cleveland defies the odds, ends title drought

the cleveland cavaliers were crowned champions of the nba last month. matt moore at provided this perspective

it caps an absolutely incredible run in which the cavaliers defied odds and history.

cap means complete.  odds are probabilites and defy indicates that the result was improbable.

cleveland cavaliers 2016 nba champs

cleveland defied the odds because they trailed (were losing to) the golden state warriors three games to one in the best of 7 series before winning three games in a row (consecutively) to take  the championship.  this is the first time in the history of the nba finals that a team has come back from a 3-1 deficit.

jim brown in the 1964 nfl championship game
the 1964 browns were the last cleveland sports team to win a championship.

the cavaliers defied history in more ways than one. as reports, they also

claimed their first league crown in their 46-season history, ending a major sport title drought that had haunted cleveland since 1964.

claim in this context means take, NOT say. a drought is an extended period with no rain, but in this case it refers to a 52-year period in cleveland in which no professional sports teams won championships. haunt is what a ghost does, but in reference to cleveland means disturb or bother.

the original idea of drought (

rachael larimore at admitted that there were uneasy moments during the cavs mostly briliant postseason. she related the angst (worry) of being a cavs fan during the team’s title run

even as the cavs swept detroit and atlanta and got by the raptors with relative ease, i couldn’t shake that lingering sense of dread……..and so it was that the cavs went down 2–0 with two underwhelming performances in oakland. the desperation was palpable.

sweep means winning a playoff series 4 games to zero.  neither detroit nor atlanta won a game against the cavs.  the irregular past tense of sweep is swept.  linger means persist or continue. dread is a strong feeling of anxiety or fear.  palpable means realunderwhelming means unimpressive.

sweeping. and showing off his ass.

in contrast to cleveland’s underwhelming showings in games 1 and 2 of the finals, after their exciting victory in game 7, ran this headline

2016 NBA Finals: Some amazing numbers and overwhelming images of ‘King’ LeBron James

overwhelming means immense, overpowering or too much to handle. in addition to amazing, the article describes the numbers surrounding the cavaliers championship season as mind-numbingso incredible that it makes the mind go numb (lose feeling). the most mind-numbing number is that cleveland’s lebron james led all players in the five major basketball statistics in the final: points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.

and possibly the most amazing highlight of the finals was lebron’s overwhelming block near the end of game 7.

during the celebration that the city of cleveland held in honor of the cavaliers’ winning the championship, james gave a speech that was widely reported.

lebron speech
king james gave a speech to the city of cleveland that emphasized the importance of his teammates.

he said this about teammate kevin love 

u guys saw his struggles throughout the finals…and everybody just burying him alive throughout the finals. and to be able to respond like he did in game 7, that’s what real men do, they respond at the most adverse times

struggle refers to love’s poor play during much of the series.  throughout means from start to finish. bury alive means love was heavily criticized for his struggles.

lebron love delly
lebron, overwhelmed by emotion, hugs kevin love as matthew delladova celebrates with them after winning game 7.

lebron remembered seeing center timofey mozgov for the first time after he joined the team in 2015.  james’ reaction was

he’s a big motherfucker, ain’t he?

ain’t he? is a tag question. ain’t replaces isn’t and can replace all negative forms of be. (mozgov has since signed with the los angeles lakers).

timofey mozgov
timofey mozgov is a big mother fucker, ain’t he? (getty images)

and lebron also shared that olympian kyrie irving 

thought i was blowing smoke up his ass when i said earlier this season that he could be the best point guard in our league, and also be an mvp in our league.

blow smoke up his ass means kyrie didn’t believe the positive reinforcement lebron was giving him.  he thought it was false or exaggerated.

kyrie irving hits the gamewinner
kyrie irving hit the gamewinning three-pointer in game 7.

are u impressed with how cleveland defied the odds? or with lebron james mind-numbing performance in the nba finals?  share your comments under leave a reply.




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