AGGRESSIVE, ATTACKING LEBRON – While he didn’t get the calls in Game #5 at Golden State, LeBron needs to go to the basket strong and frequently because it’s his best offensive weapon and it will put the onus on the officials to make calls if there is any contact. I expect “King James” to shoot no less than 14 free throws in this Game #6 if he attacks the rim.
POUND THE BOARDS – The Cavs lost the battle of the boards in Game #5 overall and at the offensive end, that can’t happen again in this series starting with tonight’s Game #6. Even if David Blatt decides to go small again, the Cavaliers as a unit must find a way to hold the Warriors to one shot, while at the other end create second and third chance opportunities on offense.
GET PHYSICAL WITH STEPH AND THE WARRIORS – Curry went for 37 in Game #5, if he does that again the Cavs season will end tonight and the Warriors will be NBA Champs. Overall the Cavs must make Golden State feel them from the opening tip to the final whistle. If that means take a few hard fouls and also grab, bump and knock Steph Curry around, then do it. Don’t let him get comfortable. I would also mix in a little zone when trying to play maybe Tristan Thompson and Timofey Mozgov together, putting Lebron, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert on the perimeter and force the Warriors to go inside. Use this to try and catch Golden State by surprise and it may buy you a few minutes so you can play your “Bigs” together.
CONTROL THE TEMPO – This series has been all about the pace of the game. When Golden State has scored 100 or more points in the NBA Finals, they are (3-0). When the Cavs have held the Warriors under 100 points, Cleveland is (2-0). A slowdown, slugfest favors Cleveland. An up and down the court, track meet style game benefits the Warriors.
A SUPPORTING CAST – LeBron is doing it all and that’s still not enough. He needs a consistent second and third scorer if the Cavs are to force a Game #7 and have a chance to win the title. That means J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert must step their games up on the offensive end and provide at least 35 points between the two of them for the Cavs to have any chance. I expect LeBron to score between 35 and 45 points tonight, but without help from “The Others”, it won’t matter and the season will come to an end.
With the TV ratings at an all-time high, you know the NBA office wants a Game #7 that would feature Steph Curry and LeBron James. With that in mind and this game being played in Cleveland, I expect the Cavs to get more calls tonight giving them a chance to win Game #6, but it will come down to LeBron and “The Others” making shots and free throws. In a game in the 90’s, I expect the LeBron and the Cavs to find a way to win and force a Game #7 Friday at Golden State by defeating the Warriors tonight 95-91 at The Q!