The unthinkable has happened, just a few weeks ago it looked like the NBA finals would end earlier than most experts predicted as the Golden State Warriors were up in the best of seven series 3-1 with one game separating them from being two-time NBA champions.
However, the Cavaliers would not go quietly, needing Lebron James and Kyrie Irving to score 41 points each to beat the Warriors on Monday, June 13th 2016. On Thursday night Lebron James scored 41 points again to lead his Cavaliers to a victory. Now the series is tied 3-3 with a decisive game seven happening tonight at 8 pm EST on ABC.
The Golden State Warriors have had to deal with a lot of adversity in the last two games. The NBA suspended Draymond Green a key defensive player for Monday’s Game five, and center Andrew Bogut suffered a devastating knee injury as well. Without Green and Bogut’s defensive presence the paint was wide open for Lebron and Kyrie. Once both of those players went off the game was over for the Warriors.
On Thursday night for Game six the Warriors offense got off to slow start and that put them behind the eight ball. Having to come back from a huge deficit which they could not overcome on Thursday night, despite this the Warriors still have a chance to repeat as champions. However, if they are going to defend home court and win the championship, they are going to need a stand out performance from two-time MVP Stephen Curry, who has not had his best finals performance this year. Curry is averaging 18.2 points per game in this series. He has not been playing particularly well.
His counterpart Lebron James on the other hand has been averaging 25.2 points per game in this series and looks like he is fighting to reclaim his throne as the best basketball player on the planet with every game played. The Warriors defense has failed to contain him throughout this series. The two big questions heading into tonight’s game are; can Lebron keep on performing at a high level and leading his team to victory? Also can Stephen Curry play like a two-time MVP winner and stop the surging Cavaliers from winning a championship?
There is no question that momentum is on the Cavaliers side and they are highly motivated to win a championship for Cleveland, Ohio, and they have won the last two games. The pressure right now lies solely with the Golden State Warriors.
Both teams are going to need a strong performance from their role players, for the Warriors they are going to need a good performance from forward Harrison Barnes who has not been shooting well. The Cavaliers are going to need a strong performance from shooting guard J.R. Smith. Smith had a big game on Thursday night scoring 17 points to help the Cavaliers win. These players are the two X-factors heading into to tonight’s game, if either player has a good game look for that player’s team to win the game tonight and become the 2016 NBA Champions.