So the Cavs live to fight another day! I wish this happened in game 3 because as far as I am concerned this is too little too late. The way the Cavs came out in that 1st quarter, you knew they weren’t playing. They rained those 3’s in and set the tone for the game. In the first quarter, they set the NBA finals record for points in a quarter with 49. It would have been well over 50 if they didn’t miss 8 free throws! 8! At the time, I thought this was going to come back and haunt them.
I thought back to the San Antonio series where the Spurs were killing the Warriors until Zaza made a dirty play that changed the course of the game. But the Cavs stood firm. I was sure a Warriors run was coming but they never got closer than 11 after the first quarter. The Cavs got stops at crucial times and made a few clutch baskets to stop any run from materialising. The finals have all been about Lebron and KD (and Curry sometimes) but Kyrie ran the show yesterday. There is now no question, this man has the best handles in the game. No one finishes at the rim like him.He made Klay Thompson dance all night. Don’t forget Klay Thompson is 4 inches taller and has long arms. Kyrie made it look easy and dropped 40 points on them.
Even the role players came to play. Richard Jefferson was very impressive. He played admirable defense on KD and moved the ball very well. JR Smith is coming through as a valuable team player. He had 15 points (5/9 from deep). Deron Williams scored in this game. You hear that? He hit a long 3. When the ball left his hand, I thought “oh no baby, what is you doing?” but it went in.
Watching the game, I didn’t realise how bad the Warriors were from 3 (11/39). KD and Curry were a combined 4/18. They didn’t necessarily play badly, I just think the Cavs were on another stratosphere which in it self speaks to Golden State’s dominance. You need to break NBA records to beat them.
I question whether the Cavs can repeat. they were 24/45 from 3. That’s a finals record. Can they break more records and tie this thing? I doubt that very much. Game 5 is back in Oakland and the Warriors will be fired up for that one. Anything can happen though. There was a moment where miscommunication from the refs made us think Draymond Green had been ejected. Zaza Pachulia swiped at Iman Shumpert’s groin who knows how that could have been interpreted.
The Cavs for sure need something to swing the momentum their way because the Warriors won’t shoot 28% from 3 again and I doubt the Cavs can make 24 3’s again. Something should be said for the defense though. Tristan Thompson finally woke up and was doing Tristan Thompson like things! Kevin Love also played very well. He hit some clutch shots and grabbed key rebounds.
The thing that worries me about the Cavs is their reliance on Lebron and Kyrie. Lebron played 44 minutes yesterday and Kyrie played 46 minutes. There was a 1 minute stretch at the start of the 4th where Lebron was sitting and the Warriors scored 6 points. The Cavs are atrocious without either one of these guys. Remember that was the problem in game 3. Steve Kerr said he knew they couldn’t sustain the pace at which they were playing so he just waited for them to tire out. To be fair to them they held up yesterday but I don’t think that’s sustainable.