LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith were met in their post-game press conference with an um, interestingly phrased, question. It began: “The Cavaliers have effectively frozen the pond for the Splash Brothers during the first three games of the Finals…”
The three Cavaliers responded with glances at each other, awkward silence and confusion.
Ultimately, though, Irving gave a pretty decent answer to the question in spite of itself.
Q. Gentlemen, the Cavaliers have effectively frozen the pond for the Splash Brothers during the first three games of The Finals. What are you doing differently? How are you keeping them from getting to their spots, getting open looks, and how do you plan to maintain that momentum in Game 4 on Friday night?
KYRIE IRVING: It’s just team awareness, especially with those two guys, knowing their impact and how they can affect the game. Those guys can get it going in bunches, and you saw Steph in the third quarter, as well as Klay in the second quarter when those guys just have the ability to get downhill, as well as spray out to the three-point line. So just having our antennas on the defensive end, but as well as making them work on the offensive end while we’re just being aggressive.
Guys were getting in spots, and it’s both teams are getting up and down the floor. Being able to shoot jump shots effectively while guys are getting up and down, you know, the three-pointer, that you come down and shoot on the first possession is a little different from the eighth possession. Guys are in your face, and we just try to make it difficult for those guys.
But it’s a total team effort on our end, and Swish [J.R. Smith] does a great job on Klay. I just try to pick up Steph as high as possible, and our bigs do a great job getting up to touch. So great job on just total team awareness.