In the second and third game of the NBA Finals, the Cavalries had been on top of their game, stopping the Warriors from developing any flow or rhythm to their style of play. Given that the Golden State Warriors had been the leading basketball side in the country over the course of the season, this had come as quite as a surprise. However, even though the Cavs took the lead in the series, there was still a strong feeling of support that the Warriors would triumph; they only had to get back into their stride.
On Thursday night in Cleveland, the Warriors got angry and they may have delivered the performance which turned the 2015 NBA Finals back in their favour.
Golden State Warriors 103 – Cleveland Cavaliers 82
Andre Iguodala grabbed 22 points and 8 rebounds in a game that marks the first real blow-out of the series. The other three games have been close, with two making their way into overtime. If the Warriors get their game going, they have the ability to run away with it, but for the Cavaliers to have the best chance, they need to shut the Warriors down, which makes for a tighter affair. Big performances from players like Timofey Mozgov, who grabbed a game high of 28 points wouldn’t go amiss for the Cavaliers either.
Matthew Dellavedova couldn’t replicate his form in Game 3 and Iman Shumpert could only offer up 5 points. It was also a quiet night for the main man, the NBA MVP Stephen Curry, but with 22 points and a win, he’ll be feeling rather pleased with himself today.
The injury suffered by LeBron James will be a concern but to be honest, he probably needs a rest as much as medical treatment. The blow to the head from a TV camera was sore, and it took the wind out of the sails of LeBron, but he has been carrying this team, not just through the series and playoffs, but for the entire year. If LeBron James loses in another final, there will be plenty of people lining up to question just how great he really is but his skills and talents have been proven in the way that he has dragged teams to this level. He has achieved more titles in the NBA than the vast majority of us could dream of, and to be fair, he isn’t done yet, but he will need to bounce back strongly in California.
The home fans knew which way the game was going
The fact that home fans were filtering out of the arena halfway through the final quarter indicates the superiority that the Warriors had in this game. You can never rule anything in or out when it comes to basketball matches, but there was a feeling that the Cavs were out on their feet and that the Warriors were not going to blow this one. Even though the Golden State side won the opening game of the series, this was the first game where they were comfortable and in control. At this point, you can’t really say if it was a one-off or not, or whether it will indicate the path of the next games, but it was definitely more like the Warriors that basketball fans have loved this campaign.
Game 5 moves back to California and even though the Cavaliers have managed to win in Oakland already this series, you have to think that the Warriors are going to be favourites for the game, and if they do take a 3-2 lead, they will be just one game away from the title.