After being dominated in the first two games, the Cavs’ 30-point win last night has suddenly given the team confidence they can come back and beat the Warriors in the 2017 NBA Finals.
The Cavs’ miserable first two games had many pundits proclaiming that the Cavs were finished not only in this series but also in the 2017 rematch. But Cleveland’s newly stifling defense and improved shot-making in Game 3 flips that narrative on its head and shows this team can compete with the Warriors—after losing the Finals, trading Kevin Love, hiring a new coach and acquiring some other pieces.
“Playing our game, dominating physically shows us we can totally hang with the Warriors next year when we get some more pieces,” LeBron James said. “It was just what we needed—for 2017.”
Despite the strong Game 3 performance, it remains to be seen if the Cavs can carry over the momentum into the 2017 Finals, particularly if the Thunder come out of the West.