The NBA Finals aren’t over yet. But there’s not much more suspense.
The Warriors beat the Cavaliers in Game 3 on Wednesday, so Golden State’s lead is 3-0. That advantage has been insurmountable in every series in NBA history. It is going to be insurmountable in this series, too. The Warriors will be champions.
But here’s a matter of simple arithmetic: If the Warriors do not close the series in Game 4, they’ll have a 3-1 lead against the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. The Dubs should think very deeply about how badly they want that outcome. Then they should decide they don’t, and they should sweep the Cavaliers right out of the building.
You are a sports fan reading this sports post on this sports website, so you don’t need a reminder of the “3-1 lead” misery that’s been visited upon Golden State all year. But in the interest of thoroughness, the Warriors in 2016 went 73-9 with the first unanimous MVP in league history (Steph Curry) and then blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. The Warriors have become a meme in this regard, ridiculed coast-to-coast for the last year.
The Warriors are going to win this series. They are the best basketball team in the world. They have Steph Curry and Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. When they eventually close this thing out, it will be great for them.
But, Warriors, think about this: Do you really want to go down the 3-1 road again? Do you really want to read your Twitter mentions in the immediate aftermath of Game 4 if you lose it to take that 3-1 lead again? Old wounds die hard.
You could argue that getting a 3-1 lead would provide a great chance to bury some old demons, and that’s probably true. But the Warriors would presumably like to avoid it anyway and wrap this series up. If they don’t, there will at least be memes.