Looking back at this years NBA playoffs, we are going to remember one thing: blowouts. And the Finals are proving just that as well, as through the first three games all wins have been decisive blowouts.
How can the two (arguably) best teams just be trading blowouts instead of duking it out until the final buzzer?
There could be many potential factors. Style of play could be one, confidence could be another, maybe even Kevin Love. Home court definitely plays a major factor but not a 63 point turn around that we saw from game two to game three.
Style of play would be the best guess. Both teams live and die on the three ball. They both play quick, small ball lineups. The Cavs aren’t a good defensive team like the Warriors are but last night they were all over the place making the Warriors look uncomfortable, in particular Curry.
The Splash Bros are averaging a staggering 28 PPG in the Finals so far compared to the 52.8 points they averaged in the regular season. The fact they are not only up 2-1 but won both of the first two games by a staggering margin proves how well rounded of a team they do have. But they will have to start playing because if the Cavs win game four, you know LeBron is great enough to overcome the home court advantage that is the Oracle Arena.
LeBron had that look in him last night but he needs to have that consistently. He is at his best when he is in full on attack mode and looking for his shot. Yes he can still be the passer and offensive playmaker but he needs to still be taking 20+ shots. Warriors can’t stop him in the paint even though Draymond Green blocked LeBron on what would have been the biggest posterize in years.
The Splash Bros have got to show up. Curry needs to be effective early and often. When him and Klay Thompson are on at the same time its almost unbeatable.
The Warriors role players have really stood up this series. Green was easily the MVP the first two games but was no where to be seen in game three. My man Harrison Barnes (he’s my favorite player for you all who did not know) played a great game finally showing us his scoring prowess thats going to earn him $20 million this offseason. He was also great on the boards for a perimeter guy, trying to get rebounds with Tristan Thompson out there is no easy task.
Cavaliers role players need to do exactly what they did in game three. JR Smith was hitting his shots, Richard Jefferson found the fountain of youth and neutralized Green, and Thompson showed what many experts predicted that he would do controlling the boards. Also Kyrie was the star that we all expected of him, and will continue to expect in the upcoming games.
But heres the main story of the series: what do the Cavs do with Kevin Love? He played well in the game one loss, but the team looked a lot better when he didn’t play. Love doesn’t really fit the Cavs philosophy but he is still a premier talent in this league. His a guy who needs to be involved more in the offense as a top two option, not three. Love coming off the bench when one of LeBron or Kyrie sits down seems ideal. Get the guy some touches and see what he can do. But have a quick leash, if he stinks the bed get him out otherwise ride the train and see where it goes, you just don’t wanna mess with what can be built upon off last game.
With all that said I’ll take the Cavs tonight. After that I think the Cavs win at the Oracle in game five. But if the Cavs lose game six, the Warriors aren’t losing twice there, so: Cavs in 6.