NBA Finals Game 5 Preview
What a series!
Another game, another record broken. Whilst plenty could be said of the officiating, you can’t take away the performance of the Cavs. They came out firing in Game 4 setting a Finals record for most points in a quarter-and-a-half - 49 and 86 respectively. Their shot selection, patience and efficiency from beyond the arc (53%) blew the Warriors apart early from which their opponents never recovered.
Once again, Lebron James shone for the Cavs with his second triple double of the series scoring 31 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out 11 assists, passing Magic Johnson for most playoff triple doubles (nine) in the process. For the second straight game, Kyrie Irving dominated the back court with 40 points (55% shooting) as his counterparts Steph Curry (14 points, 30% shooting) and Klay Thompson (13 points 36% shooting) were kept extremely quiet with intense pressure and quality team defence.
Kevin Durant was a lone ranger for GSW and continued his outstanding form with 35 points.
As we head back to Oracle Area in Oakland for Game 5, let’s not lose perspective of the series after one game. The Warriors take a 3-1 series lead home to their court. Game 4 was the first Warriors loss in 2 months, ending their 16-game winning streak. The Cavs were good but they need to replicate that for the next three games. They will be attempting to become the first team in history to defy a 3-0 series deficit. Plenty of records have been broken this series but this has never been done.
The Cavs will need to continue to nail the winning formula
- Shoot well. When they win, they shoot above 50%
- Defence. Force tough shots and not allow the Splash brothers to get into a rhythm
- Force early fouls. Cavs got the Warriors into foul trouble early which can limit their aggressiveness on defence or allow for cheap points at the foul line
- Be aggressive. They have nothing to lose so leave it all out on the floor
You could easily say that Game 4 was a mere blip in their quest for greatness. If the Warriors can close this out, it’ll be the first time in franchise history that they will close out the Championship at home. A fitting end to an incredible three years for the Warriors.
Whilst I would love to see this series go the distance, my prediction is for the Warriors, at home, to bounce back strongly with the ‘splash brothers’ controlling proceedings on their way to a second Championship in three years. Warriors by nine points.
By TAB Media Presenter Jaimee Rogers