Kevin Durant had good feeling NBA Finals were over after J.R. Smith blunder
The Golden State Warriors had a definite mental leg up on the Cleveland Cavaliers after an untimely George Hill missed free throw in Game 1 and a colossal J.R. Smith blunder costed them the lead in regulation, ultimately falling apart in overtime.
During a late night interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Finals MVP Kevin Durant admitted he had a “good feeling” the series was over after the Cavs screwed up their chances of coming out of Oracle Arena up a game with their poor play down the stretch.
Kevin Durant unashamedly admitted he was rather “happy” than sympathetic toward Smith’s late-game gaffe, having given the Warriors a superior mental edge early in the series, one which they rode all the way to a second consecutive championship.
The Warriors had been in a similar place in 2016, when a Draymond Green ejection and suspension caused the team to unravel and blow a 3-1 series lead, falling short of an NBA championship after a record-breaking 73-9 season.
While the two were completely different circumstances and Tristan Thompson didn’t get a suspension after shoving the ball in Green’s face in the winding seconds of overtime, the morale of a team can play a massive effect when the pressure is on — something that proved utmost pivotal in this series.