road. Which means James will be able to take three steps per dribble and shove a forearm into the gut of a defender to create space if necessary.
Mary Babers-Green, start your Twitter fingers . . .
MO’ BUCKETS, NO DUNKS: If Marreese Speights throws down a breakaway dunk late in the third quarter, the Warriors probably own a 2-0 lead in the series and the tone is much different right now.
Speights has been called a 6-foot-10 point guard, but he’s not the guy that Balls wants to lead a fast break in the playoffs. He also appears to be a bit out of shape, which can happen when you don’t play for 25 days because of a strained calf.
Memo to Andre Iguodala: You may want to keep the rock and do it yourself next time.
JUST SAYIN’: Dellavedova was relentless on defense in Game 2, but before we call him Hellavedova, let’s not forget that he clanked 7 of 10 shots and had six turnovers at the other end. And that’s 16 times that James didn’t have the ball in his hands, and the Warriors probably didn’t mind that one bit.
RIDDLE ME THIS: Everyone knows the Jones needs a GPS to find the 2-point neighborhood. (Fifty-six of his 64 field goal tries have been 3-balls this postseason.) So how did he ever get off one 3-pointer let alone four of them the other day?
THE LIST: Of the 27 49ers who started at least six games last season, these 12 are gone already:
• Chris Borland, retirement
• Perrish Cox, free agency
• Michael Crabtree, free agency
• Chris Culliver, free agency
• Anthony Davis, retirement
• Frank Gore, free agency
• Mike Iupati, free agency
• Andy Lee, trade
• Ray McDonald, released
• Dan Skuta, free agency
• Justin Smith, retirement
• Patrick Willis, retirement
WHERE HAVE YOU GONE… Draymond Green?
Got an opinion? A gripe? A compliment? (A compliment?!?) Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and you may get your name in the paper one day.Balls: Paul LadewskiBrendan HaywoodCleveland CavaliersGolden State WarriorsIman ShumpertJ.R. SmithKendrick PerkinsKevin LoveKyrie IrvingLeBron JamesMatthew DellavedovaMike MillerNBA FinalsShawn MarionTimofey MozgovTristan Thompson