After winning Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves in a familiar position, trailing the Golden State Warriors 3-1 in a best-of-seven series with a title on the line.
In 2016, the Cavs came back from that deficit to clinch a championship in dramatic fashion, sending the Warriors back to the drawing board.
Now that Golden State has added Kevin Durant to the mix, the Warriors should still be the favorites to win the 2017 Finals, but by not sweeping LeBron James and company, they've allowed the Cavs to gain some confidence.
Though it may seem like the Cavaliers are in a good position to come back, James said in a press release that he and his teammates aren't feeling comfortable down 3-1 at all:
"No, they got us where they want us," James responded when asked if the Cavs had deja vu from last year. "Listen, at the end of the day, we want to just try to put ourself in position to play another game, and we did that tonight and hopefully we can do it Monday night where we can come back here. So our mindset is try to go up there and get one. Which is probably one of the toughest environments we have in this league, along with our building. And so we look forward to the challenge and the matchup."
Taking things one game at a time is all the Cavs can do right now, as one more loss ends their season, so what LeBron is saying makes sense. But if Cleveland forces a Game 6 at home, James and company will have to be feeling good about their chances to complete another historic comeback.
Golden State star Steph Curry echoed LeBron's sentiments, adding that the Warriors need to get off to a much better start than they did in Game 4:
"Man, different team, man," Curry said. "Obviously we have haven't felt this feeling walking off the court with a loss in a while, but we have done a good job of bouncing back and being resilient all year and obviously learning from all different experiences we have been through.
"I love the vibe we had in the locker room after the game, understanding what we need to do differently to play better, to have a better first punch in that first six minutes, to play with more force and aggressiveness and physicality. Talked about it. Going home is a good feeling, but it has to go with playing better. We obviously know you can't just go home and expect to win. We like the fact that we can correct a lot of things going into Game 5 and just put a better foot forward, especially in that first quarter and not lose the game right there."
Whether or not the Warriors are able to clinch the title on Monday night remains to be seen, but it's safe to say another Cavs victory will have Golden State fans feeling a little bit more uneasy.
Fans in the UK can follow the 2017 NBA Finals on BT Sport or via NBA LEAGUE PASS at www.nba.tv.