In a series that has been anything but pretty, the Warriors and the Cavaliers are tied at two coming into a pivotal Game 5.
The Golden State Warriors played impressively in Game 4 on the road at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, in a blowout victory.
While the Warriors are playing the best they have played in the NBA Playoffs, the Cavaliers look gassed and need LeBron James to put the team on his back.
“Well, I’m in a spot where I have to be very productive, and that’s just the spot I’ve always been in,” James said Saturday.
LeBron James has come up big for the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, but in Game 4, he looked to be extremely fatigued, due to his extended playing time. James hopes to come back for this very important Game 5 playing the way he did in the opening three games of the NBA Finals, but it is doubtful he can return to this greatness in this series. Then again, anything is possible for the king.
“I think when you get to a championship-level type game with it being 2-2, I don’t think anyone has the momentum,” James said. “Obviously, everyone would say them because they’re coming back home, and then after the game they had the other night, but the momentum starts once the game starts.”
The Warriors did well to contain James in Game 4 and were rewarded highly for it, but unlike the Warriors with Andre Iguodala, there is not an obvious line-up change that the Cavaliers can make.
While David Blatt of the Cleveland Cavaliers cannot make a change to the starting line-up, he could add another man to his rotation to add to the rest of LeBron James. Examples are Mike Miller, or extended playing time for sharpshooter James Jones. Both were teammates of James’ in Miami.
With LeBron falling for the Cavaliers, Stephen Curry may be on the rise for the Warriors. Like LeBron, Matthew Dellavedova has been severely exhausted, and has even needed IV treatment. This gives Stephen Curry more breathing room to hit shots. But with an extra day of rest, Dellavedova may be able to bounce back with his expert defense.
Nevertheless, it could be argued that the Golden State Warriors will come up victorious due to the exhaustion of the Cavaliers and the upside shown by the Warriors in Game 4.
Game 5 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors will tip-off at 8:00 p.m. ET at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
[Image Source: Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images]