Skip to main content

LeBron James Says The 2016 Cavaliers (Down 3-1) Would Have Lost To The Warriors If They Played In Bubble

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Four years ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers made history when they came back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. The Cavs became the first team to return from that deficit in the Finals, against the greatest regular-season team in NBA history.

LeBron led that comeback alongside Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, but he knows there was something important behind that situation: they had to play more games at home, which changed everything for Cleveland. James recently reflected on that, especially on the bubble and the fact that every team (except the Magic, perhaps) was in a neutral ground so nobody actually has an advantage over the rest.

During a recent appearance on Road Trippin' on UNINTERRUPTED, James talked about his time in the bubble but also compared that scenario to the one he lived in 2016, explaining that going back to Cleveland to play the Warriors made a big difference for them.

"In 2016, down 3-1, if we had not come back to Cleveland, Golden State may have beat us by a 100," James said, before correcting himself and saying he meant 3-2.

Game 6 of those Finals were at the Quicken Loans Arena and James had a terrific game that night, dropping 41 points on the Warriors, tying the series 3-3. After that, the Cavs won Game 7 in Oakland, with Bron recording a triple-double to help his team.

As Bron stated, home-court advantage is important. Being able to play in front of your fans is important and that played a big role in Cleveland's success that year. Of course, it can happen the opposite but we already know that things were different in the bubble. The Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers blew a 3-1 lead against the Denver Nuggets in consecutive series, showing that play with no fans in attendance changes things for these squads.

If those Warriors faced the Cavs in the bubble, the result would have been very favorable for the Dubs. This year, though, LeBron and his Lakers could do the job, fortunately, and now they're the reigning NBA champions.