Wednesday, June 17, 2015

NBA Finals - Game Six

The good news is…I can’t remember the last time I cried.
Well, I cried, as I should. Anyone who knows anything about me knows I cried. Whether it was Tuesday or Friday, win or loss, I knew I’d cry. We live and breathe every pre-season, regular and post season game. October 5 through June 16…109 games in 254 days. That is more NBA basketball than anyone should experience in five lifetimes, let alone one season. Don't be fooled, Steve and I do not love regular season NBA basketball. 82 games is too much. Our relationship started because of our mutual love for the game of basketball and we’ve nurtured it with football J But this was so dramatic. All of it. I went to all 10 home playoff games. The fact that I maintained a living, a home, anything, is pretty impressive. 

Before game 6, Sean and I planned to eat dinner at Lakewood Barrio and were honored to have Alex, Louie and Josephine join in the pregame festivities.

  After dinner, we hopped in an Uber and eagerly joined the downtown crowds. We had a beer at the Thirsty Parrot and then headed to The Q to enjoy a beer with the masses. The crowds were impressive.

It's really really for real when Steve Schur shows up!
The Cavs started slow, scoring only 15 points in the first quarter behind Tristen Thompson’s 6 points on 3-3 FG. They fought back to outscore Golden State 28-17 in the second quarter and come within 2 points at the half to made it a game. Golden State pulled away in the third to outscore Cleveland 28-18 and take a 73-61 lead going into the final quarter.
Cleveland gave it one final go, but despite J.R. Smith's 15 4Q points, the Cavs fell short and Golden State won game 6 along with the NBA Title. Curry and Finals MVP Andre Iguodala scored 25 points apiece while Draymond Green finished with a triple-double with 16, 11 and 10 in the 105-97 Warrior win.
LeBron finished with 32 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists and was dominant throughout the series, showing why he's the best player on the planet. In the end, the healthiest team came out on top and the Golden State Warriors took home the victory along with the Larry O'Brian trophy. While Golden State's championship drought ended, Cleveland's half-century of sports misery continues and the Cavs, Browns and Indians have now combined for 144 seasons without any one of them winning it all.
Only in Cleveland.
In between the tears. 

The NBA Finals brought electricity to Cleveland; the city we so deeply love. The Cavaliers provided positivity, camaraderie and hope for everyone here and we couldn’t be more proud of the performance we all put on display.
I wish we were playing in game 7. Trust me. But at this moment, I'm excited to live a regular life. This has been an exhausting two months and I cannot wait to go on vacation in nearly two weeks. I’ll turn the ripe age of 36 and we’ll celebrate nine fantastic years of marriage.
Until next time. Go Cavs.


Monday, June 15, 2015

NBA Finals - Game Five

We had confidence going into Game 5. Despite Cleveland's lackluster performance in Game 4, they had played well in both OT games in Oakland.
 Steve and I had a lot of time to waste until the 8 pm tip, so he thought he'd join me in my pre-game Barrio tradition. We walked the mile from our house and indulged in tacos, margaritas and bloody Maria's! All to try to get the win, of course.

Who is more ready for this game? Lou and Jo Jo or Aunt Shannon & Uncle Steve??

Kevin and Lisa joined us at our house in typical fashion. They ate their traditional meal at Winking Lizard while Steve and I ate our traditional dinner at home. As usual, we were all excited and nervous.

Game five was a physical game with 20 lead changes and 10 ties, but the depleted and tired Cavs could not hang on and the Warriors withstood another brilliant performance from LeBron James to outlast the Cavaliers 104-91 and take a 3-2 lead in the series. James finished with 40 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, his second triple-double of the series, while Tristen Thompson added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavs. Golden State had five players in double-figures led by Curry's 37 points, including seven made 3's.

Game six will the tenth and final home game of the 2015 NBA Playoffs. I have been privileged to attend ALL TEN of those games with Sean, Kevin, Lisa and Kaila. It's been a great ride, but we're not done. Game six is on Tuesday and Sean and I are ALL IN!

Let's Go Cavs!

NBA Finals - Game Four

Going into Game 4, we had the expectation that Golden State was not going to lie down after going down 1-2 in the series. Although it wasn’t a must-win for Golden State, it was close as none of the 32 teams who have fallen behind 3-1 in the finals have won a title. The Cavs were exhausted following the first three games and Steph Curry showed why he’s the league’s MVP during the 4Q of game three with his 17 point performance. Curry is the most talented shooter in the game and we have all seen him make shots that are jaw-dropping and should never ever go in.

Kevin started the day on the set of First Take! It’s one of our favorite shows and they had been filming at the Music Box Supper Club all week. He got out of work early and stood in line for over an hour to get a seat.

 Game Four was all about the Selfie. It’s no wonder both our phones were dead by the end of the game!

 First selfie of the day!

We met up with Lisa, Renee and Danielle before the game and our first stop was The Corner Alley.

 Kevin, Renee and me with the Miller Light girl. Free beer = good

Kevin and I couldn’t leave without a couple of Delly shots.

