Whether Basketball fans like to admit it or not, the decision to give Draymond Green a Flagrant Foul 1 for his words used to trash talk LeBron James (not for grabbing his balls as memes would suggest) leading to a suspension from the fouls he piled up before, was unnecessary. But all worked in favour of prolonging the series to a likely Game 7.
How could you have the great, LeBron James reach his 6th straight finals and have him face the strong possibility of losing his 3rd straight finals, 4-1? That would be disastrous in NBA history. It would look horrible on paper for LeBron and would smear his legacy, be a huge distraction from and basically override all the great stats he racked up over the years.
Who really thought the Warriors would win without Draymond and with LeBron and Irving fighting to stay in the Finals? What was he going to do, pop Champagne in his suite without the team after he helped get them there? Draymond is the leader of the Warriors team and they all know it. The team feeds off of his energy.
With such a bad temper it was inevitable that Draymond would be suspended at some point in the Finals series. But why did the player who calls himself the ‘Best Player in the World’ have to force the issue for him to take the bait? He shouldn’t feel threatened. Doesn’t he say he ‘ain’t got no worries?’ Has he never been called names in his life because he is a big guy? He said Draymond took it too far. Smart, but Poor Baby.
So with Game 5 in California and the Cavs down 3-1, there would be an opportunity for the Warriors to close out but even though their fans came with their best faces and cheers out, they knew they wouldn’t win that game without Draymond. LeBron James was booed from shoot around practice to everytime he had possession of the ball during the game.
Iguodala started for Draymond and had a spectacular 1st quarter. It was a tight 1st and 2nd quarter that had both teams playing well. The teams went to Halftime at 61-61.
Klay Thompson came up big with 26 points. But it was the real LeBron James who finally showed up with 25 points and 0 assists in the entire 1st half. Klay the leading scorer at that point, had no assists either. Irving’s jump shots were on point too.
But let’s get back to LeBron. He was mentally prepared, serious and focused on what he had to do, blocking out all the boos, baby bottles and ‘Cry Baby LeBron’ signs. He is the type of player that listens to what people and the media have to say and he hardly ever uses it to fuel him to victory. This wasn’t so Monday night. He was in full attack mode, making consistent jump shots and 3-pointers! He was shooting! He was mixing it up, getting into the paint area and finishing it up. He scored the most points he has ever scored in any 1st half in any finals game of his career. There is no denying he may have been unstoppable in the 1st half but without Draymond out there, he was left to do whatever he wanted to do. Draymond has the ability to see plays before they are in motion and stop them. Not every player has that gift and that major part of defense was missing for the Warriors.
Things then started to fall apart for the Warriors when center, Andrew Bogut landed awkwardly on a play, hyper-extending his left leg. He will undergo an MRI to determine the severity of a left knee injury he suffered to see if he can play in Game 6.
The Warriors then had no choice but to go small with their line-up and well, if you don’t go big you go home.
The Cavs stretched to an 8 point lead, their biggest of the night. It was cut to 6 when Kyrie was accused of going out of bounds but actually didn’t and lost possession. Klay (37 points) did some work to cut the lead to 3 when fouled on a 3-point play with about 6:44mins left in the 3rd.
Curry showed up, but not enough. He scored 25 points for the night and with Irving not missing, the lead stretched to 8 and even 10.
James went cold in 4th, missing a lot of shots and was not passing the ball. So the Warriors had at least 2 or 3 possessions to cut down the lead, but failed to take advantage. Racking up the stats is one thing LeBron but finishing is another.
Kyrie got a handle of the ball again and remained consistent and with the score at Cavs 100 – 96 Warriors, thus Cavs having a 13 point lead with about 5 mins left, he scored another 3-pointer and buried them.
Good thing Kyrie was on point because James was still missing with up to 3 minutes left. He was still cold. Would not have made a difference anyway because the game Harrison Barnes had for the Warriors was embarrassing. You would think someone paid him to play so badly after the 2 previous big games he had. This is exactly what upsets Draymond Green about being the 35th pick and even his own teammates being drafted before him, such as Barnes. He says he has nothing against his teammates but Suga is showing you Exhibit A.
Anyhow, before the Finals, Suga knew if it was a long series for Cavs to be competitive, they would have a blow out game at home where LeBron, JR Smith and possibly Tristan Thompson would come up big and a game where Kyrie and/or James came up really big. It has happened. And no, State Farm Kevin Love was never a factor. Kyrie has a lot of fight and could have another big game in him. LeBron James cannot do it by himself.
So there you have it, with Kyrie and LeBron 41 a piece, for the first time, teammates have scored 40 plus in a Finals game. The game ended 112-97.
Now we have a Game 6 back in Cleveland. The Warriors were able to win it in 6 in Cleveland last year but I think this year will be different.
So much is on the line for both teams. What a dilemma! Did the NBA mess with the Warriors fate of possibly closing out in 5 at home? We won’t know but just have to wait and see how it plays out from here.
It would be heartbreaking for LeBron to lose his 3rd straight Final and 4 Finals overall. It would be Kyrie’s first ring and the Cavs 1st Championship! Now the Warriors are Defending Champs, looking to be a dynasty and after the long road of 73 wins, they only see winning it all as the acceptable outcome.
Game 6 is Thursday at 8pm.
I Love this Game!