Richard Jefferson explains why the pressure is on the Warriors, not the Cavs

BY Nunzio Ingrassia • June 11, 2017

The Golden State Warriors have some margin of error in the NBA Finals unlike the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are staring at a 3-1 hole. But Cavs veteran forward Richard Jefferson believes that all the pressure is on Golden State as both teams prepare for Game 5.

“You're damn right it is,” Jefferson told reporters Sunday when asked if there was pressure on the Warriors to finish the series Monday night. “It’s not on us. Where’s the pressure on us? They had a 73-win team and they added a former MVP [Kevin Durant]. We added Kyle Korver and Deron Williams. They added an MVP to a 73-win team after being up 3-1 and then KD was up 3-1.

“The pressure is all on them. We’re the defending champs. We believe that we have enough here to win a championship. We haven’t played great thus far, but there’s no pressure on us. There never has. It’s been about them proving that last year was a fluke, KD validating the move here, which it’s been validated. We feel very comfortable.”

The Cavs can play free and loose since virtually no one gives them a chance to be the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-0 deficit. But proving the naysayers wrong isn’t uncharted territory for the defending champs.

Cleveland became the first team in Finals history to erase a 3-1 deficit last year against Golden State, but the Warriors’ addition of Durant makes pulling off this seemingly impossible task all the more daunting.

Jefferson knows the pressure will only grow on Golden State if the Cavs can pull off the upset in Game 5, sending the series back to Cleveland.

“I could just tell you this,” Jefferson said, “a lot of people didn’t believe we’d want to get on a plane and come back here. I can guarantee you they don’t want to get on a plane and go back to Cleveland because they will probably be getting on a plane to come back.”

Jefferson isn’t wrong about that final statement. The Warriors would be coming back to Golden State after a potential Game 6, either celebrating a championship or getting ready for a pressure-packed Game 7. We all know what Jefferson is hoping for.



share story