The Golden State Warriors blew out the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2 last night in Oakland and, unless LeBron somehow finds a seventeenth gear—which is not, like, totally out of the realm of possibility—the series is all but over. Realistically, it was all but over as soon as they tipped it in overtime of Game 1, thanks to J.R. Smith's incredible brain fart in the closing seconds of regulation.
We all know it like the backs of our hands now: with LeBron James wide open, a timeout in his pocket, and a tie score, J.R. dribbled out the clock after collecting a rebound off George Hill's missed free throw. Despite his post-game claims that he knew the score was tied, it looked like for all the world he thought the Cavs were up. It's heartbreaking to watch LeBron on the court as it all went down knowing that was their chance to steal a game and to see any shot they had at beating the juggernaut Warriors go up in smoke. Somehow, it gets even worse, though. Last night, Ballislife published video of the final seconds of regulationalong with previously unseen footage of the Cavaliers bench immediately after. It is simply brutal.
The LeBron Agony Face rightfully became a meme, but to know true anguish is to see LeBron and J.R. Smith sit a seat apart on the bench, both looking wistfully into the distance. The emotional journeys behind the dual 1,000-mile stares seem similar but with just slightly different paths; J.R. has the look of a man thinking damn, that sucked, and LeBron appears to be mentally drafting some Tom and Jerry fanfic starring himself and J.R. This goes on for what feels like a lifetime, and then LeBron asks Tyronn Lue whether the Cavs had any timeouts left.
LeBron collects himself, sort of, and then just sits there arms crossed across his chest for a few more minutes before getting off the bench and getting ready to go play an extra period against the best team in the world, for reasons that still make little to no sense.
[Extremely long sigh]
Game 3 is Wednesday in Cleveland.