The Golden State Warriors headed into Wednesday’s Game 3 outing against the Cleveland Cavaliers with a clear opportunity to take a stranglehold on the Finals.
They were met with an onslaught from the home-standing Cavaliers out of the gate, trailing from pretty much the opening tip until the final buzzer sounded. When all was said and done, Cleveland got right back in the series with a 30-point win.
To say that the Warriors are concerned about this loss would be an overstatement. The defending champs remain in firm control with a 2-1 series lead and two more games potentially remaining in Oakland.
This doesn’t mean that the team is happy about its sluggish performance in Game 3.
As the vocal leader of the Warriors and someone who isn’t afraid to tell us how it is, All-Star forward Draymond Green didn’t beat around the bush the day after the team’s humiliating loss.
“Everybody in the locker room knows we got punked,” Green said, via Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group. “There is nothing to say.”
Green’s tone was similar to what we heard immediately following the loss on Wednesday evening.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 9, 2016
Green went on to indicate that he didn’t see much of an adjustment as it relates to a schematic standpoint from Cleveland after the Eastern Conference champs lost the first two games of the series in Oakland by a combined 48 points.
For Green, it was all about the Cavaliers playing harder and with more energy — energy the Warriors obviously didn’t meet.
The reality of the situation is this. Golden State did get punked in front of a national audience in a game the team seemed to think it could sleepwalk through. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers won a game they should have (and needed to) win.
Game 4 on Friday will be what decides whether this is going to be a series or not. Should Golden State rebound, it will then have an opportunity to clinch its second consecutive title at home on Monday.
If not, all this means is that both teams have held serve at home with the Warriors maintaining home-court advantage in what would then be a best-of-three series.