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How the Cleveland Cavaliers Took a ‘Space Jam’ Comparison Too Far

A perfectly executed troll job by the defending champs might come back to haunt them

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 5: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers handles the ball against the Boston Celtics during the game on April 5, 2017 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers handles the ball against the Boston Celtics during the game on April 5, 2017

Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty

When the Cleveland Cavaliers cruised to a victory against the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Isaiah Thomas wanted to make it clear to the world that they weren’t afraid of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. It’s why the Celtics point guard compared the Cavaliers to the Monstars – you know, the group of aliens from Space Jam who stole the talents of several NBA stars to take down Michael Jordan and the Tune Squad – by saying they’re nothing alike.

“We’re not scared of Cleveland,” Thomas said. “They’re not the Monstars. They’re not on Space Jam. Like, they lace up their shoes just like us. They just happened to play better than us in Game 1, and we’ve just got to protect home court in Game 2 and get the win.”

Unfortunately for the Celtics, Game 2 didn’t work out as planned when the Cavaliers handed them one of the most lopsided losses in NBA postseason history. To rub salt in the wound, the Cavaliers (72-31) surpassed the Monstars’ halftime lead (66-18) against the Tune Squad and then played the Monstars’ theme song during warm-ups in Game 3 when they hosted the Celtics for a game they were almost guaranteed to win. It was, by all accounts, a perfectly executed troll job by the defending champions.

Until, of course, the Celtics gave the Cavaliers a taste of their own medicine by turning a 21 point deficit into a buzzer-beating win courtesy of Avery Bradley, which raises all sorts of questions over whether or not the Cavaliers cursed themselves by taking the Monstars comparison a little too far. As anyone who has seen Space Jam will know, the Monstars looked totally unstoppable to begin with – like the Cavaliers did in Games 1 and 2 – before the Tune Squad figured out how to beat them and stopped the NBA from being at the mercy of some aliens for the rest of eternity – sort of like what the Celtics did in Game 3.

Does that mean the Cavaliers are doomed from this point forward? Probably not, but only time will tell. Don’t forget that we all thought James Harden was no longer cursed when he had an MVP-worthy regular season with the Houston Rockets. Following his performance in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs, Lil B is only now prepared to lift the curse as long as Harden is willing to talk to him. For the Cavaliers’ sake, they may want to learn from Harden’s mistake and forget the Monstars comparison ever happened before it’s too late.

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