History is in making by these 2 teams. Meeting 3rd time in a row. We don't see this happening in other sports more often. We just have to appreciate this fact and enjoy while this rivalry lasts! Warriors and Cavs are not going anywhere!
If you are a dedicated Cavs fan like me, this is what you have been waiting for all year. Before we dial into Cleveland Indians and eventually to Cleveland Browns, you just want to hear these words “Cavs are in Finals” one more time. Last year it was all about breaking The Curse, The Journey, The Return and The Closure! It’s over! This year it is all about The Fun! Clevelanders wish to see another banner in their Q Arena and another Ring for their King!
#AnotherRingForTheKing - Game 1 will defiantly set the tone for the rest of the series but as an experienced sports fan I may not read too much into Game 1 result.
Scenario # 1 – SWEEP
Conference first, second rounds and finals, both West and East were amazing and at the same time utterly boring. Other than 1 game loss for Cleveland Cavaliers to Boston Celtics, both Cavs and Warriors were running their basketball in Auto Pilot Mode! Strategy was to just win all the games, home or away, close out the series and take a break! Will this work in Finals for Cavs and Warriors? I don’t think so but still possible. With their new addition of Kevin Durant last year, Warriors not only looks like a Super Team they do play like a Super Team.
Warriors Big 4 vs Cavs Big 3. Warriors have the advantage of sharp shooters, quick offence, outside perimeter shooting and experience from Kevin and Curry! Even if their best 2 or 3 players are down or trapped, Keven or Curry can lift them up. It was proven on many occasion in the regular season in in playoffs. They are healthy and well rested for this matchup. If Kawhi Leonard was not injured in the Game 1 of West Finals, it may have turned out be a close series than a sweep.
Cavs Big 3 vs Warriors Big 4. Cavs have the psychological advantage over Warriors from their last year’s performance. Kyrie and Love are healthy, Kyle and Deron Williams are in the Finals for the first time in their long NBA careers, Triston and J R Smith are playing more important roles. Cavs bench has the required depth and they did show up many times during the regular and playoffs. How Cavs Bench match with Warriors Bench is the key. One thing for sure, when there is no pressure, Cavs are a dangerous team.
Conclusion – No Sweep by Cavaliers or Warriors!
For both teams, it all came down to the last 1 minute of the
Game 7. Cavaliers were looking for their first win and Warriors were trying to
save their record setting season with a second championship.
In the last 1 minute, when scores were tied and both teams had stepped
up their defense which resulted in no score on both end for almost 3 minutes.
Then came the tie breaker and also a game winner. It came in
the form of a 3 pointer. For a change, this time it came from a player who was wearing a Cavaliers
Kyrie Irving - He was fearless, off balanced but still made a tough shot.
This shot is for the books and the history. This is the shot that will silence his
critics forever. This is what Kyrie is all about, not a ball hog or trying avoid
passing the ball. He was told by his
coach to attack and it is what gave him that confidence on the big stage on a
big night. He just delivered a dagger.
LeBron James - He was
relentless in all his efforts! He almost had a bad night with costly turnovers
but he kept playing like a real warrior.
His block on Iggy was classic.
J R Smith came alive a little late but he drained two crucial 3
pointers to erase the Golden State’s lead.
When clock was running below 30 seconds, Love’s defense made
Curry very restless which forced him to take a contested shot which he
eventually missed. He missed it when it mattered the most sealing GSW’s
Draymond Green played well on both ends getting pen shots
and forcing Cavaliers to make mistakes on the other end. For most of the game,
Splash Brothers were on MIA (Missing in Action) list.
Plot # 1 – Net Player Score for each player from both teams.
All 7 games stats were used to generate this score.
- LeBron's over all NPS in the series is at 33%
- Kyrie's NPS at 21%
- Curry at 17% and Green at 15%, combined at 32%, still short of LeBron's individual NPS
Plot # 2- Points scored by each player from both teams.
- Top 2 scoring players are from Cavaliers,LeBron and Kyrie
For all Clevelanders, this championship is a closure. All the bad memories are erased and also a 52-year
wait is over and Cleveland can now officially rejoice. This is For The City.
This for the Home Coming and this is The Comeback!
This is The Closure
Cavaliers are not going down without a fight for sure. Game
5 performance reflects exactly that, very clear and loud.
Game 5 is just about LeBron and Kyrie. That’s all to it. Out of 112 total, 82 points were scored
by just LeBron and Kyrie, sharing 41 each. By winning Game 5 they also set a new NBA record in the
2 players scoring 40 and above in the same game! Other than the record it was wonderful watch both LeBron and Kyrie on the court. They dictated the game and made plays on their own terms.
Game 5 - Final Score
Cavaliers 112 –
There is another interesting stat (not yet reported by traditional NBA stats) has a score of 0 (Zero).
ZERO kicking or swiping in Game 5.
Warriors celebrations were delayed or put on-hold for few
more days. In game 6, Cavs has the home court advantage to push the series to 7
LeBron’s NPS (Net Player Score) is OUTSTANDING at 60%. He controlled the game and
contributed 60% in the entire game. That is an outstanding performance. Is going to be the Finals MVP? May be!
Plot # 1 - Net Player Score
Kyrie was unstoppable. Period. This is what he supposed to do and he finally
delivered at the right moment at the right time.
Warriors could not handle both defense and offense play
making from Cavaliers. In 4th quarter Warriors could not match the
speed of LeBron and Kyrie and resulted in few costly miscommunications. LeBron
and Kyrie took advantage of this and also took the game away from Warriors.
Love, J R Smith, Jefferson and Tristan played their roles, nothing special. On the brighter side they did not create any negative effect either. On the Warriors side, Klay Thompson was keep score ticking until 4th and then he cooled off! Curry with 25 and Iggy with 10.
Plot # 2 - Points Scored
Game 6 is at Cleveland and hopefully Cavs will take the advantage of the home court. Green will be coming back from his suspension and
Warriors will havemore firepower and more determined to close the series. It is going to be a good
game and hopefully Cavs will not repeat the same game 4 mistakes!
Go Cavs, as always!