NBA Finals Game 4
In Game 4 of the NBA Finals, we’ve seen an end-to-end demolition of the Warriors by Cleveland. Nearly putting on a perfect performance is what it took to take down the team LeBron deemed “juggernauts”. The Cleveland Cavaliers broke many NBA Finals records in route to making the series 3-1… again. Records like 24 three’s made and 86 points in the first half were required to pull off a win against this once undefeated Golden State team. But this year’s 3-1 feels much different than the one in 2016. GS are much stronger this year by adding a former MVP in his prime by the name of Kevin Durant. Nevertheless, Steph Curry struggled in this game only scoring 14 points on 4-for-13 shooting. Klay Thompson also added only 13 points while Durant had 35 points even though he shot 9-for-22. Relive some of the Game 4 highlights here:
Questions for Game 5
Meanwhile, the Cavs played such a stellar game you have to wonder if they can do it again. Of course, Kyrie Irving can score 40 points again and LeBron James can get a triple-double in every game. But the real questions are will Tristan Thompson continue to play well like he did in Game 4? Can JR Smith stay in his groove after hitting 5 three’s or can Kevin Love hit another 6 three’s? I cannot answer that but I will say the Cavs stunk of desperation which added to the improved performances. Pundits expect Cleveland to play this hard every game now that they can’t afford to lose or the series is over. No team in NBA Finals history has come back from down 3-0 so the Cavs have an uphill task.
Recap of Game 3 Mistakes
If these NBA Finals end before Game 7, this game will be looked at as the series-turning game. What could have been a 2-1 series turned into a 3-0 lead for Golden State. The Warriors and Cavs battled delivering blows back and forth all throughout the 4th quarter in that game. But down the stretch, Cleveland was up 107-113 with three minutes left and fell completely apart. Every single player on the floor for the Cavaliers made mental errors down the stretch that equated to this lost. Kevin Love and JR Smith missed a couple of good looks that they normally deliver on. LeBron James missed two clean looks and had a turnover caused by Andre Iguodala’s good defense.
Idc what nobody say so save your @'s but this a foul if it's KD or Steph.. or if it didn't happen late in the fourth https://t.co/KyVzD2A5kS
— C’est la vie (@DaSportsSavant) June 8, 2017
Not to mention Kyrie Irving’s inability to drive to the rack after settling for countless jumpers when the Warriors had no answers for his driving and finishing. But the most controversial play of Game 3 was the LeBron drive-and-kick to a wide-open Kyle Korver. As LeBron often does, when the game gets close and they need a tough bucket, find open driving lanes and kicks if a teammate is open. Hindsight is always a beautiful thing when it comes to games like this because your decision is only right if it works.
The Plays That Decided Game 3
LeBron James drove left on Draymond Green and Kevin Durant came help side to protect the basket. Love, who was in the low post, set a small back screen on Steph (Kyle Korver’s defender) to allow space just in case a pass was needed. LeBron makes the pass and Korver misses a WIDE OPEN three to expound on the lead then KD’s dagger three happens. Fans of the NBA want James to take a contested shot there instead of making “the right basketball play”. I tend to agree with that notion because his scoring ability isn’t his greatest strong suit.
What’s Needed to Make This a Legit Series Again
The Cleveland Cavaliers will need to make adjustments going into Oracle Arena for Game 5 of these NBA Finals. In the first two games, Golden State picked them apart at home and it wasn’t even close. Shooting such high percentages can’t be expected on the road so the Cavs will need to win with intensity and effort. If the Big 3 on the Warriors (excluding Kevin Durant) can be held to 43 points again, this series will get interesting. Meanwhile, Cleveland’s Big 3 will need to score at least 90 points combined again to even have a chance.