Warning: I am going OFF on tomorrow’s show and podcast…PERIOD.
1) GOAT vs the kid
Are you kidding me? If you didn’t say that at least ten times in this game I don’t know what you were watching. EIGHT! Yes, eight straight trips to the NBA Finals which we will never see again in our lifetimes but we are all taking for granted. LeBron who just had 35-15-9 on 50% shooting while playing every single minute is something we won’t see again for a while, but we are all taking for granted. I mean really! 35-15-9 on 50% while playing every single minute is something that has been done just two other times in NBA playoff history according to Basketball Reference. Yes, one of the two is LeBron:
Meanwhile, Tatum put up 24-7-1 in a game 7 as a 20-year-old and became the first rookie since Kareem Abdul Jabbar to score ten-20 point games in a single playoff run. Yes, he did fail to some extent to come up in clutch time but how much more can you ask from the best Celtic rookie since Larry Bird? This picture of the two taken years ago no longer looks like a fan talking a picture with his idol, but his contemporary:
2) The other Cavs
Hey, I have breaking news, when the Cavs show up outside of LeBron James they are still, even with this pathetic group, very hard to beat. And tonight, the GOAT just needed one single guy to step up and it was going to be enough. That guy was Jeff Green (19 points) who capped off an impressive series. Outside of LeBron and Green the rest of the team scored just 33 points on just 39% shooting.
3) Youth win and kills
I talked about this heading into the game. The absolute youth and inexperience of the Celtics could have gone either way in this game as they would have been the second youngest team to ever reach the Finals. As impressive and as much of a star as Jayson Tatum looked like (talked about above) Jaylon Brown and Terry Rozier succumbed to the moment. Both played uncharacteristically bad on both sides of the ball as the two combined for 17 points on 22% shooting and -17.
How many chance did they have down the stretch? Way to many including TEN offensive rebounds and shooting just 30% in the final quarter.
4) Awful 3-point shooting decides the game
For a league that is so predicated now on 3-point shooting, at one point in the third quarter the Celtics were shooing 19% from the arc and Cleveland was at 10%, yes really. And yet as bad as it was, you had to know that the team that made more was going to win and sure enough: Celtics had seven and the Cavs had nine.
5) Bad, but good
As bad as the first three quarters were played, and they were, the fourth quarter was nearly equally as good. Am I the only one who, even when it was the first three quarters, was thoroughly enjoying the play? Yes, it being game 7 has a large part to do with that, probably, but I loved all of this. It is another reminder of why the NBA is quickly approaching the NFL.
-Article by Nick Friend
Already released today: The SWN Show
Tomorrow: The SWN Show and podcast
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