3-1. We’ve been here before. Last year is proof the Cavs can pull off the extraordinary but can they go one step further this year?
Can the Cavs replicate Game 4?
Hard to see them do it again at that level but it’s not beyond them to force a Game 5 playing the same game style. It has been a series of who’s offense is more effective. Who’s offense can hit more shots, more specifically who can make good on their opportunities from downtown. In Game 3 Cleveland got plenty of good, open looks from three but were unable to capitalise. Game 4 was a different story when they knocked down a Finals record 24 3pt baskets. So basically that’s what it will come down to. We know LeBron will get the shooters open looks it’s going to come down to whether they can knock them down often enough to match the Warriors firepower. Are they going to hit 24 three’s again? Probably not but they can hit enough and be efficient enough on offense to at least score enough to win.
It will also rely heavily on the role players and their influence on the game. We know LeBron and Kyrie can show up on the road, proven in last year’s Finals but Games 1 & 2 showed that some of the role players e.g. Tristan Thompson & J.R. Smith may feel more comfortable on their home floor.
What do Golden State need to do to close this out?
The Warriors weren’t quite the Warriors in Game 4. KD turned up but his running mates may have been too worried about spraying champagne in the change rooms then they were by actually getting the win. Cleveland were sensational and the Warriors just couldn’t match them at the Warriors own game, moving the ball and hitting three’s. Golden State need to recapture their Game 1 & 2 form, pushing the pace and making sure they hit their shots. It’s only one game and this team may be one of the greatest of all time so it’s not time to panic.. yet.
In Game 3 they weren’t great but still managed to make more plays down the stretch to take home the W. Their ability to stay in games even when they aren’t firing is what makes them so dangerous. They have match winners across the floor and long range snipers all the way down the bench.
Fearless Prediction: Cavs 124- Warriors 119
Oracle is a different beast but these Cavaliers love playing with their backs against the wall. It’s going to be a matter of who hits more of their shots from three and it seems as though the Cavaliers have found their rhythm. Expect more of the same in terms of pace and a contest that will see the Cavaliers make more plays down the stretch, hopefully for the sake of the series. The Warriors need a fast start to put out the Cavaliers flickering flame in this series- look for the Splash brothers to set the tone early from outside.