That was a gut punch last night. From being up 25 at half, thinking the series would move to 2-1, and trying to find a way to talk my wife into driving to Indianapolis this weekend for Game 4 (which wasn't going well for the record) to collapsing in the 2nd half, falling down 3-0 in the series, and being a game away from a first round sweep and a Paul George exit from Indy. What a swing of emotions.
And the Paul George element is huge to this. With his upcoming free agency, there is a good chance the Pacers could deal him this offseason if he tells the Pacers he is unlikely to resign when his contract is up in the summer of 2018. If George had any inclination of leaving the Pacers heading into this series, that game certainly isn't going to change that line of thinking any. Which is why last night could end up being a franchise changing collapse. Let's say the Pacers don't bounce back on Sunday and get swept. That does open the door for George to tell Indiana he'll leave after the following season and force the Pacers to trade him somewhere. Now the Pacers are swept out of the playoffs and without their franchise player. Yikes.
Just a terrible night.
- LeBron puts on an all-time performance.
- The Pacers score 74 points in the first half and then try to slow the pace down in the 2nd.
- Nate McMillan basically tries running the 4 Corners Offense with 18 minutes to play in the game.
- Paul George doesn't get the SuperStar Treatment from the refs he deserves.
- Indiana still can't figure out how to defend a pick and roll, no matter what combination of Cavs players run it.
- Nate McMillan gets outcoached by Tyronne Lue. TYRONNE LUE.
- The camera man cut in about 5 times to a zoom in on McMillan's "Confused and Constipated" look. Just looked petrified when Cleveland was making their run.
- Keep in mind they were playing in Indiana. It's not like the crowd was fueling this run and McMillan was having to work through that too.
- And Kyrie and Love were on the bench throughout the entire 4th quarter during the comeback. And Indiana still couldn't close the deal. Disgusting. (Sidebar: That LeBron and 4 shooters lineup is extremely difficult to guard. Will be interesting if the Cavs continue to use that lineup in big situations throughout the playoffs).
A remarkable performance by LeBron James last night as well. We almost take for granted these days what he does on a consistent basis on the basketball court. Someone made the MVP case for him on a podcast I was listening to last week with their main point being if you took off the name "LeBron James" and put it to his stats this year and what he's done, we'd all be going crazy over his year. But since it's LeBron, we just come to expect it and almost shrug it off. He put it into better words than I did but the premise is solid. Once you do something consistently, people start taking it for granted and don't appreciate it as much as they should. Like me and funny tweets.
But even putting the MVP voting aside, last night was a truly special performance. He always seemed under control and he played the game at that level people talk about when they say the game "slows down" for someone. Like you are playing Tetris on a really slow level and you can plan 2-3 moves in advance and see everything coming ahead of time. That looked like LeBron last night. If Michael Jordan had that type of game last night, Twitter would still be down at this minute after crashing from all the love-tweets people would have been sending out. It would have lead every SportsCenter and sports talk show today. It's a testament to LeBron that he has that type of game and it's almost an afterthought for most people.
The Cavs still need to work on that defense though if they are going to be any threat to the Western Conference Champions this year. Super-human LeBron or not, they aren't winning a championship with that type of defensive effort. I'd be worried if I was a Cavs fan. I've seen playoff games where the Pacers have 74 points with under a minute left to play in the game. Indiana put up 74 points in a half last night. And I can't even tell you who their 2nd best scoring option is after Paul George. A skilled offensive team could put up 80 in a half against these guys if they don't buckle down on D.
Did y'all know they are making an Ocean's 8 movie that will release next year? I hadn't heard anything about this until this morning when I was reading something about Anne Hathaway and then she was billed as the future star of Ocean's Eight. So I did some Googling and apparently this is a real thing. Ocean's Eight will premiere in the summer of 2018 and will be an extension on the Ocean's Eleven trilogy.
Apparently the basic plot line is that Danny Ocean's sister, Debbie, gathers her own crew together to pull off a heist at the annual New York Met Gala. Debbie is played by Sandra Bullock and her crew is an all-female cast. Other stars in the movie are Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rhianna, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Helena Carter, and some woman named Awkwafina. I don't know much about this Awkwafina character but that's a star studded cast. And according to the movie's IMDb page it will also have at least appearances by Olivia Munn, Dakota Fanning, Matt Damon, Katie Holmes, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, James Corden, Kim West, Adriana Lima, and Zayn Malik. That's quite the list of cameos already signed on to be in the film. Great to see that part of the Ocean's legacy will continue on in this film.
I love what I am hearing so far from this Oceans' movie. While I still haven't exactly comprehended the plot behind Ocean's Twelve yet I still really enjoyed the three Oceans' movies. Were some of my favorite movies as a teenager, especially Ocean's Eleven. If this film can get anywhere close to those levels I'll be entertained.