Game 4 has finally arrived and the Cavs are looking to take the lead to 3-1.
Funny isn’t it?
The battle in the West leading to this felt like the finals, because of the intensity and talent amongst every team. Then there was the East- such an unbalance of talent from team to team. Aka LOE. LeBron Over Everything.
Now the dominators of the West, including NBA MVP are seriously struggling against Cleveland, a team thought to have gotten lucky to only have to face minor opponents on their journey to the Finals.
Let’s start here. The reality is the Cavs do deserve to be here. They have been dominant through the Finals and are making Golden State look like a completely different team.
One big factor that has been huge for the Cavs is Dellavedova’s performance. Watch out LeBron, there’s another war horse out there on the court for Cleveland. Dellavedova has gone the distance this finals, scoring 20 points in Game 3. And check out this stat from ESPN, 78 of the Cavs’ 96 points (81.3%) in Game 3 involved LeBron or Dellavedova via scoring or assists. Okay, okay, we see you boys grinding!
Dellavedova is expected to play tonight even though leaving Game 3 for cramps, later diagnosed as dehydration. Apparently the guy needs to lay off the coffee? (Seriously? #BasicWhiteGirlProbs much?)
But let’s be real here. Love him or hate him, without LeBron James, the Cavs wouldn’t be here. And without his performance the past three games, the Cavs wouldn’t be set up for a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. He is on a record pace. Scoring 123 points through the first 3 games, LeBron has scored more points than any player in the NBA Finals thus far. Now we all love (or hate) watching LeBron smash it down on the rim, but don’t forget where a good majority of his points are coming from- the place where it matters most- the give away points. The free throw line. LeBron has already pocketed 30 points from the line so far in the finals.
However there are a few things Cleveland needs to continue working on if they want this Game 4 victory. For starters, they need to play quicker. Too many opportunities have been lost in the beginning of the game letting it all come down to the final minutes or periods. Thankfully the Cavs have a stacked line up of closers, otherwise they might not be up 3-1.
Now this game is key for Golden State, obviously.
Golden State has not been playing as aggressively, which is something they’re going to need since both their top guns aka the splash bros have been a bit slippery in their consistency.
The 2015 MVP, Steph Curry would not appear that way so far in the finals. Actually, Curry’s numbers would make his performance in the finals one of the worst by a regular-season MVP. From his average PPG of 23.8 points, it is down to 24 PPG so far in the finals. And that’s just the half of it. From the field during the season he was shooting 47% from the field, now down to 32%. And of course there’s those missing “splashes.” Three pointers are down from 44% to 32%. OUCH.
The second half of the splash brothers duo, Klay Thompson posted 14 points in Game 3, but that will not be enough to win this series. The Warriors need a Game 2 performance from Thompson of 34 points or more, especially if Curry doesn’t pull it together to pull off the big win. Both players are going to need to be performing to top standards in order to keep up with hot Dellavedova and King James.
Steve Kerr has the Dub Nation boys playing easy, but in order to get the win for Game 4 it’s time to pull out all the stops. The Warriors need to start acting like just that, warriors. They need to fight to get those possessions and rebounds so they can get to the hoop more often and early on. They can’t try and play catch up with a team as defensively strong as the Cavs. Their best bet is to get up on the board early and then continue to keep possession of the ball.
Defense may win games, but in order to win, you have to score. If the Warriors offense gets the numbers in the first half and keeps good possession for the second the Cavs could be in trouble.
I’ll come full circle and answer my first question: Are the Splash Brothers too slippery to take the win of Game 4? Nahhh.
Warriors are taking the win tonight to tie up the series. It’s about time we see some serious splashes from the bros themselves and start watching the Cavaliers do the slipping.
Try not to slip on that splish, splash LeBron.