NOTE: On NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I review game 2 of the NBA Finals.
Statistics back up my position that whichever team wins game 4 will win the title. If the Cavs win and go up 3 games to 1, they have a great chance to win the title. In the past since the format of the NBA playoffs went to the 2-2-1-1-1 format 84% of the teams that went up 3 games to 1 won the title.
If the Warriors win game 4 they take back home court advantage. Statistically the vast majority of teams that have a 7th game at home win that game and the title.
A major question about the game is which Stephen Curry will we see? If it is they 4th quarter SC that led the Warriors to a 36 point quarter, the Cavs are in trouble. If it is the SC that played in the first 3 quarters, the Cavs have a good chance. Part of that will depend on Curry’s ability to shoot more accurately and the rest will depend on Matthew Dellavedova’s ability to keep pressure on Curry. Dellavedova has been outstanding on defense and contributed 20 points in game 3.
Dellavedova was taken off Curry in the 4th quarter. If he is allowed to stay on Curry in game 4, there is a good chance that Curry will struggle again. The other key part of the Cavs’ wins in games 2 and 3 was the lack of scoring by the front court of Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes. Barnes was 0 for 8 and Green was 2 for 10. If Curry can not pull a LeBron James and carry the team on his back in game 4, the Warriors will need Barnes and Green to shoot better.
The other big question about the series is can James and the Cavs continue to play as many minutes and as good a defense as they have in the last two games? James has played 142 of the 154 minutes in the series. While I suspect he will be fine, I worry about Dellavedova and the other Cavs. They need to continue to put the heat on the Warrior shooters.
If not, the Cavs will be in trouble. The Warriors have lots of depth. The Cavs do not. That depth was a major reason that coming into the series the Warriors were the favorite. Now the Cavs have the upper hand. To keep it they need to win tonight.
That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.
NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.
He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.
To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.