How a profanity-laced rant fueled the Cleveland Cavaliers' Game 3 win

BY Aaron Torres • June 9, 2016

You don't need to be a direct descendent of John Wooden to know that the Cavaliers were a completely different team Wednesday night than they were in Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals. But while everyone wants to credit Kryie Irving, J.R. Smith and a complete lack of Kevin Love for the Cavs' success, there was someone else who deserves equal credit for Cleveland's Game 3 turnaround: Phil Handy.

Phil Who?

Well if you've never heard of Phil Handy you're not alone, but here's what you need to know: He's a normally mild-mannered assistant coach, who went all Incredible Hulk on the players Sunday night.

Following Cleveland's Game 2 loss, head coach Ty Lue addressed the team and was ready to let them go ... until Handy jumped in. Here are the fantastic details from

The scene sounds like something straight out of a bad sports movie, but it did in fact leave a mark. Yes it was obvious on the court, but even still, several Cavaliers players told that it definitely fueled them heading into that Game 3 blowout we saw Wednesday night.

Richard Jefferson took things one step further.

Clearly the message worked for at least one game.

Let's see if can carry over into Game 4 Friday night.

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