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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors Game 4 preview

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Do we have to? We have to.

2018 NBA Finals - Game Three Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

This series is over, but it’s not over. The Cavaliers will try to avoid a sweep in Game 4 against the Warriors. Do they have enough left in the tank to do so?

Who: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors, Game 4

When: Friday, June 8, 9 p.m.

Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

Enemy Blog: Golden State of Mind

TV: ABC

Online: WatchESPN

Cavs injuries: None

Warriors injuries: None

Three keys to the game

  • If this is the last time LeBron James ever plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland, one would hope that the Cavaliers faithful will be appropriately thankful to their star forward for year after year of great times and deep playoff runs. It’s reductive to say that LeBron “can” leave because he won the team a title, because he, of course, is allowed to do whatever he wants. But it sure takes the sting out if he decides to go again. Whether he plays great or gets bounced, he’ll deserve a large applause at the end of this game. Hopefully he gets one.
  • It’s getting boring, but the Cavaliers have to make shots. The team competed in Game 3, but it’s impossible to beat the Warriors with numbers like these:

It’s not like he’s not setting them up. This series looks a hell of a lot different with some shot making. It’s fair to assume it’s probably not coming at this point.

  • Is Rodney Hood going to continue to possibly save his career in Cleveland? He exploded in Game 3 with 15 points on 7-11 shooting from the field, and prior to his big night, it certainly felt like his time in Cleveland was probably done. It’s not that simple though - he’s a restricted free agent, and if his market is understandably dampened after this playoff run, the Cavaliers should be able to sign him for good value whether LeBron sticks around or not. Battling to have a good remainder of the Finals is a good starting point.

Key Matchup

LeBron James against the Warriors-- that’s the way we’ll remember these four years, with 2015 marred by injury and 2018 marred by, well, Kyrie Irving playing for a different team. LeBron was great on Wednesday night, but there is almost no road map for the Cavaliers to win if James shoots less than 50 percent of the field. His jumper has degraded over the course of the series and he’s not finishing at the rim at as high of level as he did in Game 1. If the Cavs are to win, the narrative ain’t changin’.

Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction

This one’s done. Warriors 122, Cavaliers 109.