It all comes down to tonight, for one team this could coronate them as basketball immortality, for the other it’s a chance to fight another day. Golden State went an incredible 73-9 in the regular season and a win tonight could cement them as one of the greatest, arguably the greatest team of all time. The Warriors come into this game short-handed without dynamic power forward Draymond Green who was suspended yesterday for an accumulation of flagrant fouls, after appearing to swipe at LeBron James’ groin after James attempted to dramatically step over him. Despite losing one of their best players over an instigated foul, Golden State does have a huge advantage in this series and I am not referring to their 3-1 series lead (although teams with 3-1 leads are 32-0 in NBA Finals series) but their ball movement has confused Cleveland three of the four games and this was most evident in their Game 4 victory during which the “Splash Brothers” Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson scored 63 points and went 11-22 from three-point territory. In response to this Tyronn Lue may seek to mix and match his lineup more and continue starting Richard Jefferson, although Kevin Love could find himself starting tonight, given that the Cavs are in a must win situation and all hands must be on deck.
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving of Cleveland have both had dominating scoring nights but in order for Cleveland to force their way back to the QuickenLoans Arena they must be prepared to pass the ball and at least try to give their teammates some shots, although with Green out the Cavaliers may choose to rely even more heavily on their two leading scorers. One of the players these two leaders of Cleveland can pass to is JR Smith who has had one outstanding game and three poor ones versus Golden State’s defense. Even without Green the Warriors still project to play tough team defense and to try and make Cleveland pay from the three-point line. Gametime is 9 PM Eastern and if all goes as I think it will, we will be celebrating a second consecutive Golden State Championship, Green or no Green.
Featured Image via Flickr/Ash Carter
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