There are so many thoughts that go through your head after the loss of a key game, and we aren’t involved as players and/or coaches.
However, it is more than 24 hours after the Cavaliers’ 108-97 loss in Game 4 of The NBA Finals, and we still can’t get the horrible officiating out of our heads.
Yes, there are other reasons for the loss. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson got their long distance shooting going, making 50% (11 of 22) of their three point shots.
From the Cavs’ standpoint, there was an over reliance on LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, who took 49 of the team’s 81 shots, and the percentage was almost 95% in the last 18 minutes of the game.
A week or so ago, we talked about the Warriors playing like the mid 1990’s New York Knicks, coached by Pat Riley.
Those teams were uber aggressive defensively, appearing to foul on each and every possession, daring the referees to call every infraction.
Of course, they didn’t, or else the games would last close to four hours and would never develop any sort of rhythm.
Golden State shot more free throws than Cleveland (31-26) but many of those came late in the contest, when the wine and gold were trying to get the ball back, so for most of the game, the Cavs had an edge.
This would mean the officiating was in favor of Cleveland, and our theory is blown, correct?
First of all, the Warriors took 44% of their shots from behind the three point line, making it unlikely that Cleveland is going to foul someone on those shots.
The Cavaliers took 31% of their shots from behind the arc.
LeBron James, the best player in the league, took 21 shots, including five three pointers. That means he took 16 shots inside the three point line.
Without the play-by-play sheet, let’s say half of those 16 shots came from 10 feet and out. We say this knowing that this is probably not true, it’s more likely around six of those shots were long twos.
So, James went to the basket eight times, and was fouled only twice? It’s more likely you will see a unicorn than that is the case if you watched the game.
And we aren’t even counting Irving’s frays to the basket, and the number of times Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love got hit inside.
One of the reasons the Warriors can use their “small” lineup is they are allowed to bump and grind inside without a call.
We know this sounds like sour grapes, but we’ve seen this all season from Golden State, not just in The Finals.
We haven’t mentioned the questionable screens they set offensively, most notable by pulling guards Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut.
Why are they allowed to play this way? That’s a question no one asks the league office.
This style of play is frustrating to opponents, because players know when they get hit, and what does or does not constitute a foul.
When they don’t get the call they received all season and all through the playoffs, you can imagine the frustration level grows higher and higher.
By the way, it is difficult to be James as a player.
When he is a distributor, then people want to know why he’s not assertive, why he doesn’t try to take control of the game.
When he takes a lot of shots or dominates the ball, then he needs to play more of a team game. He can’t win.
It is likely the Cavs’ season will end Monday night in Oakland watching the Warriors celebrate once again. Our guess is that the wine and gold’s players will be seething.
Because the Warriors are getting over on the NBA.