Last night, the absence of Kevin Love did not prove to be detrimental to the performance of the Cleveland Cavilers. In a game that was led by the Cavs throughout the entirety of the game, the score was 90-120. With Richard Jefferson playing a small forward and LeBron James playing power forward, the team appears to have bounced back from the way they were behaving earlier in the series, where they seemed to have completely given upon and submitted to the Golden State Warriors.
Unlike in his past two games, in game 3 LeBron James engaged himself and imposed his will upon Golden State, playing more similarly to the LeBron we saw in game 3 against the same team last year in the NBA Finals in which LeBron scored 40 and grabbed 12 rebounds. Not only did he perform well, but the whole team was synchronized, sharing the basketball, and making shots. Kyrie Irving, JR Smith, and Tristan Thompson were very effective in the game.
So now the question lies, is Cleveland back in this series? In order for them to have a shot in winning this series, they must win the next game. If they fail to convert a win tomorrow night, there is no doubt that they will have no will to fight in a game 5. In order for Cleveland to have a shot at winning the series, they must continue to optimize the multi-faceted nature of their team. Kyrie must continue to dominate the offense, Thompson should continue picking up the missed shots, and they neutralize Steph Curry’s scoring ability, who has yet to score more than 20 in a game this series.