NBA Finals Game Seven Preview; Cleveland vs. Warriors
The NBA season has come down to one final game. One game to determine an NBA championship. The stakes couldn’t be any higher for either team, as the Golden State Warriors or the Cleveland Cavaliers face off in this NBA Finals Game seven preview..
After winning 73 regular season games as the defending NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors are one game away from back-to-back titles — or the greatest NBA Finals collapse in history.
History has already been made, as the Cavaliers are only the third team to rally to force a game 7 down 3-1 in the NBA Finals. Sunday promises to be an incredible showdown, regardless of the outcome. The Warriors are the defending champions, but LeBron James is still the top dog in the NBA.
A Golden State win would cement their season as the best ever and place the Warriors among the all-time greatest NBA dynasties. A Cleveland victory would deliver the city’s first championship of any kind in 52 years.
The Cleveland Cavaliers Are Ready
The Cleveland Cavaliers will be playing their first NBA Finals Game 7. This will be LeBron James’ second NBA Finals Game 7. With Andrew Bogut out, the Cavs will look to continue to attack the basket. James has reminded the entire world he is still
the league’s best player and even after consecutive 41 point performances, LeBron still has a ton of critics.
James has achieved four league MVP awards and two championships, but clinching his third title on the road while enduring a mid-season coaching upheaval would slay all the doubters. Leading the first-ever finals comeback from a three games to one hole also removes criticism that James has the ability to shrink on big occasions. This is the closest the Cavs have ever been to sniffing an NBA Championship and LeBron James is doing all he can to get it.
A ring in Cleveland will mean a lot more to him and his legacy compared to the two championships he won in Miami. James is 2-0 in his career in games where he has an opportunity to clinch an NBA Championship. Winning an NBA Finals Game 7 on the road has only been achieved three times in the past, and not since 1978.
For the Cavaliers to win Game 7, they will need a big contribution from Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. After struggling in the first two games of the NBA Finals, Kyrie Irving has stepped his play up with four straight amazing performances. If Kyrie Irving and Lebron James have a similar game 5 performance, the Cavs will win Game 7.
The Golden State of Mind
The Golden State Warriors know what’s at stake here. A Game 7 win will mean back-to-back Championships. The Warriors didn’t face much adversity this season, until the last two rounds of the playoffs. The 2x reigning NBA MVP, Steph Curry, hasn’t been himself lately. The Cavs are completely in the heads of the Warriors.
For a second straight NBA Finals, Steph Curry isn’t the Finals MVP. A Game 7 performance for the ages can change that. Steph Curry’s scoring is down from his regular season output and the main reason there is Draymond Green. Draymond gave the Cavs a lifeline in game 4. Many speculate if Green didn’t get suspended for game 5, this series might have been over already.
Despite Steph Curry’s overall performance in this series, Curry has every right and reason to feel confident heading into Game 7. The Warriors have not lost three straight games all season and will play at home, where they have lost only four games in 2015-16. The experience from trailing in the last series with the Thunder will serve the Warriors well.
Expect a heavy pick and roll movement between Curry and Green. The pick and roll could provide a way to keep the Cavs’ big men in foul trouble. Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes will need to step up and carry some of the load. If Barnes or Livingston drain a couple early in Game 7, the whole feel of the game can change quickly. Usually, the home team’s bench feeds off the crowd the most.
To some degree, I believe the Warriors assumed they would win Game 5 or Game 6 just by showing up. That isn’t going to be the case in Game 7. Expect the Warriors to play their best basketball of the season in Game 7 to end their season they way they started it, as world champions.
(NBA Finals Game Seven Preview)