A reporter asked Tyronn Lue if he knew the numbers for when a team is down three to one in a series midway through the press conference after game four in Cleveland. The press wondered what exactly you can say to your team after a dispiriting loss like the one the Cleveland Cavaliers suffered to the Golden State Warriors, 108-97, in game four.
The press wondered what exactly you can say to your team after a dispiriting loss like the one the Cleveland Cavaliers suffered to the Golden State Warriors, 108-97, in game four.
Lue calmly retorted: “If you don’t think we can win, don’t get on the plane. I just think we’ve got to come back anyway, so we might as well come back and play. We’ve got to come back to Cleveland, don’t we?”
That’s what the Cavaliers are playing for at this point. The chance to play another game on their floor. Not for a championship. Not even to take control of a series. This is about just getting to play another day.
LeBron James, Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and co. will have to go into Oracle Arena and win a game. James had a near triple-double with 25 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists. He played all but three minutes of the game. Irving had 34 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Both will need to be at the top of their games to bring the series back to Cleveland.
J.R. Smith might as well speak for everyone when he was asked about Lue’s comments postgame. The Cavaliers’ sharpshooter said: “We have to be extremely confident; it’s do-or- die. We have to play with desperation, play to exhaustion and figure out how to win.”
Cleveland was not the same team from their breakout game three performance but they still competed hard for the entire game. During a stretch in the third quarter, things really took a turn for the worst.
The Cavaliers’ fluid ball movement dried up in the third quarter. They could only get long jump shots and hurried possessions that resulted in turnovers that played right into the Warriors’ hands.
Love on the Bench
Lue made the decision to start reserve forward Richard Jefferson again after his admirable job filling in for Love after the star forward was ruled out of the last game with a concussion.
Love had this to say about his role off the bench: “I just tried to provide a spark. I really wanted to get off to a good start. RJ [Richard Jefferson] definitely did great for us last game, giving us great energy. This game came in and played hard and I thought our whole dynamic changed. We’re fortunate enough to be able to do that and I just wanted to help us coming off the bench.”
Love was received warmly by the Cleveland crowd when he checked in off the bench in the first quarter. He did what he could in his time on the floor but he looked like a man that had a concussion two days ago.
One thing is for sure, it is time for Cleveland to get on that plane. What happens after that will be up to them. They are coming back, will their season still be alive?