Everyone knows the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the 2016 NBA Finals. This allowed LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and others to become champions. The thought is always three-straight games and it doesn’t go into the detail of such games, mainly Game 5, which sometimes is an after-thought.
The first argument against Game 5 is that Warriors PF Draymond Green got suspended for it. That was the reason why the Warriors lost. There is really no way of actually knowing how the game would have turned out if Green played.
What was amazing and did actually happen is how each LeBron & Kyrie dropped 41 points en route to a 112-97 road win. It was the first time ever teammates had done that in a playoff game.
Okay so everyone loves to talk about The Block and The Shot in Game 7 and that’s how it should be. Those are two huge plays that impacted the biggest game in Cavs history and deserve to be remembered as such. However, without amazing performances in Game 5, none of that even happens.
There is no Game 7.
ESPN replayed the games here in 2020 and it was a striking realization just how incredible the two main stars on the Cavs were to extend the series. The bottom line is that simply looking back at that 2016 Finals series without recognizing how amazing Game 5 was is quite disingenuous.
Finally, this is not to take away from some of the achievements that occurred in Game 7. It is only to make sure Cleveland fans look back at the entire series and remember how the team got to where it did.
Right now, there is no NBA Basketball.
The Cavs do not have LeBron James or Kyrie Irving. However, no one can take away the fact that the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the 2016 NBA Finals. Thanks to the amazing performance in Game 5 and then two games after that one.
Hopefully, the NBA will be back to playing games and able to have full arenas, too. For now, all we can do is sit back and watch old and classic games. Just remember how important Game 5 was to the Cavs even having a chance at winning the series…
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