The door that was looking to be shut, deadbolted and boarded up has appeared to creak back open. The NBA has upgraded Draymond Green's foul featuring yet another shot to the groin, this time to LeBron James to a flagrant one, which means Green will be suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals. This opens up a huge opportunity for the Cavaliers.
Who?: Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors (GSW leads series 3-1)
When?: 9 PM ET
Where?: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
Where on my eyeballs? ABC
Enemy blog: Golden State Of Mind
Music: Blame Game - Kanye West Ft. John Legend
What to Watch For:
- Draymond Green is an insanely big part of what makes the Warriors such a tough matchup for the Cavaliers. He can kill them in the short roll after a Steph Curry trap, he can lead fast breaks with the best two shooters in the league flanking, and playing at the five has been something the Cavaliers haven't been able to deal with.
GSW in Finals: With Draymond at C: 81 minutes, +53. All other lineups: 111 minutes, -24.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 11, 2016
- The Warriors exploited the Cavaliers trapping the Stephen Curry pick and roll by using Klay Thompson as the screener. If the Cavaliers trapped, it left Klay wide open for the split second he needs to get off a shot. The Cavs might need to switch that moving forward.
- Kyrie Irving and LeBron James caught some flack for too much isolation basketball in the second half of Game 4. I don't really think that's fair. A lot of the actions that the Cavaliers used to open up the flow of their offense in Game 3 occurred while the Warriors had a traditional center on the floor. The Warriors went small and switchy for a greater portion of Game 4, and it really gummed up the flow yet again.
- Those centers are going to be on the floor a lot more in Game 5, unless we see a ton of James Michael McAdoo, for whatever reason. The Cavaliers have an advantage, and they need to attack it.
- The Cavaliers can now afford to be a lot more aggressive in getting the ball out of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson's hands. The other Warriors bigs aren't as adept at finishing on the short roll by putting the ball on the floor.
Fear the Sword's Fearless Prediction:
This will be bad if the Cavaliers can't win without Draymond on the floor. That said, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson will know they need to go nuts, and no combo of two players can go off at a moment's notice like those two. The Cavaliers have desperation on their side and, with no Draymond Green on the floor, a talent advantage. They should win this game.
Cavaliers win, 111-102.