The Cleveland Cavaliers know the adage “live by the sword, die by the sword.” They also know that in the modern NBA the sword is the 3-pointer, and it’s chief swordsman is MVP Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors. The fact that Curry is the 3-point king in a 3-pointer world sometimes obscures the fact that LeBron James is the best basketball player on earth. But back to that adage: James and his teammates have seen the sword — they lost to Golden State in last year’s finals — and this year the Cavs will wield it.
The Cavaliers unleashed a hellish barrage of 25 made 3-pointers on the frustrated Atlanta Hawks in Game 2 on Wednesday, setting an NBA record. Enough of the threes came after the game was out of reach that Atlanta players took offense. But what the Hawks didn’t realize is that the Cavs weren’t shooting those threes just to beat the Hawks. They were shooting them to send a message to the Golden State Warriors that 3-point prowess and run-and-gun blowouts aren’t just a West Coast phenomenon. During last year’s Finals, both Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving — two of Cleveland’s biggest 3-point threats — were out with injuries.