Cavaliers-Warriors Game 5: Top 4 things to watch
Monte Poole's Top 4 things to watch in Game 5
Insider Monte Poole will be at Game 5 between the Cavaliers and Warriors Monday night. Here are his four biggest things to watch...
SLOW THE TRAIN
Cavaliers star LeBron James is in a desperate situation. He returned to Cleveland largely to bring a championship to the city and he senses his chance to do so this season is slipping away. He got a break, however, with the suspension of Draymond Green. James has to be good, if not great, for the Cavs to take the series back to Cleveland. Andre Iguodala has been terrific against James and must continue to be.
RIDE THE WAVE
Oracle Arena is a tremendous homecourt advantage, the best in the NBA. With the stakes so high, the energy in the building is going to be off the charts. The fans sense a championship, and will do all they can to take the Warriors over the top, especially on defense. If the Warriors draw from the energy and play nasty defense from the opening tip, they’ll be positioned to win.
Nothing is more deflating to a defense than to give up second- and third- and even fourth-chance points. The Cavs are particularly dangerous here, for big man Tristan Thompson is the best offensive rebounder in the NBA. With Green (their leading rebounder) out, the task of keeping Thompson off the glass falls mostly to Andrew Bogut and Barnes. Bogut is due for another impact game.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson struggled through the first three games before finding their long-distance rhythm in Game 4, combining for 63 points. They got open looks through screen action and constant motion. Though Green was a big part of that, the 1-2 pick-and-roll also proved effective against the Cleveland defense. If one Splash Brother brings his “A” game, the Warriors are in great shape. If both bring it, the Cavs are done.