The Cavaliers should have never been trailing double digits with seconds left in overtime of Game 1 against the Warriors on Thursday. They should have never been in overtime to begin with, but we’ll circle back to that later.
Nevertheless, Cleveland trailed 122-114 with 2.6 seconds to go. The Warriors probably should have just run the clock out, but time was about to expire, so Shaun Livingston pulled up and missed a mid-range jump shot. Tristan Thompson took exception to it.
He was assessed a flagrant foul two and ejected from the game — with 2.6 seconds left to go.
Tristan Thompson ejected and then slaps Draymond Green. pic.twitter.com/l2olqg2Wfe— RealGM (@RealGM) June 1, 2018
Officiating chief Steve Javie said he could see Thompson’s elbow motioning towards Livingston’s head. The hit never connected, but the gesture was apparently enough for him to get tossed.
Then all hell broke loose
Thompson was on his way off the court, confused as to why he was tossed from the game. Then Draymond Green came up to him, clapping and yelling in his face. Of course that didn’t end well.
Tristan Thompson shoves Draymond Green after getting ejected...tells him to meet him after the game pic.twitter.com/zUIRnaZuGr— gifdsports (@gifdsports) June 1, 2018
Thompson shoved the ball in Green’s face and had to be separated from the group of Warriors surrounding him. It was an ugly exit that didn’t need to happen in the first place.
This is some of J.R. Smith’s fault and a little bit of George Hill’s fault, too
The Cavaliers really had no business forcing the defending champs into overtime at home in Game 1. This was their shot. They had the Warriors on the ropes late in the fourth quarter. George Hill was at the foul line with the Cavs down 107-106. He made the first. And then this happened.
Hill — an 80 percent free throw shooter — missed the second free throw. Smith grabbed the offensive rebound and dribbled the ball out to the three-point line as if to run the clock out. He should have passed the ball to someone, anyone. But he thought the Cavs were up. LeBron James’s face says it all.
Now the Cavs have to scramble
LeBron scored 51 whole points in Game 1, and the Cavaliers still lost. They had their chance and they blew it. The Warriors flexed their biggest muscle in overtime and looked like the team everyone expected them to be.
How do the Cavs rebound from this?