If you were looking for a hot take on the state of the NBA Finals, look no further.
While Richard Jefferson comes off the bench for the Cleveland Cavaliers, he is one of the most outspoken veteran members of the team.
On Sunday, he spoke with reporters and made a claim that will not only make you scratch your head, but will also allow you to appreciate the immense amount of shade that he threw in Golden State’s direction with his claim.
When asked which team has more pressure on them heading into Game 5, Jefferson responded that the Warriors, who are up 3-1, actually have more pressure on them to win the game (and the series as a whole).
“You’re damn right it is. It’s not on us. Where’s the pressure on us? They had a 73-win team and they added a former MVP [Kevin Durant]. We added Kyle Korver and Deron Williams. They added an MVP to a 73-win team after being up 3-1 and then KD was up 3-1,” he commented.
Jefferson went on, “The pressure is all on them. We’re the defending champs. We believe that we have enough here to win a championship. We haven’t played great thus far, but there’s no pressure on us. There never has. It’s been about them proving that last year was a fluke, KD validating the move here, which it’s been validated. We feel very comfortable.”
If the Cavaliers are able to pull off another victory in Game 5, however, he may be right about the pressure shifting to mostly the Warriors’ side. Not only would the teams head to Cleveland for Game 6, but the media’s coverage of a potential Cavs comeback would dominate the headlines.
Oh, and if you may not have heard, the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in last year’s Finals. Blowing a 3-0 lead would be especially embarrassing.
“I could just tell you this,” Jefferson said, “a lot of people didn’t believe we’d want to get on a plane and come back here. I can guarantee you they don’t want to get on a plane and go back to Cleveland because they will probably be getting on a plane to come back.”
While Jefferson’s comments regarding the pressure in the series right now might be a little farfetched, the Cavaliers are a win away from making this a close series.
Golden State knows all too well not to count LeBron James and company out until the final whistle blows.