I really can’t believe the Cleveland Cavaliers have a chance to shock the world and come back from 3-1 in this series. On an individual, game-by-game basis, this series has no doubt been underwhelming. No game has come within 11 points. There has been no buzzer beaters. We’ve seen no real defining “clutch” moments. But as a whole, this series has been fun. LeBron James looks like a man possessed. There’s been an ejection, a suspension, and plenty of trash talk. We’ve seen multiple wins by the away team. And it’s all come down to this defining moment: Game 7 in Oakland, California.
Game 7s are obviously pretty difficult to predict considering it’s one game for all the marbles and anything can happen. This one, for me, is kind of especially hard to predict. It comes down to shooting, and it’s impossible to predict who will hit shots or not. But I feel confident predicting one thing – we will see two big performances from MVP Stephen Curry and the best player in the world, LeBron James.
Keys for GSW
- Andre Iguodala’s health. If Iggy is hobbling like he was in Game 6, the Warriors are in serious trouble. He was the Finals MVP for a reason last year, and his health is huge in correlation to LeBron’s success on offense.
- Harrison Barnes needs to return to form. The Warriors won last year using the “Death Lineup” – Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodala, and Draymond Green. Barnes has been terrible in Games 5 and 6, and needs to start hitting shots before he finds himself on the bench in the most important game of his career, before the most important offseason of his career.
- Draymond Green needs to contribute. Green has struggled in the last two series – against the defense of Kevin Durant and LeBron James, Green is just simply ineffective. The way the Warriors offense moves and spaces, he will certainly have a couple open looks. He needs to knock them down and open the rest of his game, and the Warriors offense, back up.
Keys for CLE
- Besides LeBron and Kyrie Irving, the Cavs desperately need someone to step up and hit outside shots. Whether it’s JR Smith, Kevin Love, or Richard Jefferson, someone has to step up and have 16-18 points or more.
- Cleveland has to get out to a hot start. The Warriors crowd should play a factor considering the magnitude of the game. If Cleveland comes out hot, that could take them right out of it.
- Tristan Thompson. Not enough is being said about the Cavs “big” man. Thompson has been dominant on the offensive boards, and he’s caused issues all series long for the Warriors. He’ll have to come up big once again tonight.
How can you go against the Warriors at home in Game 7 after this season? The Warriors have been a pleasure to watch all season long, and I expect them to come together tonight, see production from their role players, and finish their historical season.
Photo credit: nytimes.com