You could see Game 2's result coming about 30 minutes prior to tip-off.
Before the Cavaliers destroyed the Celtics, 130-86, in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday, the NBA announced their list of finalists for this year's MVP.
Inexplicably, LeBron James was not on it. Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Kawhi Leonard are your final three.
So what happened?
For the eighth straight playoff game, James scored at least 30 points. He tallied 30 on the nose with seven rebounds as the Cavs achieved some new franchise and NBA records with the blowout win:
- The Cavs 41-point halftime lead was the largest ever in NBA playoff history
- The 130-86 victory was the most lopsided in the history of the Eastern Conference Finals
- The 130 points were the most ever by the Wine and Gold in the playoffs
- The loss by Boston was the worst for a #1 seed in NBA playoff history
- It was also the Celtics worst loss at home in their storied franchise history in the postseason
In addition to James' MVP snub, no Cavalier player or coach made the top three for any of the league's other awards. Also, Kyrie Irving was snubbed in the All-NBA team lists.
Somehow you just had the feeling that LeBron and his teammates were going to send a message, even though James was diplomatic about the MVP award slight after Friday's win. "What are you going to do about it at the end of the day? My only job is to try to be the MVP for this team every night, put my teammates, put our franchise in position to be successful and ultimately compete for a championship," he said. "For me, I know what I bring to the table. This league knows what I bring to the table. That's for you guys to write about. It's not for me to be concerned about."
The Cavs have won 10 straight games in this playoff run and 13 in a row if you count last year's NBA Finals. LeBron has been nothing short of brilliant and many feel he's playing as well now as he ever has, especially on offense. "I'm a guy who lives in the moment. Our team is in a great groove, and I'm happy to be a part of that groove.," he explained. "At the end of the day, we want to try to put ourselves in position to win every game. That's the goal. Can you do that? Sometimes you come out with an L, but it's how you learn from those experiences that's going to help you out the next time. We are in a good groove as a team, and we want to try to continue that going home."
The Cavs will be back home at the Q on Sunday for Game 3 of these Eastern Conference Finals holding a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. They are playing their best basketball of the season and have Boston on the ropes. James, however, wants to keep thinking about getting better as the series moves forward. "We're going to watch film tomorrow and see ways we can be better. We do have some great perimeter defenders that take the challenge, but we also have great third-line defense as well with our front line, which communicates pick-and-roll coverages or pin-down coverages or whatever coverages and allow the guards to get up into the ball or do what they need to do to be successful versus their guards."
One thing to watch between now and Sunday is the status of Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, who sat out the entire second half due to a strained hip.
LBJ Highlight of the Night:
Yes, he scored 30 points, but nothing sends a message to the opposition quite like a chasedown block. Check out this beauty from the first half as Avery Bradley was the unwitting partner in this magnificent effort:
Very Cool TNT Inside the NBA Tweet:
Nothing says domination quite like a 'Tom and Jerry' themed gif featuring LeBron: