The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors will face off for Game 6 of the 2015 NBA Finals on Tuesday night. The Warriors have a 3-2 series lead, while the Cavaliers have home court. Here is your A-Z guide to the game.
LeBron James leads all players with 8.8 assists per game, with a staggering 47.3 assist percentage. The Warriors as a team have a 22 to 16.2 edge over the Cavaliers.
Cavaliers’ David Blatt is in his first year as an NBA head coach, but he is no stranger to title series. While coaching in overseas he won multiple championships, including Euroleague, the Israeli Cup and Israeli League.
Steph Curry already won NBA MVP and is looking to add a championship to his accolades. He is taking an even-keeled approach being one victory away. “We’re not getting ahead of ourselves,” he said. “In the locker room, if you walked in there (it) was the exact same after a regular season win.”
Matthew Dellevadova was the hero of Game 3. James can’t do it all on his own, and the Cavs could use another big night from him on both ends of the floor to keep the series alive.
Both teams have traveled from Cleveland to San Francisco with only one day off in between. The schedule is grueling, but the Cavs and Warriors will have to channel their energy to overcome their exhaustion.
F: Finals MVP
Even if the Warriors win the championship, LeBron James is deserving of being named NBA Finals MVP. His monster performances could make him the first player on a losing team to win the award since Jerry West in 1969.
After struggling at points in the series, Draymond Green bounced back for the Warriors and is going into Game 6 holding himself and teammates accountable. “I know I was pathetic in the first three games, but yet I also knew that there were some things that a lot of guys on our team, all of us, needed to do better, and that was fight,” he said. “But I wasn’t bringing any fight to the game, so how could I call anybody else on our team out and I wasn’t bringing any fight? That’s kind of my role on this team.”
H: Highest Rated
This series is the most-watched NBA Finals on ABC through five games. It is averaging 19,215,000 viewers, an increase of 25 percent from last season.
Andre Iguodala earned “M-V-P” chants from the Warriors home crowd in Game 5 in response to the way he has battled James on defense and contributed consistently on offense. “When I hear MVP I’m thinking they’re talking about Steph,” he said.
LeBron James didn’t hold back expressing his view of himself for Game 6. “I feel confident because I’m the best player in the world,” he said. “It’s that simple.”
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr won five championships as a player: three with the Chicago Bulls and two with the San Antonio Spurs. He’s looking for his first title as a head coach (in his first year as a coach at any level).
L: Long Range
The Warriors have continued their long-range barrage in the Finals, shooting 35.5 percent from three-point range (compared to the Cavaliers’ 30.5 percent).
In spite of a strong performance throughout the series, Blatt only utilized Timofey Mozgov for nine minutes in Game 5. He isn’t concerned about Mozgov in Game 6. “It’s no disrespect to anyone, certainly not to Timo who has done a great job for us,” Blatt said after Game 5. “That’s just the way that we played it tonight, and Timo will be back and he will not lose his way or lose his head just because he didn’t play a lot tonight.”
N: No Easy Shots
Curry is capable of going off from three-point range on any night. The Cavaliers have challenge him on each shot. “He’s one of the best shooters in our league,” said Tristan Thompson. “Coach preaches to us every night, ‘Have a high hand, he’s going to make tough shots.’ … We’ve got to contest and we’ve got to be at half court and make it physical for him and make it tough for him.”
O: On the Brink
With a 3-2 series lead, the Warriors are on the brink of winning their first NBA Championship in 40 years.
P: Protect the Ball
The Warriors committed 16 turnovers in Game 5 to the Cavs’ 10.
Q: Quicken Loans Arena
The Cavaliers will look to win on their home court at Quicken Loans Arena. “We’re going home with a Game 6 and we’ve got enough to win it,” said James.
The Cavaliers have a slight advantage over the Warriors on the glass: 45.8 rebounds to 45.2. However, the Warriors outrebounded the Cavs, 43-37, in Game 5. “They’re going to get offensive rebounds because they shoot a lot of jump shots and a lot of long rebounds, but when that happens, we’ve got to match up very quickly and not allow them to make shots,” said James.
What can the Cavaliers expect from J.R. Smith in this critical game? He attempted 14 three-pointers in Game 5, hitting four.
T: The Thompsons
Tristan Thompson has been a beast on the glass for the Cavaliers (13 rebounds per game in the Finals) while Klay Thompson has averaged 18 points for the Warriors.
Both teams have made unexpected changes throughout the series, from Kerr starting Iguodala to Blatt playing Mozgov limited minutes.
With James Jones and Mike Miller, the Cavaliers have veteran championship winners who have been in this position before.
W: Will to Win
Players have suffered injuries, dehydration and a bevvy of bumps and bruises on the road to the NBA Finals. Closing out the series is just as much mental as it is physical, with the will to win as a driving force.
As seen from Dellevedova and Iguodala, among others, with obvious star power on each team there is an opportunity for players to step up and become the x-factor that sets their team apart.
Will youth outweigh experience in this series? Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes are 25 and younger.
The Cavaliers have zero NBA championships, a number they look to change in this series.
- Michael Jordan 1998 NBA Finals Jersey Could Sell For $5M At Auction
- Dan Patrick: “Kevin Durant is acting childish, unlike a true leader”
- Lakers to run offense through Anthony Davis instead of LeBron James next season
- NBA Twitter reacts to Kevin Durant roasting Internet troll
- Mojave King signs with G League Ignite after two seasons in NBL
Main Page1 week ago
Under Armor set to release Curry 4 FloTro sneakers on August 5
Main Page1 week ago
Hornets’ PJ Washington and girlfriend Alisah Chanel expecting first child
Main Page2 days ago
A Complete History of the Dejounte Murray vs Paolo Banchero Beef
Main Page4 days ago
Knicks, Lakers, Jazz nearly pulled trigger on Westbrook, Mitchell trade