A season full of twists and turns threatened to end Kevin Love prematurely.
Sitting in a room in the back halls of TD Garden for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, Still Delivering to the League's concussion protocol following the head attack on Jayson Tatum in Game 6 a thought he could not shake.
"That's not the end of the story," Love said to ESPN Mantra, who brought him through the game and watched the action unfold on television with members of the Cavs video team.
At the end of March, LeBron James had begun to describe the story of the Cavs campaign 2017-18 – and all that went into it ̵
When the Cavs defeated the Celtics on Sunday with no love to make sure the story went on, James corrected his math.
The path to Cavs-Warriors Part IV was different from what we can imagine ined. Who joins the stars of LeBron and Golden State as the best of the best in three rounds?
From the moment the NBA finals ended in 2017, a fourth Cavs Warriors series was inevitable. But that was not always the case as the season went out.
"Well, it's six now," James said afterwards. "It was five, now it's six, it's now six seasons in one, and I think that's the last chapter for our team this season."
The adversities ahead of the Cavs are far more routine than the challenges They've managed to get to this point, but just as daunting: To win the championship, they need an incredibly talented basketball team in the Golden State Defeat Warriors.
The Warriors are the biggest favorites in the NBA Finals At least the last 16 years, according to David Purdum of ESPN. But the moment of calm before the storm, which Cleveland had achieved by reaching a fourth final in a row – all against Golden State – made the Cavs wonder if they were just unpredictable enough to break the fuss.
"You just never know what you'll get from us," Love said to ESPN. "There are certain nights when the energy is not there and there are certain nights when the third quarter, the second half, we seem to not move the ball and we are not ourselves. And there are certain nights where we go will come." off and hit 15-20 3s and on some nights we shoot 4-for-27 or whatever it was or 1-for-14 [Game 7] There are a lot of things that are correctable, a lot of stuff having it Our way did not go, but we just stayed.
When Love Spoke Wore he's a pair of Nike Air Zoom Generations, the original shoe in James '15-year-old Nike line.James' entire life was to overcome the odds, an idea that continues today as it still does Dominant 33-year-old does not notice the idea of how long a player's Prime should last.
"I talked to Lynn Merritt," Love said, referring to the Nike manager, the James & # 39; brand He said, "What's the hat I always wear?" He says, "Always believe." "You can never count this team, not even in all the chaos that we went through – ups and downs, ups and downs Downs – that's the way it is. Listen, it's a cliché, but one game at a time and everything can happen.
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"Obviously, this is the first active superstar I've ever played with," Nance told ESPN. "For example, Kobe [Bryant] was on his [retirement] tour and there's no better one to start with, right?" I had a thought during the finals last year, such as: "Man, KD [Kevin Durant] may creep in as the best player in the world. "Now that I'm here I mean, [LeBron is] far and above, it's far and higher, it's ridiculous."
The Durant Conversation will be re-opened on Thursday (21:00 ET, ABC) with Game 1. The Warriors, with their plus-point difference in the third quarter during the 2018 postseason, could win their third title in four years without ever having to play a full 48-minute game against the Cavs. Four well-timed runs on offense – a Warriors specialty – could be anything she wrote.
But there is a consistency to James's output that makes Cleveland believe it has a chance for a puncher.
"The things he's doing is incredible, but it's not always just every now and then," said Nance. On the street, at home, it does not matter. He is the greatest.
As superhuman as James was in this postseason, there were even memories of him in the locker room in Boston, of the two huge ice bags that covered his right leg, still sore when Nance was in the series in fell in love with him, admitting that Tatum reached his stratosphere with a dunk on him in the fourth quarter – "He was blaring me," James said, "he was blaring my ass." – The signs were there that it was asking too much, that he's writing four more wins against Golden State.
But as he got ready to take his post-game shower, he showed the type of ingenuity it will be enough to defeat a team like the Warriors, Kendrick Perkins, wearing only a towel, approached James's locker for a bottle of body wash with some gel left.
"That's OK, I have my own," James said proudly as he brought some mini shampoos and body wash bottles from the chic Cavs Hotel in Boston
It was a smart move by a savvy veteran who has to dig deep into his pocket to defeat this Warriors team four times in seven games.
This Cavs season that could have ended much earlier than before (19659002) "I said that was one of the toughest seasons I've ever had," James said. "But as I told you, you're around us every day, just before the break, just before the Trade Deadline, I sort of reset myself, did not know if we were doing business or not." what we wanted to do with our team.
"But I just took back my mindset and said: 'Okay, that's the season and we're trying to make the best of it.' That's what got me to this point and our team on this Point. "
" Last year I had a thought during the finals: 'Man, KD [Kevin Durant] could rise as the best player in the world.' Now that I'm here? I mean, [LeBron James is] far and higher. He is far and higher. It is ridiculous."
Larry Nance Jr.
Everyone says the Cavs should lose in these finals. On the other hand, many people thought that the Cavs should not reach the final either.
James, before he went into the shower, let know that he is ready to give up after so far.
"Have you ever seen Nemo?" James asked before quoting the fish named Dory from the Oscar-winning Pixar movie. "Just swim, just keep swimming."