NBA Basketball

Cavs' Jefferson: Finals were 'way closer' than people realize

The Cavaliers won a single game in this year’s Finals, but Richard Jefferson thinks Cleveland was on the verge of making it a series with the Golden State Warriors.

The 6-foot-7 forward believes the Finals were much closer than the average fan may realize, and argues that things would’ve gone dramatically differently had Cleveland won Game 3.

“It was way closer,” Jefferson said Thursday on “The Bill Simmons Podcast.” “Like Kyle (Korver), who was one of the great shooters in the history of the game of basketball, like in the history of the game, he has a good look, it doesn’t drop. That’s part of it.”

Jefferson was referring to Korver’s missed three that played a key factor in Golden State’s Game 3 win, as Kevin Durant responded with a dagger on the ensuing possession.

While the series ultimately ended in a gentleman’s sweep, Jefferson suggests Cleveland was just a few shots away from forcing a Game 7.

“People don’t understand. ‘Oh, 4-1 they killed you!’ It’s literally one shot here, one shot there, then you go 2-2,” Jefferson explained. “If it’s 2-2, you go there, it’s Game 5. I still stand there. There is zero chance – very similar to the year before, we do not lose on our home court in a Game 6 situation, right?

“… Now you go Game 7. Anything can happen. That’s how close it is. It’s literally a difference between three shots playing in a Game 7 and losing 4-1.”

After mulling retirement earlier this summer, Jefferson announced his decision to return to the Cavaliers for his 17th NBA season.

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NBA | theScore

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