The NBA’s day-to-day doomsday scenarios continue with the 2016 NBA Finals. The Cavs have lost both games at Oracle to start the series, which in the contemporary Media Industrial Complex means they’ve lost the series. This mentality has happened a couple times in the Twitter Age, and each instance saw an overwhelming consensus giving the home team the series, despite the fact they had only defended homecourt, which they’re supposed to do as the higher seed. There are examples of this happening before, and one in particular the Cavs will want to think about before Wednesday night’s Game 3 in Cleveland.
The first Digital Age example comes in the 2012 Western Conference Finals between the Spurs and the Thunder. That season the Spurs Borg-like efficiency saw them win their last 10 regular-season games and their first 10 games of the playoffs, including their first two over the Thunder in San Antonio to start the Conference finals. Except, the athletic and ascending Thunder would take the next four straight on their way to their only Finals appearance, and the media got whiplash from switching directions while writing the narrative of that series.
Then there was first-round clash between the Grizzlies and Clippers in 2013. The Clippers won their first two games at home, as they should, and everyone had them pegged to take on the Thunder in the next round. It didn’t happen. L.A. lost both games back in Memphis and Game 5 back in Los Angeles. Memphis held homecourt in Game 6 their way to a 4-2 series win. On the bright side, the Clippers’ playoff meltdown meant Vinny Del Negro’s contract was not renewed.