The bar where I watched game one of the Finals basically cleared out at the end of the third quarter. After the game, those who remained looked like they were at a funeral.
I don't get it.
San Antonio is a great team with veteran players. It isn't out of spite that every national writer has picked the Spurs to win their fourth title in nine years.
Obviously the best case scenario was to win game one. But if short of a win, what happened was the next best thing. If you have to lose a game, let it be one when all of your faults are exposed. No false hope. But an eye opening slap to the face that tells you what you are up against.
The Cavs are playing with house money. So are we as fans. Those cursed losses of the past have nothing to do with this series. We are supposed to lose. The Spurs are the better team. Does that mean that I or the team are satisfied with just being happy to be here. Hell, no. But now the Cinderella dream of destiny is burst. If the Cavs are to win this series, they are going to have to work for it.
Z and Gooden will play much better. Both are emotional players even if only one shows it. Both will relax and focus and make our one true advantage-- rebounding return the rest of the series.
LeBron learned a lot last game. Sure, he did not play his best but the Spurs had a lot to do with it. If we have learned anything about this young man is that he plays better when he is doubted. He will not quit and he will not let his teammates quit.
To win this series, the coaching staff will have to make adjustments. Unlike early in the season or playoffs-- there is not time to wait and let injuries force the staff into making changes. Now is when Mike Brown has to grow up and shake his critics. He needs to use his knowledge and trust what the game is giving him rather than wait to see how it plays out.
He knows more about the game then I do. But even I can see that Larry is too injured to guard Parker. That Andy because he loves to rebound is a bad match-up for Duncan. The Cavs need Duncan's defender to stay at home and box out rather than chase rebounds as weird as that may sound.
That loss should snap the stars out of our veterans eyes and prove to our youngsters that they can only win if they play out of their minds. So rather than trying to force it, relax and just take the open shot and on defense play all out.
The Cavs can beat the Spurs. They just have to prove them can beat them four out of the next six games.