For the second year straight, the NBA Finals between the Warriors and Cavs is at 3-1 in the Warriors favor. I want to go back and offer some thoughts from Games 3 and 4 in Cleveland before looking forward to Game 5 tonight.
- Even thought three of four games have been blowout final scores, this series has been good in my opinion. It definitely got better in Game 3 and 4, especially since Game 3 was outstanding until the end. But even more so, it’s getting very chippy.
- Game 3 was critical for the Warriors. This is a completely different series if the Cavs close that game out. Kevin Durant went to GS to win a title, and he took it into his own hands to complete that comeback with that huge three in LeBron’s eye.
- I’m tired of hearing about Kyle Korver missing a three at the end of the game. Yes he was brought to Cleveland to make that shot. But LeBron James and Kyrie both went 0-3 each in the final 5 minutes of that game! They are the superstars, and LeBron is supposed to be one of the greatest EVER to play; he went scoreless in the last 4:38 of the game. Him or Kyrie need to close that game out at home, not their 6th or 7th best player, Period.
- After the Warriors ended Game 3 on an 11-0 run to make the series 3-0, it seemed like this series was completely over. But the Cavs absolutely dominated Game 4, and the Warriors looked scared and hesitant like they were in the final three games last year. Especially Steph Curry, who went 4-13. It’ll be on him and Durant tonight to show up at home before this series gets really interesting.
- Draymond Green has got to keep his cool. How many times is he going to play with fire with the refs? He is on them for every single call. It’s like he’s begging to get thrown out. For a guy who has been pretty terrible on offense, he needs to shut his mouth and keep playing defense. The Cavs are pushing him to his limits. He needs to keep his cool.
- I’m tired of hearing about how LeBron has no help. I see his “elimination game” numbers over every media outlet. But how about Kyrie Irving? Kyrie has played in 4 elimination games in his career (last year’s 3-0 run, Friday night). He’s averaging 32.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 4 3-pointers in those 4 games. LeBron has to do a ton. But he has a great deal of help, too. The Cavs lost only one postseason game before the Finals. No excuses.
- Klay Thompson has been dreadful for most of the postseason, and especially in most of the first couple games. But he showed up in that Game 3 in Cleveland, and without him the Warriors don’t win that game. It looked like the Warriors would be fine without him, but I think it’s more clear now that he is so important on both sides of the ball for their success.
- The refs were dreadful in Game 4. I’m not saying the game was rigged or one team was favored, but just in general. They had absolutely no control of the game. How many stoppages were there? The Cavs shot 22 first quarter free throws. Draymond gets two technicals, then it was only one? What? It was disgusting. The league needs to put their best officiating crew on these Finals games. Inexcusable to have that disastrous performance.
Thoughts on tonight’s game:
- The Warriors absolutely have to finish this series out tonight at home. The only way they can lose is if they fail to show up. Richard Jefferson was right. All the pressure is on them. They blew them out the first two games at home, and need to make a statement tonight that Friday was a fluke.
- For the Cavs to win, LeBron needs to be as aggressive as possible. The best case is getting Durant and/or Green in foul trouble. I think he, Kyrie and Love will all show up, but they need some production from JR Smith, Korver and Tristan Thompson too.
- The Cavs brought some serious spunk to Game 4. They got physical and were confident, like they were last year during the 3-1 comeback. I don’t know why it takes them so long, now in consecutive years, to wake the hell up, but it seems like they finally have arrived. Like I said, the Warriors NEED to finish this series tonight before the Cavs garner some serious momentum going back to Cleveland. I think Warriors will close it out tonight convincingly.