Cavaliers Veteran Has 'No Doubt' They'd Be Up 3-0 on Warriors with Kyrie Irving

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 7, 2018

Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala (9) defends Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) in the first half of Game 3 of basketball's NBA Finals, Wednesday, June 6, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

One Cleveland Cavaliers player believes the difference in this year's NBA Finals is the absence of Kyrie Irving.

Per The Athletic's Jason Lloyd, an unnamed Cavs veteran said he had "no doubt" they would be up 3-0 against the Golden State Warriors if Irving was still with the team. 

Instead, the Cavaliers find themselves trailing Golden State 3-0 after Wednesday's 110-102 loss.

Lloyd added that a number of Cavaliers players believe the Warriors "are vulnerable" this year.

"Whether it was the absence of Andre Iguodala or the contentment of winning a championship last year, something seems different about this Golden State team," Lloyd wrote.

Cleveland has been competitive in this series. If not for George Hill's missed free throw and JR Smith's mental gaffe at the end of regulation in Game 1, the Cavs could have stolen a win in Golden State. 

In Game 2, the Cavs were within five points with less than three minutes to play in the third quarter. Golden State closed on a 40-26 run over the final 15 minutes for a 122-103 win. 

After trailing by as many as 13 points in Game 3, the Warriors outscored Cleveland 58-44 in the second half to earn their third straight win in the series. 

Irving played an instrumental role in Cleveland's 3-1 comeback against Golden State two years ago, including hitting the go-ahead three-pointer in the final minute of Game 7. He was traded to the Boston Celtics last August but missed their playoff run after undergoing knee surgery in April.

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