NBA Finals 2016: Can the Cleveland Cavaliers extend the series up to Game 7?

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons)

The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the verge of losing the NBA Finals for two consecutive years against the same team, the Golden State Warriors. With Game 5 going back to the opponent’s territory, can the Cavaliers extend the series up to Game 7?

The Game 4 of the NBA Finals was indeed a very important game for the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was supposed to be their chance to tie the series with the Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately, they lost for the third time and the next game may cost them the NBA championship title.

Many were expecting the Cavaliers to beat the Warriors in Game 4 since they have the homecourt advantage. Game 3 seemed to be the turning point for the Cavaliers as they managed to grab their first win with a 30-point lead. Many praised the Cavaliers defense especially with the ‘Splash Brothers’ limiting their scoring performance for only 29-points combined.

LeBron James established an outstanding performance in Game 4 with 25 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists, two steals, three blocks and 11-of-21 shooting. Coach Tyronn Lue also did what many expected him to do. He started Richard Jefferson over Kevin Love with the belief that they can beat the Warriors with the same lineup they had in Game 3. However, why did the Cavaliers still lose?

Tim Cato of SB Nation expressed his opinion about the Cavaliers’ Game 4 loss:

“You can’t hold the Splash Bros down forever”

“At this point, we all know this. The Cavaliers slowed down Curry and Thompson for stretches, but all it takes is a moment for the defense to crack and a second for a defender to be a step slow, and suddenly either the league’s best or second-best shooter is stepping into a makeable shot. Those cracks showed far too often in the third quarter for Cleveland, when Curry and Thompson each got a couple open threes on four straight possessions. They hit a combined three of them, and suddenly a comfortable lead for Cleveland with a chance to extend it into double digits turned into a tie game. It’s a hard thing to ask for near-perfection from defenses playing Golden State, but it’s a reality. The Cavaliers slipped up a few too many times on defense, and against this team, that’s usually all it takes to lose a game.” Cato said emphasizing how Curry and Thompson helped the Warriors win Game 4.

The way the Cavaliers managed to bounce back in Game 3 is how the Splash Brothers wanted to avenge their defeat in Game 4. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson may not be consistent every game but they have proven many times that they can be a dangerous opponent everytime they are given the opportunity to show their talents.

Now that the Golden State Warriors will be having the homecourt advantage in Game 5, can the Cleveland Cavaliers keep their hopes up and extend the series up to Game 7?

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

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