Lebron and Company Need to Regroup: After suffering their first loss of the postseason, the Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to regain some of their dominance over the Toronto Raptors. Cleveland appeared to lack the energy and intensity that they'd displayed in the first two games of their Eastern Conference final series. They also had two players, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, who had bad shooting nights in the same game for the first time in the playoffs. Lebron James wasn't able to compensate for them, especially with the Raptors hitting from long range and Bismack Biyombo controlling the paint with 26 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. It's unlikely that Love, Irving and Tristan Thompson will combine for 4 - 29 shooting on consecutive nights and that Biyombo will dominate the glass again, primarily because I expect better shooting and floor spacing by the Cavs tonight. Of course, it's not like the Raptors can't compete with Cleveland. The Raptors finished a lone game behind the Cavs for the best record in the conference and defeated them two out of three games in the regular season, prevailing in both games in Toronto. That means the Cavs are still in search of their first victory of the season on the Raptors' home court, so perhaps Toronto is still more dangerous than was presumed a few days ago. But virtually everything went in their favor Saturday night, and midway through the fourth period Cleveland was still within striking distance. With seven footer Jonas Valanciunas still sidelined with an injury, I predict it will be tough for Toronto to even the series. If they do, we'll get the first opportunity to see how the Cavs play as the pressure builds. But with a win, Cleveland gets to breathe easier heading home, needing just one more victory to get to the NBA Finals. Since I've been on the Cavalier bandwagon since April, I'll stick with them to win tonight and close out the series in Cleveland Wednesday night.
Spieth Staggers at the Nelson: Jordan Spieth started the day in the final group, but a series of errant tee shots eventually resulted in a closing 74 and a tie for 18th. Even though the two-time major winner insists his final round collapse in the Master's is behind him, it looks to me as if he's still dealing with whatever swing issues caused him to struggle down the stretch at Augusta. As noted on CBS' telecast yesterday, Spieth was missing fairways on both sides, not a good sign as he tries to fix whatever is wrong with his swing. With the U.S. Open beginning in a little over three weeks at Oakmont Country Club, known for it's punishing rough and multitude of bunkers, inconsistency off the tee will make it difficult for Spieth to even make it to the weekend, much less contend. The bright spot for me on Sunday was Sergio Garcia's 68 that got him into a playoff with Brooks Koepka, which the Spaniard won on the first hole with a par. It's been almost seventeen years since Garcia burst on the stage by dueling Tiger Woods in the PGA Championship, eventually won by for his second major championship. It would be hard to find anyone that watched that round and thought Garcia would still be searching for his first major title. Sergio's closest accomplishments to a major win have been a Players title and his play on several victorious European Ryder Cup teams. I'll be covering the U.S. Open on site, and it would be great for the game of golf if Sergio Garcia was holding the trophy outside the Oakmont clubhouse late in the afternoon of June 20.