Kevin with random Golden State fans.

 Lisa knew how important a Barrio taco was for me so she put in for a table and we waited over an hour and a half. Of course we drank elsewhere in the meantime.

 Pregame tradition....Barrio taco and skinny margarita

Soon enough it was time to head to the game.  Once again, the nervous excitement was overwhelming.

Steve's desk is by Kevin Love's right cheek.

We've been waiting a long time for this...

Kevin was chit chatting with these two Warrior fans and mentioned he loved Steph. It ended up being Steph's uncle and friend. It also ended up being free double shots for us! I told them we had expensive taste :) We love free!!

 More selfies…

 Kevin with Chris Broussard. Chris worked for the Akron Beacon Journal when Kevin was with the Cavs and the New York Times when I was with the Cavs. He’s definitely moved up in the sports media world with his current position as ESPN’s premier NBA analyst.

Kevin and I were the only people in the elevator who knew this was Jim Jackson. Kevin did not tell him that he was a Michigan fan, but I did tell him I was the PR girl when he was with the Cavs back in 2001. His eyes kind of lit up….maybe it gave us credibility...maybe.

  Game four was a disappointment and Cleveland was terrible offensively. The Cavs shot just 2 of 18 from the field and were outscored 27-12 in the 4Q. J.R. Smith missed all eight 3-pt attempts and Cleveland's bench combined to score seven points. LeBron scored 20 points with 12 rebounds and eight assists, but didn't score in the fourth quarter. Mozgov led Cleveland with 28 points and Dellavedova had 10. The Cavs never really gave us any hope and the Warriors took home the 103-82 win behind Iguodala and Curry's 22 points apiece.

  Kevin and I were nearly in tears until we saw this guy! P.S. None of those smiles are real, but we were happy to see each other! I was also happy to have off of work on Friday!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

NBA Finals - Game Three

Is this a dream?

For eight years I’ve said Game 6 of the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals was the best sports experience of my life. Since then, we’ve been to four Final Fours, SEC Championship baseball and football games, countless college basketball games and a handful of other sporting events.

Well, Game 6…Meet game 3.

Game 3 of the 2015 NBA Finals was the best sports experience of my life…to date. There wasn’t the madness outside like 2007, but we’re talking about the NBA FINALS and Game 3 is when the Cavs secured their first Finals HOME victory. Sean and I were there in person to experience it in all its guts and glory and it was a really fun game to watch.

With the 9 pm start, Sean and I decided to go home after work and take the rapid downtown. I was in a quandary about my dinner plans as I typically go to the Gateway Barrio for happy hour. My quandary was quickly resolved when I decided to go to the Lakewood Barrio instead of the Gateway location. I went in my regular Cavs attire, ordered the same tacos, the same skinny margarita...all by myself. I have no shame when it comes to superstition!

The Cavs have fought through these first three games like I’ve never seen before. They are putting their everything and more out on the floor. I am totally exhausted watching and attending these games and I can’t even imagine how they hurt and ache day in and day out.  Because of their heart and grit, they have made this a legitimate series when no one (outside of Cleveland) gave them a chance.
They are not done yet.

It may sound laughable, but they can play better. They’ve already gotten this deep into the playoffs; they’ve made it to the NBA Finals and they are making history, so why stop now? J.R. Smith needs to get his shots and Mozgov needs to be more of a force on the offensive end of the floor. I can’t ask for anything more from Delly and he deserves a hero trophy for his 20 point effort in Game 3.

We have absolutely no depth, so injuries need to stay by the wayside and they need to fight through the pain and exhaustion. We simply cannot afford another injury. Shumpert injured his shoulder and played through; Dellavedova was even hospitalized following the game due to severe cramping, and he played through.

Unlike games 1 and 2, the Cavaliers never gave up the lead in game 3, but Golden State kept it interesting. The Cavs entered the 3Q with a 44-37 lead and momentum after holding Golden State to only 17 points in the 2Q. With 2:52 left in the 3Q, Cleveland led by 20 points only to see Golden State respond with a furious fourth-quarter comeback led by Stephen Curry’s 17 points, including five 3’s. The Warriors outscored Cleveland 36-24 in the 4Q and came within one point on a Curry three with 2:45 left in the game. Curry finished with 27 points but had three turnovers in the final minute and the Cavaliers held on to win 96-91 and take a 2-1 lead in the Finals.

LeBron is averaging 41 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists in 47 minutes per game during this series. He has also shot 43-107 from the field, an average of nearly 36 shots PER GAME! Through three games, James has played 142 of 154 possible minutes and scored 123 points. He is playing like he’s never played before. He’s already scored more points through three games than anyone in Finals history and is taking more shots than any player in history. In addition to his points, LeBron is still getting the assists and rebounds and is doing something unprecedented. On this huge stage, he has controlled the game in so many ways, with little help. Let’s keep it up J

Game 4 is less than 24 hours away and Kevin and I will be there in all its guts and glory.
Let’s get it done.

14 down. 2 to go.