What to expect as Game 5 takes the series back to Oakland.
My last two predictions have been disasters. For Game 3, I predicted a Cavs win. What happened? They suffered a heartbreaking loss on their home-floor. With a 3-0 series lead, I predicted a Warriors win in Game 4. What happened? The Cavs win by 21 points, breaking several Finals offensive records in the process. I have to be honest—my confidence is going down in regards to predicting these Finals. I guess I should have known better than to get to arrogant with my predictions, however. After last year’s 3-1 comeback from Cleveland, we all learned that you can’t really predict much when these two teams face each other.
As we head back to Oakland for Game 5, it’s easy to pick the Warriors to finish off Cleveland, perhaps bringing home the title on their own floor. But I think it may be jumping the gun a little bit to assume Golden State will have much of a cake-walk.
Here’s how tonight’s Game 5 is looking right now.
The Warriors have a lot going for them. They’re healthy. Coach Steve Kerr is back at helm. And they have yet to score under 113 points. Despite Game 4’s technical foul fiasco, no Warriors or Cavs were suspended. When Golden State is healthy and doesn’t have any ejected/suspended players, their roster is much deeper and, frankly, better than Cleveland’s.
The only real disadvantage that the Warriors have is momentum.
I’m not saying that Cleveland will overcome a 3-0 deficit just because they won one game (though I’m not totally ruling it out). I am saying, however, that the Cavs have momentum. They’re coming off a huge win that included Finals records for three-pointers, first half, and first quarter scoring. Kyrie is coming off two consecutive high-scoring games. JR Smith is finally getting his shots to fall. Love is scoring well. And LeBron is, well, LeBron. They have confidence, and the LeBron-Kyrie duo is refusing to lose. Also, Steph Curry all but completely disappeared in Game 4. The Cavs likely won’t be able to shut down Kevin Durant as he’s making a serious statement in this series, but they can shut down Steph. If Steph plays as poorly in Game 5 as he did in Game 4, the Cavs chances are even better. Though I’m not calling it a comeback, I am predicting a Game 6.
Cavs win, 120-110.Filed under: Sports, NBA Basketball, Playoffs, Finals, Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers