I have an addictive personality and make a few grand a year over the poverty line so I have never allowed myself to feel the rush and agony that comes from betting on sports. Game 4 of the NBA Finals is a perfect example of why it is never worth betting money on an outcome of a game or a fight no matter how sure I am of my prediction.
The Cavs went off Friday night beating the Warriors by a score of 137-116. After losing game 3 the way that they did, I figured the Cavs would have little left in the tank physically and mentally being down 3-0. I was so wrong.
Minus Durant (35 points) the Warriors didn’t have a great shooting night as Klay and Steph combined to go 6-19 from three and Draymond had a double-double (16-14) but got into foul trouble.
The Cavs shot the three point ball at a record breaking pace. They finished the game 24-45 from three. That’s 53 fucking percent. LeBron went 3-8, Love went 6-8, Kyrie went 7-12, and JR went 5-9, including a 30 footer in the 2nd quarter from behind the arc. The Cavs had 49 points in the 1st quarter, 86 at half time, and 115 at the end of the third. They beat the Warriors at their own game.
Despite being down 22 points in the second half, I still thought the Warriors were going to have a huge run in the 4th quarter and win the game. They never got within 12 points but I never thought it was a lock for the Cavs to win until the final minutes of the game. I believe that is the greatest compliment I can give to the Warriors, no lead is too big for them to come back from.
Game 4 was not without its controversy. It felt like a Finals game as 7 total technical were given out across both teams. Players were yelling at each other, coaches emphatically ran up to refs, elbows hit faces, and of course, testicles were punched. It was no surprise to see Draymond in the middle of the technical giveaway. In the first half after a jump ball, Draymond elbowed Shumpert directly in the face. This was worthy of a tech but Kerr didn’t believe so and he ran by the scorer’s table to complain.
Dahntay Jones who got ejected earlier in the playoffs for talking to a ref received a tech in game 4 from the bench. All he did was talk trash to Durant from the bench and was immediately T’d up. Either Jones has an unholy mouth or the refs don’t like him. That was not worthy of a tech.
In the second half Draymond disagreed with a call and looked the ref down while doing a swipe of a single arm to express his displeasure with the call. This arm gesture was far from derogatory and a common way to express anger which is not worthy of a tech but the refs gave him one anyway. That’s two techs so that means Draymond should have gotten ejected from the game. But the refs then explained the tech from the first half when Draymond elbowed Shumpert in the face was actually on Kerr when he got up of the bench dramatically. But the official scorer’s table marked it down as a tech from Draymond and Doris Burke confirmed they were told by the refs the first tech was on Draymond. What a cluster fuck. While this was all being sorted out, Draymond drank water on the bench bobbing his head to the tune of the Cleveland fans chanting “Draymond sucks!”
The generous handing out of techs and 13 total reviews during the game were ridiculous. So much so even Mike Breen was criticizing the calls and the length of the game. Marc Jackson and JVG both characteristically described the reviews as “too many” and the techs mishap as “somebody is lying.”
Later in the game LeBron and Durant partook in a long trash talking session which the refs let go on far too long. Then in the 3rd quarter, Zaza continued his campaign to be the most hated player in the NBA. Zaza caught the ball in the paint and four Cavs defenders dropped down on him to try and steal the ball. Instead of passing or shooting the ball, Zaza dropped it, fell to the ground and then angrily punched Shumpert in the nards. A huge scrum broke out which saw a couple fans on the court including LeBron’s agents. A fan got ejected, the encounter was received for what felt like 15 minutes, and no fouls were handed out. How was Zaza not giving a tech? Draymond waves his hand in anger and receives a tech, but elbowing Shumpert in the face, and punching Shumpert in the dick doesn’t warrant a tech?
Deron Williams finally hit his first field goal of the series for the Cavs, the free through disparity was heavy in the Cavs favor (they had 20 FT in the first quarter alone), Curry finally missed a free throw, LeBron had his second straight triple double (31-10-11) including an alley-oop off the back board to himself, and Kyrie went insane scoring 40 points with his signature finishes at the rim.
As the game came to a close, the crowd chanted “Cavs in 7!” and twitter was filled with “NBA is fixed” and “the NBA wanted that Monday night Finals game” conspiracy theories.
I am not going to bet on it, but I now predict Warriors in 5.