Shaquille O'Neal claims Kevin Love is 'getting punked' by Draymond Green

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Football News

Shaquille O'Neal has never been afraid to say what's on his mind; that's part of the reason he is such a compelling analyst on Inside the NBA on TNT.

Big Shaq was a part of the last side to come back from a 2-0 series deficit in the NBA Finals when the Miami Heat won four games straight to slay the Dallas Mavericks in 2006.

Only three teams in NBA history have managed that feat, and now, the Cleveland Cavaliers will need to become the fourth if they have any hope of hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy this year.

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Their dreams hang in the balance as the Golden State Warriors dominated them in the first two games of this year's NBA Finals and Diesel told the Associated Press that he can see a key area where the Cavs need to turn it around.

"Because remember last year, the story line was, 'OK, Golden State, you won a championship, but that's because Kyrie [Irving] and Kevin Love weren't playing.' Now they're playing, now you've got to play like you know how to play," O'Neal said Monday night.

Irving averaged 18 points but shot just 33 percent in the first two games while Love's status for game three is questionable after suffering a concussion in game two.

As Magic Johnson suggested, Draymond Green has probably been the Finals MVP thus far and has dominated in both the opening battles. He racked up 28 points in game two and even poured in an uncharacteristic five-of-eight three-pointers along the way.

"Kevin Love's getting punked by Draymond, he really is," O'Neal said. "I hate to be the one to say it, but he has to step up. You can't let a guy do the muscle thing in your face and you don't respond."

Green plays with the aggression and fire that Love, for all his skill as a big man, sadly lacks. That's not a glaring indictment, after all, not many players can reach the intense levels that Green does.

Shaq went on to say that he believed the Cavs could make a comeback in the series if they secure a victory in game three on their homecourt. The Hall of Fame center described how the Heat handled the situation when they were on the brink of elimination a decade ago.

"We didn't feel like we were down and we knew we were better than that team," he said. "Our whole message was just one game at a time because they're up, the pressure's not on them. Once you start to squeeze, the pressure starts to be on them."

Can the Cavaliers mount a comeback? They'll need to make some adjustments if the first two games are anything to go by; getting blown out by the Warriors when the Splash Brothers aren't even on form is a worrying sign.

It all starts with game three at the Quicken Loans Arena tonight.

Draymond Green
Golden State Warriors
Pacific Division
Western Conference
NBA Finals
Stephen Curry
Kyrie Irving
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
LeBron James
Kevin Love

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