T.I.C. This is Cleveland
Dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you’re willing to pay the price. – Vince Lombardi
Following an ugly loss in Game 2 of their playoff series against Boston, the Cavs have a lot of hard work ahead of them in the days leading up to Friday’s Game 3.
“We did not fight back until late,” coach Mike Brown said after the game in published reports. “We’ve gotta decide if we’re going to take the fight to them and take these games. Nothing is going to be given to us at all. Ain’t a … damn thing going to be given to us at all in this series.”
“I had a lot to say to the guys about our performance,” Brown said Tuesday in published reports. “I thought we need to develop a sense of urgency in this series and throughout our run. I thought why not have last night be a good start to that.”
With the series tied 1-1 and the next two games slated for Boston, the Cavs seem to be in trouble. But history and math tell us otherwise.
- Teams with home-court advantage that win Game 1 are 256-40 overall in the history of the NBA playoffs, an 86.5 winning percentage.
- The Cavs have never lost a seven-game series when they win Game 1.
- Teams that win Game 2 on the road after losing Game 1 have only gone on to win the series 28 percent of the time.
- In 168 best-of-seven quarterfinal series, home-court teams have won 78.6 percent of the time.
- If you are going to alternate wins in a seven-game series, it’s best to be the team winning the odd-numbered games, as the 1997 Indians so painfully taught us.
In the movie Blood Diamond, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, a Rhodesian diamond smuggler, tries to explain the way things work to a naive American reporter by saying, “T.I.A. This if Africa.”
Well, T.I.C. This is Cleveland. And in Cleveland sports, things rarely go as they should.
Now we sit and wait for Game 3, really the most critical game in a seven-game series. The team that loses Game 3 is either down 3-0 or 2-1 in a series and immediately faces a must-win situation in Game 4.
Hopefully the Cavs are ready to pay the price for success.
11 wins to go.