Before I analyze basketball, I just have a message for all you Warriors fans with those LeBron signs- stop doing what you’re doing. You look like a bunch of jabronis. Now, back to basketball.
We have definitely learned a few things after Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
1. LeBron and Kyrie can be lethal: Okay, so I can’t imagine a scenario where both LeBron James and Kyrie Irving play better than they did last night. Both players tallied 41 points, the first time in the Finals two teammates scored 40 in the same game. LeBron went nuts for the first half (finally) and Kyrie dominated the second half. It was funny seeing Steph get exposed as a defender again, because he’s really not great on defense. Russell Westbrook was right for laughing at him in the Western Conference Finals, as Kyrie showed him who’s boss last night. If Kevin Love played any semblance of what he’s capable of, the Cavaliers probably would have won by 1000.
2. Kevin Love has become a role player at this point, which means he will probably have a great game back in Cleveland, as role players always play better at home.
3. The Warriors looked good at first, but were missing Draymond. I really liked how Klay Thompson was locked in early on last night. He was showing why he’s becoming one of the best players in the league right now. He, along with the rest of the Warriors, looked like they were ready to go back-to-back and crush Cleveland last night. But, the Cavs just hung around and hung around until they were ready to strike in the second half. It was quite apparent that the Dubs really could’ve used Draymond’s defense on LeBron, his IQ on the offensive end and his fire to keep the Warriors from getting beat. I expect him to play his best game of his career on Thursday, maybe not statistically, but he will be at the bottom of every pile, near every rebound, and in the face of every Cavalier. I bet that suspension really ticked him off and he’ll want to prove his value again in Game 6.
4. Officiating: The refs really need to slow down a bit. I have never officiated basketball before, so I can’t be too critical, but what I can say is that they make their calls too early. I think the zebras are blowing their whistles far too early in anticipation of calls rather than just letting the play develop. There’s nothing wrong with a late whistle in my opinion, it beats a whistle that’s too soon. Also, they need to give the Cavs some home cookin’ in Game 6. The Warriors got way more calls than the Cavs did, so they need to make that up in Cleveland. LeBron has been getting held and groped nearly every time he drives but doesn’t see calls that other guys get, it should be the other way around. Also, the Warriors (moreso than the Cavs) and Anderson Verejao in particular have been flopping on every damn play. This needs to stop for both teams. I wish if someone flopped that they were fined 50 million dollars.
5. The Cavaliers are just as good with Kyrie and Love as they are without them. The series will end in Cleveland on Thursday night, as the Warriors will lock up back-to-back titles at OuickenLoans Arena. Both this year and last year will be Warriors in 6, proving Golden State is just better than Cleveland. Plus, no one has ever won the Finals when down 3-1 so the odds are in the Dubs’ favor.