Will the Warriors knock out the Cavaliers in Game 5 tonight?
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 13, 2017,
Jun 13, 2017, 4:13
Irving was sensational in Game 5 past year, pouring in 41 points.
Draymond Green was suspended for Game 5, Steph Curry wasn't healthy throughout the playoffs, and the team was mentally and physically worn out after chasing the regular-season record. "We're planning on playing a lot better tomorrow, and we'll see what happens".
LeBron James is going to be LeBron James.
If the Warriors lose the tipoff ...
The win on Friday, though, may have done more than stress out LeBron. It was for the first time that the Warriors had lost in the NBA Playoffs this season. Don't and this series gets scary. The Warriors will have a three-game lead over the defending champions, and the series is now heading back to their home court at Oracle Arena.
In Game 3 - a night that Clevelanders, thanks to the aforementioned cold-blooded Durant trey, will file right next to The Shot, The Fumble, and The Decision - the Warriors allowed a paltry 19 points in the fourth quarter after getting smoked for 32, 29, and 33 in the first three.
Golden State enters Game 5 as an 8.5-point favorite against Cleveland in what could be the series' deciding game. Previous year he was banged up throughout the playoffs after suffering ankle and medial collateral ligament sprains during Golden State's first-round series against the Houston Rockets, missing six full games and parts of two others. But upon returning to Cleveland, he's erupted: 38 points on 16-of-29 in Game 3 and 40 points on 15-of-27 in Game 4. He has a unique game. He's going to make shots.
Kevin Love, in particular has been quietly impactful - He's leading the Cavs in steals and is tied with Lebron James in blocked shots (WHAT!?!?) and is one rebound short of tying Lebron in rebounds. James has been putting up 31.8 points a game in addition to 10.5 assists and 11.8 rebounds. It's like, no. He can just make those shots. "I don't know. That was pretty bad".
How? It starts from 3. Thompson wants to make Irving work for every basket, knowing easy shots put scorers in a rhythm, and that's when the hard shots go in, too.
Kyrie Irving dropping 40 points? "So I think game four, talking trash, being physical, whatever you got to do to try to get that edge to win, you got to do it". Then all of a sudden you get smacked in the face and it's like: Whoa. But there's always a counterbalancing thing.
OddsShark's computer is predicting a win for Steve Kerr's team. Got to be physical.
If he's not on the floor, then the Warriors will have to turn to guys like David West or extended Zaza Pachulia minutes.
Irving played just one game before injuring his knee in the first Finals meeting between these teams in 2015. They can't get ahead of themselves or the Warriors will do what they've done all season long when their opponents let their guard down. These are fine for the Warriors. "He's attacking early. Not messing around with it too much".
"They're going to come out with an unbelievable focus", Jefferson said of the Warriors. "He's got to the basket a little too much to our liking". When Irving isolates his defender, James can conserve energy.
Green is one of the smartest defenders in the entire league. Actually, for the sake of journalistic integrity I'm going to have to clarify that the Warriors fans I've talked to won't say they are freaking out, but I can tell that, deep down, they are.
In a game like Monday night, it would not be a surprise. He has done a decent job in small doses this series.
He'll be facing double teams for that precise reason. He hopes not necessarily to stop Irving, but to wear him down, so his production plummets in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors know better than any team that the Cavaliers don't fold, that they must be folded.