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Freeman Cebu Sports

Triple threat

EVERY POUND COUNTS - Alan G. Choachuy - The Freeman

It's a do or die game for Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers today. Honestly, I have been cheering against James ever since this superstar left for Miami Heat and I don’t know for what reason, I have been cheering for this guy this season. He's my hands down choice as the best player of the decade. He's in his eight straight finals appearance and ninth overall. In his first NBA finals, James and the Cavs were swept by the San Antonio Spurs back in 2007.  

For the game this 9 a.m., the real question is, can James and CAVS bounce back from 0-3 deficit? To date, no NBA team has ever come out of such a deep hole. Lebron must look at it as a chance to prove and cement his legacy as the Greatest Of All Time. But it would be unlikely that Warriors would lose four  games in a row. My prediction of a sweep is still likely going to happen because the firepower of the Warriors is just too much to handle for the Cavs. But let’s take it one game at a time for Cleveland. What would the Cavs do?  First is to win Game 4, then follow some unsolicited advice which I think are some key factors they have to figure out.

Make those outside shots: The bench must contribute. James has been pacing himself in the first 3 quarters and involving his teammates. James has been passing and kicking out to open teammates but sadly, his teammates are not responding. Rodney Hood though had a terrific Game 3 but Jr Smith, Kyle Korver, and Jordan Clarkson have been missing terribly outside.

Kevin Love. He should assert his presence under the basket. In Game 3 Love showed some dominance inside. He was able to grab some offensive rebound and put backs. But again he falls in Love with the 3 again. 

Help defense: The Warriors have been precise in making their plays work the back cuts, screens are never ending, the ball keeps on moving around, which makes it very hard for them to defend. And most often, the Warriors end up with a free lane in the hoop. Cavs had made some adjustments in limiting Stephen Curry to 10 points in Game 3 but forgot to put the cuffs on Kevin Durant, JaVale McGee and other bench players who contributed as well.

Triple threat: James is great but he lacks some post-up or one on one skills. Triple threat is basic basketball offensive weapon wherein a player has the option to shoot, dribble or pass. But mastering it is a different story. Against bigger opponents, James would usually take a step back facing the opponent and try to power his way inside for a dunk or a layup. But problem is when a smaller opponent guards Lebron, he has the tendency to back and post up. Warriors would simply double team James from the blind side. Again, one on one, nobody can stop Lebron James period. Somebody just need to remind him that.

Keep the score close at all times. The 3rd quarter is usually the most lethal for the Warriors. They can score 8-10 points in just 60 seconds. During that crucial Games 1 and 3, which for me was both winnable games for the Cavs, James has passed the opportunity to take the last shot, although there were some miserable calls from the referee. But then again, it was not an excuse for him not to win. James made an incredible drive to the basket in the last 2 minutes but with seconds ticking away in Game 1, he opted to pass it to George hill instead of taking the ball strong to the basket. And during the overtime, the Cavs simply ran out of steam. In Game 3, the Cavs were in striking distance down to the last 2 minutes but again lost steam in end. But hope is not lost for the Cavs as they still have a fighting chance. And  James must believe that it can be done. In his situation, there is nothing to lose but everything to gain for the Cavs.

 SIDELINE: Good luck to Coach “Z”, Zusette Jarina-Co, who will embark on a new challenge tomorrow via the 'Lumbag Laag sa Sugbu'. Coach “Z” will be joining the Team Insular/Isuzu/ Paksit Photos led by Niño Abarquez, Francis del Rosario and RJ Balbuena. Lumbag Laag sa Sugbu is a 3-day event from June 10-12 that covers various tourist spots in southern Cebu. Organized by Cebu Chamber of Commerce, Province of Cebu, Habagat Outdoor Equipment and Innovate Cebu, the participants will undergo a series of challenge that would test their fitness level, skills, and most of all, team work.

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

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