The Cleveland Cavaliers had their backs against the wall in Game 5 and clawed their way to a 112-96 victory. Klay Thompson led the Golden State Warriors with 37 points, but it wasn’t enough to counteract the 82 points from Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. The Cavs forced a Game 6 in Cleveland. If the Cavaliers want to keep the momentum going, they should focus on these three keys.
Irving has been on fire recently scoring 30 plus in three straight games. No other teammate of LeBron has ever done accomplished that feat. Not to mention his efficient shooting night on the road. Kyrie drained 70.8% of his shots while going 5/7 from downtown. If the Cavs want to protect home court and their season, he has to be Mr 4th quarter again. Pay attention to his matchup with Steph Curry. Irving played respectable defense on Curry to limit his opportunities. Additionally, the way he attacked Curry on offense was amazing. He exposed Curry’s lack of individual defense. Playing off the ball more makes it harder to defend because he is moving more without the ball. If Kyrie Irving keeps up this onslaught, the Cavs should benefit from it.
James looked like a man possessed out there on the court. He went into attack mode, unlike any other time this season. LeBron was driving, shooting, defending and even crashing the boards. No player has recorded a 40-15-5 stat line since Shaquille O’Neal in 2001. If the Cavaliers want to win two more games, this is the LeBron that has to show up. His energy is contagious when he is blocking shots and stealing the ball. Even better, he found his jumper including his three point shot. This aspect is the most important. If James continues to sink the jumpers that Golden State is allowing then they have no choice but to pick him up. That will certainly open up a path to the rim. However, there will be one obstacle.
The forward returns from suspension and hopes to rejuvenate his Warriors. Klay Thompson and Curry may be nicknamed the Splash Bros, but Green is the heart and soul. His absence in game 5 just proves how much he means to this team. The Michigan State product does a little bit of everything including scoring, rebounding, passing and playing tough defense. It’s important to limit Green’s touches if the Cavaliers want to yield Golden States offense.
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