It is almost comical to think the Golden State Warriors would blow a 3-0 lead. Cavaliers threw a haymaker in game 4 and the series is 3-1. Everyone is reminiscing over last years blown 3-1 lead by the dubs. Although these are two different teams they still share that history that will live in infamy. While everyone is looking at the series like it is basically over the Cavs are looking to make a daring comeback.
What Golden State Warriors Needs To do to Close Out Cavs in Game 5
The Golden State Warriors will have to defend without fouling . Game 4 Warriors put the Cavs on the line 22 times in the first quarter. Cavaliers had a historic 49 point quarter propelled by free throws. The game was lost in the 1st quarter.Warriors were doing a lot of gambling and making bone headed decisions defensively. Cleveland was hitting tough shots which eventually would have stopped had the Warriors played defense without fouling.
Steve Kerr will have to replay the tapes of games 1-3 to show the Dubs that the kind of defense they have to play. Defense that involves not reaching in for silly gambles. Kyrie and Lebron James have been scoring machines but when the Warriors put other players on the line it does not help their cause. During game 4 many of the Cavaliers players got to the line giving them confidence and energy. Game 5 Warriors will have to defend without fouling and attack the basket themselves more aggressively.
The Almighty 3 Ball
GSW have to shoot 40% or better from the three point line. Game 4 the Warriors shot 27% from beyond the arc. Warriors were taking rushed three point shots and not moving the ball for kick outs after penetration. 27% is what Cleveland has been shooting from 3 up until game 4. Now although Cleveland shooting 50% from three was an aberration if the dubs could have raised their three point shooting to 40% they would have closed out the game.
Cavs hit 24 three point shots an NBA record and Warriors at times were within 9 -12 points which is striking distance. If the Warriors had better shot selection and knocked down a few more threes we are talking a 6-8 point game the rest of the way. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have to make their three point shots no matter the physicality or aggressiveness of the Cavs. Shooters often times get frustrated from physical play.
Game 5 is not the game where Curry and Klay should be getting frustrated. Dubs need to embrace the fact Cavs are fighting for their playoff lives and take the contact and prepare for a more physical series down the stretch. Warriors have to hit their threes because it opens up the rest of the court especially for Kevin Durant.
Ultimately Golden State Warriors have to maintain focus. Draymond Green and Steve Kerr both received technical fouls in Game 4 which shows a complete lack of focus. Cavaliers only way for recourse is to get the Warriors out of character and make them lose their cool. When Golden State loses their composure they do not play better they play worse which gives the Cavs the edge.
Steve Kerr and Draymond Green getting technical fouls gives the rest of the team license to lose their composure because their leaders are doing it on the court. As leaders on the team the coaching staff of the Warriors and star players have to maintain a level head. There were certain plays in Game 4 where GSW threw fits and it swung their comeback momentum.
Draymond complaining about every foul would slow the game down and cool the jets of any comeback. Many of the times Warriors lost composure when they were within 9 to 11 points. Warriors blew a gasket and the lead ballooned back to 20. Getting heated caused Golden State to play a lack luster offense and a porous defense because they are reeling over calls. Dubs need to go into next play mode and close out the series.