Tag: Cleveland Cavaliers

2015 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 1

Lil B explains which NBA players are and are not cursed (VIDEO)


Last month, the Based God’s Curse derailed the Houston Rockets’ season. Lil B took exception to James Harden allegedly stealing his cooking dance and placed the same curse on him that has been in effect against Kevin Durant for the past several years.

On Monday, Lil B appeared on ESPN’s SportsNation to address Durant, Harden and other players who might be cursed. You can watch the video here (via SB Nation).

Here’s what the Based God had to say:

  • On Kevin Durant: “Oh, yeah. Kevin Durant’s curse is active. He has to play me in a game of 21. That’s the only way the curse can be lifted.”
  • On James Harden: “I actually lifted the curse off Harden. Once I saw all the trials and tribulations that Harden was going through off these [Western Conference Finals], I actually felt a little bad.”
  • On Marreese Speights: “He missed that dunk and a lot of people say he cost the Warriors the game. Usually, you see that anyone who speaks about Lil B in a negative way has some kind of character flaw. Marreese misses a wide-open dunk. Forgive him, man.”
  • On LeBron James: “There’s definitely no curse on LeBron. You know, shout out to LeBron. I would never try to interfere with anything that’s natural. We want the best players to win this game.

So, there you have it. Durant is still cursed until he plays Lil B one-on-one. Everyone else is free to go about their lives.

PBT Extra: Can Cleveland find a way to force a Game 7?

LeBron James

David Blatt’s Cavaliers battled the small-ball Warriors by going big. Cleveland lost by 21.

Blatt’s Cavaliers battled the small-ball Warriors by going small. Cleveland lost by 13.

In this PBT Extra, Jenna Corrado and I discuss what is next for the Cavaliers and if they have any real options for beating Golden State in Game 6 Tuesday night. With LeBron James anything is possible, but the Cavaliers are going to have to find some energy and have some role players start knocking down shots to have a chance.

LeBron James should win NBA Finals MVP

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five

LeBron James should win NBA Finals MVP.

Yes, his Cavaliers are probably going to lose to the Warriors – whether it’s in Game 6 tomorrow or Game 7 Friday. It’s not quite inevitable, though it’s highly likely.

But LeBron is the only reason we’re even talking about a Game 6 or Game 7.

He has dominated this series, leading a shorthanded Cleveland team to more wins than nearly anyone predicted. His 36.6 points, 12.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game are jaw-dropping numbers.

Imagine a super Warrior who had as many points, assists and rebounds as Golden State’s leader in each category. LeBron would still top him in all three:


There isn’t much precedent for a losing player to win Finals MVP. Jerry West – 1969, when his Lakers fell to the Celtics in seven games – is the only player to do it.

But that shouldn’t matter here.

Anyone who has watched the Finals would easily recognize LeBron as the best player. Researching the stats in context reveals the same conclusion.

If you believe Finals MVP is about the best player in the NBA Finals, you can’t argue against LeBron in good faith.

If you believe Finals MVP is about something else, I don’t want to argue with you.

PBT Podcast: Can Cleveland force a Game 7 after what we saw in Game 5?

Stephen Curry, LeBron James

Have the Golden State Warriors figured the NBA Finals out and it’s a foregone conclusion how this series ends?

Or will LeBron James finally get a little help and be able to force a Game 7?

It feels more like the former to me, and that’s one of the many topics we cover in today’s edition of the PBT Podcast. We’ve got PBT’s Kurt Helin and Brett Pollakoff breaking down Game 5 and talking about what it portends for Game 6. We also get into the Finals MVP debate. Can you imagine how awkward it would be to give it to LeBron in a losing effort?

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.

2015 NBA Finals: No bigs allowed

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five

As David Blatt fought off questions about his use of 7-foot-1 center Timofey Mozgov, Steve Kerr put it succinctly:

“It’s not a series for bigs.”

The Warriors and Cavaliers have combined to give players 6-foot-9 and taller just 12% of the minutes in the 2015 NBA Finals. That’s the lowest mark in the last 44 Finals and second-lowest for years Basketball-Reference.com has minutes data for the Finals (1955, 1957-2015):


And it’s not just one team dragging down the average.

This is the first NBA Finals in the sample where both teams are under 19%. The Cavaliers are at 11% and the Warriors 13%:


Game 5 took small ball to another level.

Mozgov played just nine minutes for the Cavaliers. Kendrick Perkins (6-foot-10) and Brendan Haywood (7-foot) didn’t get off the bench, and of course, neither did the injured Kevin Love (6-foot-10) and Anderson Varejao (6-foot-10).

The Warriors didn’t go big much more often. David Lee (6-foot-9) played nine minutes as a reserve, and Festus Ezeli (6-foot-11) got three. After starting every playoff game and nearly all his regular-season games to this point, Andrew Bogut (7-foot) didn’t play at all. James Michael McAdoo (6-foot-9) and Ognjen Kuzmic (7-foot) got their usual DNPs.

Single-game minutes data in the Finals goes back to only 1982 (though Game 1 in 1984 is missing). But that’s still a 34-year span.

In Game 5, Cleveland and Golden State posted the No. 1 and No. 2 lowest percentage of minutes given to players 6-foot-9 and taller. In fact, the 2015 Finals has produced the seven lowest scores in the sample:


Going small is a weapon Golden State and Cleveland have deployed this season. They’re both comfortable playing this way.

The Warriors kicked up a notch by starting Game 4 small, and the Cavaliers responded in Game 5 by going small more often. It resulted in a loss, but Blatt sounds as if he might stick with the strategy.

Will anything stop this arms race toward tininess?