No Draymond Green in Game 5 for the Golden State Warriors means the need for more splash from the “bros” known for their sizzling-hot beyond the arc prowess.
However, it’s not all the Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson show in Golden State. To get that back-to-back NBA championship on Monday, here are a few things the Warriors could do to beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
1. Unleash Supernova Stephen Curry
Easier said than done, obviously, but the same can be said of Stephen Curry’s 30-foot heaves, which still has mad accuracy.
After shattering the three-point made record in the regular season, Curry has had a very “normal” postseason yet; except for a few games like in Game 4 versus the Portland Trail Blazers (40 points on 16-of-32 shots) or the last three games against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the West Finals when he scored 31 points or more in each game to come back from a 3-1 series deficit.
Still, Curry has been overshadowed by the heroics of Klay Thompson, who saved the Warriors in Game 6 at OKC with his own record-breaking feat; and Draymond Green, who continues to be the most consistent among all the Warriors and perhaps the favorite for the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award.
2. Splash Bros Party
Without Green, the Warriors can’t afford off-nights from either Curry or Thompson. Simply, the Splash Brothers should be splashing early, mid and late so they can get the offense going at the Oracle Arena.
Much of Draymond Green’s value on offense as being the “third guy” on offense is his ability to pass. The Swiss Army Knife forward knows when to pass the ball to either Splash Bro or when to attack the hoop. Fortunately for the Warriors, they have another Swiss Army Knife, albeit older, in Andre Iguodala, who might just have a big game again against the Cavaliers.
3. Golden Bench
There are many reasons why the Warriors went 73-9 in the regular season and beat the Chicago Bulls’ hallowed record. Aside from the world-class sniping of Curry and Thompson and the impressive versatility of Green and Iguodala, there are many other Warriors who contributed for their record-breaking cause this season.
Would it be Shaun Livingston again (a la Game 1 when he had a playoff career-high 20 points) leading the bench mob for the Warriors? Would Andrew Bogut dominate the paint again defensively (a la Game 5 when the Australian had 5 blocked shots)? Or would Steve Kerr push the other guys like Marreese Speights, Anderson Varejao and Leandro Barbosa to do more in Game 5?
And before the probable final game of the series, the veteran Speights already stepped up to the plate and fired the first shot at the (possibly) LeBron James:
In other words, the Warriors need a near-perfect game and game plan if they want to close out the Cavaliers in Game 5. For a historically great squad, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and the rest of the Warriors (without Green) might just clinch the NBA title in Game 5 even without one of their best players.