Has The Public's Expectations Of A Series Ever Changed Quicker After One Game Than They Did Last Night?
You know that feeling you get leading up to the start of a diet? That optimism you have as you walk through the grocery store filling the cart with every relatively healthy food item you walk past? That anticipation of finally dedicating yourself to getting in shape? That certainty you feel that everything is going to go as planned? Then the diet actually starts and you can't even get through the first night without shooting it all to hell by sneaking late night scoops of ice cream?
That's exactly how I feel about this series right now. We all spent so much time convincing ourselves that it was going to be a competitive, hard fought NBA Finals between the two best players in the sport. Almost every prediction floating around had it going seven games one way or the other. People were clamoring on and on about how much better off the Cavaliers are now than they were last year, and how the Warriors were probably due for a let down game after a knock down, drag 'em out series with the Thunder. Then the series started, everything was going smoothly, and just when you thought we were in for a photo finish...Shaun Livingston and Leandro Barbosa came in, doused everyone's expectations in lighter fluid, and tossed them right in a firing barrel. Now I am not telling you that this series is over. Far from it as a matter of fact. I am just saying that we got our hopes up for some historically entertaining series, and after one night some of those very same people were already reaching for the broom handle.
Me personally? I am not one of those people. It's very possible that the Cavaliers were victims of their prior opponent's last night. Making your way through the Eastern Conference in preparation for the Warriors is like playing paintball in preparation of going to war. They are just two very different animals that require two very, VERY different amounts of focus. Cleveland could very well use last night to adjust themselves to the level of play, but the fact that they got their doors blown off during a Steph Curry AND Klay Thompson disappearing act is certainly not promising. The fact that Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut were more productive than the two best shooters on planet Earth and the Warriors still won handily is eye opening. Could we still be in for a seven game slobber knocker? Sure. Am I as confident as I was 24 hours ago? Hell no. Maybe I am not ready to trash the nutrition plan quite yet, but I am staring at the stack of takeout menus far more intently than I thought I would be.
P.S. The easy answer to the headline is yes because Kyrie Irving tore his knee to shreds in Game 1 last year, but injuries aside...last night's result was one of the more sobering we have ever witnessed.