NBA Finals – Game 3 Observations


Anyone can have the take that “Kevin Durant is good at basketball” or “Cleveland is about to get swept” or “LeBron’s last game as a member of the Cavs is Friday.” Those are layups. I’m giving you my off-the-beaten-path observations from Game 3.

What’s Really at Stake for GS – I’m surprised this angle hasn’t been discussed more. The Warriors are a win away from the best four-year stretch in modern-NBA (post 1960s). Getting three titles in four years matches a handful of other teams, but what sets them apart is that in their “down” year, they set the record for wins in a season and lost in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. No other team has had THAT much success in a four-year span since Bill Russell’s Celtics. The NBA had eight teams in that era.

Durant’s Reaction – A lot will be made of Durant’s Dagger in Game 3, comparing it to last year’s game. It was a great shot, but watch his reaction after making it.

That reaction is strange to me, and highlights the biggest difference between 2017 Durant and 2018 Durant. KD looked like he was having fun last year, enjoying the new situation and the winning. This season, he’s seemed bitter and upset, and this reaction fits that narrative. After a play like this in a moment like this, most players would show joy and get hyped. Durant looked bothered. There’s been something off with the Warriors all year (even while they’re still winning), and for the first time, I’m seriously wondering how long Durant will be a member of GS.

LeBron vs. Mark Schwarz – LeBron has never had a true rival in the NBA. He’s outlasted every individual challenger that’s been in his path. I think LeBron has met his match. ESPN reporter Mark Schwarz seems to be getting on his last nerve in the Finals. First, there was this moment after Schwarz clumsily asked three separate questions to LeBron about what’s going through JR Smith’s mind.

Tonight, we witnessed round 2.

I’m on Team LeBron in this battle. These questions have been pretty ridiculous.

Tracy McGrady – James really did do the Tracy McGrady … In the FINALS!  LeBron did the off the backboard pass to himself dunk in the first quarter.

That gave me flashbacks to McGrady doing the same thing in the All-Star Game in Philly in 2002. This was the first time I had ever seen someone do this, and it was legit jaw-dropping.

(Damn, I really miss the NBA on NBC theme song. And, I miss when the players wore their actual jersey in the All-Star Game).

Chris Lewis, the play-by-play voice of Boise State women’s basketball and Olympic Sports, co-hosts Idaho Sports Talk with Bob & Chris weekdays from 1-3 p.m. on KTIK 93.1 FM The Ticket. He can be found @ChrisLewisTweet (Twitter).