After a long, hard fought series, it all comes down to one game, Game 7. Everyone counted out the Cleveland Cavaliers once they fell behind 3-1, but they clawed their way back into the series. LeBron James willed his team back into contention and they got the message. Kyrie Irving has been amazing in the Finals even when others have struggled. If Cleveland is to make history, here are some tasks to focus on.
Without Golden State Center Andrew Bogut, the Cavs Tristan Thompson went off. He was on the receiving end of six beautiful ally oops and finished with 15 points. The center just dominated the paint and grabbed 16 boards. When Thompson is aggressive, he creates much needed extra opportunities. His hustle is unmatchable which makes him a terrific rebounder. The Cavs play much better when Thompson records huge numbers. This kind of production is exactly what Cleveland needs to win a championship.
Shooting guard J.R. Smith’s contributions didn’t go unnoticed. He recorded 14 points, four rebounds and three assists. Smith hit two, fourth quarter daggers and four throughout the game. Cleveland needs JR to be a scorer, whether it’s knocking down his threes or driving to the basket. Not to mention, the guard played terrific defense and was rewarded with three steals. A similar performance in Game 7 should do the Cavaliers wonders. Smith is more valuable to this team than people may realize.
Attack Steph on Offense
It didn’t matter who he was guarding, the Cavs had their way with the unanimous league MVP. I’ve noticed Cleveland’s success the past two games when they single out Curry on defense. He can’t defend LeBron with his small stature as he just gets backed down in the paint. Curry can’t defend Kyrie’s ball handling and strike mentality. I have never seen a MVP crossed over so much. Even JR Smith took him to the hole a couple times. Look for a similar focus on offense in Game 7.
Bonus: Take the 1-2 Punch
In Game 7, Curry and Thompson combined for 55 of Golden State’s 101 points. Other key contributors like Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, and Harrison Barnes added 16 points. One must wonder if you absorb the Warriors 1-2 punch and make everyone else beat you, is that enough to win?
Image Credited to: NBA