The View From Pluto: The Cavs Return Home For A Must-Win Game 3

Jun 6, 2018

The Cavs are in Cleveland tonight for a must-win game 3 of the NBA Finals. Cleveland trails the Golden State Warriors 0-2 in the best of seven game series. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says the Cavs face the pressure of winning tonight while still trying to shake off the dramatic ending to game 1.

Pluto says no team has ever come back from an 0-3 hole in any playoff series. Still, the Cavs have had their share of heroics.

"In the 2016 Finals when the Cavs won the title, they were the first team to come back from a 1-3 deficit. They pulled one of the biggest upsets of all-time."

Baggage from game 1
Pluto says the Cavs have to be feeling the pressure on top of the emotions lingering from their dramatic game 1 loss. 

The refs overturned a crucial call that went against the Cavs. Then, with seconds left, George Hill missed a free throw and J.R. Smith got the rebound. Instead of taking a shot, he dribbled the ball back towards halfcourt, apparently thinking the Cavs had the lead, when the game was tied. 

"Then LeBron goes to the bench and asks Coach Ty Lue if the Cavs had any time outs left. They did. Actually, Lue should be thankful to J.R. Smith because it took a lot heat off of him. Lue should have yelled time out while Smith was dribbling."

"Then I think in the second game, while the Cavs kept it close for a little while, that was hanging over them."

Home-court advantage
Pluto says the Warriors have only lost one playoff game at home since they lost game 7 in the 2016 Finals to the Cavs. 

But, the Cavs have been stellar at home too, only losing one playoff game at home this season.

"Do they have it in them to make one more big stand or is this it?"

A banged-up star
Pluto says the playoffs have taken a toll on LeBron James.

"He's gotten so beat up in this series. Against Boston he played with a Band-Aid on his forehead; now his eye is all red. This is game 103 in a row for him this season, the most for him in his career."

Lots of questions
"As for tonight, you have to look at who's going to set the tone for Cleveland? What's Tyronn going to do? How's LeBron going to be feeling? How is J.R. going to handle it? And, what's going to be the mood of the fans? Especially if Golden State gets up early. Kevin Love said he gets very fired up and fueled by the fans. He needs to hear them."