As the Warriors and Cavaliers prepare for their Tuesday night match-up, each team will be dueling to write a new chapter in their organization’s history.
The Warriors are of course just one win away from their first title in 40 years, while the Cavaliers are looking to force a Game 7 and capture the organization’s first NBA title.
“It’s going to be the hardest game of our lives,” guard Klay Thompson said of Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday. After playing more than 40 minutes in Game 5 on Sunday, Stephen Curry wants to make sure his team — which features players with no Finals experience until this season — finishes the task with appropriate urgency. When asked about how much he’d like to end the series in Cleveland Tuesday, Curry responded, “what is the best way to say really bad?”
After the Warriors found themselves in a series deficit, head coach Steve Kerr decided to flip the script on his lineup and go small. Combine that with the 37-point performance we saw from Curry in Game 5, and the Warriors are where they are now. “He’s just been an MVP for us, and we’re going to try to have another MVP performance next game,” said Warriors forward Andre Iguodala, who himself has been one of the, if not, the most valuable player in these NBA Finals for the Warriors. The undisputed leader of the Cavaliers, LeBron James, called himself “the best player in the world,” after the Warriors took the 3-2 series lead Sunday.
Head coach Steve Kerr won 5 championships as a player, and came off the bench for the vast majority of his 15 year career in the NBA. The fact Kerr has a handful of rings speaks for enough, but the fact he was able to survive for such an extended period of time as a bench player, speaks to the calm and control he had as a player and most likely over this roster. “They feel very confident. Sometimes we’re a little too confident and we get a little carried away. But they believe in what they’re doing and they believe in each other,” Kerr said of the Warriors.
The most important thing for these players to remember is to play with a sense of urgency. No matter how great the thought of winning the title on your home court might appear, the last thing the Warriors are looking to do is give LeBron James any type of lifeline or hope to accomplish anything else this season. James has won two straight playoff series, and four straight games, when his teams are trailing 3-2. Ask the Celtics and Spurs how they felt about letting him get back into a series. While James carries impressive numbers when trailing, the Warriors carry impressive numbers of their own this postseason. They are currently 3-1 in closeout games, minus the now known disaster when Curry fell on his head during Game 4 of the Houston series.
“We don’t want to come back (home for Game 7),” Thompson said. “As much as we’d love to win it in front of our fans, we really want to finish it in Cleveland.”
I don’t want you to either Klay.