he Warriors continued their roll right through the first two games of the NBA finals, cruising to easy wins over LeBron James and company in Oakland, before the Cavaliers finally got a win of their own after the series returned to Cleveland on Wednesday night. Honestly, Steph Curry and Golden State made it all look a little too easy in the first two games of the series and I was starting to think my prediction of a Cleveland championship might not come to pass. But then, James and Kyrie Irving both scored 30 points (James had 32 to be fair) and the Cavaliers cakewalked past the Warriors in game three, exhibiting their first signs of life in this year’s finals. It’s an interesting thing that has happened in these three games, because they have all been blowouts in favor of the home team.
Now I understand home court advantage and I know it can be very beneficial in the smaller arenas where basketball games are played. But is it really worth 30 points? To put it another way, is it really worth a 60-point swing? Because Golden State beat Cleveland by 33 points in game two, but then lost by 30 points in game three. So what gives? Honestly, you’ve got me. I felt like these two teams were fairly evenly matched and maybe the fact they have both blown each other out once proves that. Or maybe it only proves that on any given night one good team can really get over on another good team. Whatever the case, it is clear that Cleveland is going to have to figure out a way to win on the road if they are going to make my prediction come true. Home court favors Golden State and right now that home court advantage seems to be all that matters.
I probably pay a little too much attention to the big three of American sports in this column (I am speaking of football, baseball and basketball) but, honestly, that is where my focus is as a fan and writer. However, this week’s news that tennis player Maria Sharapova was being suspended for two full years for failing a drug test most certainly caught my attention. For a good portion of the last decade, Sharapova has been, arguably, the best women’s tennis player on the planet. She certainly has fallen off a bit in the past few years, but she is still out there competing, so for her to be hit with a suspension of this magnitude for using a performance enhancing drug is very big news.
Honestly, imagine the aforementioned James or Curry being caught doping, there would be no bigger story. To some extent the same has been same with the news about Sharapova. I don’t know that she’s the highest profile athlete to get caught up in the PED trap. That is still probably Lance Armstrong, but she may be the most notable female athlete to get busted for PED’s. Ultimately, I feel it illustrates that as long as they are available and as long as fortunes are made playing sports, PED’s will never really go away. If an athlete who has had as successful a career as Sharapova is willing to risk it all to either get better or extend her career, then people with far less talent will certainly take the short cuts available to them. Sharapova’s case is certainly one of the most high profile, but it will not be the last, and I will not be surprised when someone even more notable than she gets caught in the PED mess.