Christian Fuentes, sports journalist for Metro Puerto Rico
Here we are with NBA overload. Don’t worry, come Monday morning, we’ll touch on other sports going on. This is kind of a big deal. We’re in the same spot we were last year. It’s Game 6 and the Golden State Warriors are up 3-2. The circumstances of how we got here are different, though. Most people expected this series to be over. However, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving’s MONSTER individual performances now have us tuned in to a sixth game.
I’ve often said on these posts that I’m not much of a prediction man. That happens only if I need to do it. Before the series began, I was on a Metro panel that predicted the Finals. I said Golden State in six. So, officially, I’m going to have to stick to that prediction. In my head, I’m thinking this will look like Game 4. Both teams play close, Cleveland will have like a five or six point separation because of home crowd energy, and the Warriors will overcome the haymakers. In crunch time, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson will actually close if given another chance. The disappearing act of Game 5 is unlikely to repeat itself. Now, Golden State will be without Andrew Bogut, who has been a defensive force under the rim. They do, however, get Draymond Green back from suspension and they can use their small ball to their advantage most of the time.
This is where my gut feeling comes in. My gut is telling me that this is going to be Game 3 all over again. I get that little itch telling me that Cleveland will lead wire to wire and that Irving and LeBron will pick up where they left off. That stage is set, right? “Legendary performances provoke a sixth game at home, where they force a deciding game of the Finals”. Right? RIGHT?? Just my gut feeling. I’ve been wrong on gut feelings before. Ask Darío, he’ll tell you.
Darío Vázquez, resident expert
Exactly one year ago, the NBA finals stood as it stands today. The Warriors up 3-2 with a chance to close at Quicken Loans Arena but the way the series has played it’s completely different. Coming up a disastrous Game 5 by every Warrior not named Klay Thompson and two of the most complete individual performances we have seen in recent NBA Finals history by Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, both teams will lay it all on the line for what should be a pretty exciting game from start to finish.
The Warriors will lose Andrew Bogut for the rest of the finals but they get Draymond Green back from his one game suspension. The Warriors are +60 in the finals with Green on the floor and Bogut on the bench and are -1 when it’s the other way around. Losing Bogut is, of course, a blow to them on both sides of the floor as a rim protector and screen setter but I’m sure if Steve Kerr and company had to chose between having Green or Bogut on the floor they will go with Green every night. Now Cleveland doesn’t want to hear any excuses for not having Bogut on the floor given what they had to go through last year and neither do I. The pressure is on the Warriors and on Green to not give Cleveland a chance to win a game 7 coming off back to back wins.
I picked the Warriors to win the championship in six games and I believe it ends tonight. I’m not sure LeBron and Kyrie can repeat Game 5 and I don’t believe they trust anybody else on the roster to come up big for them. Green is under the scope and the last time he had all eyes on him, after not being suspended for the kick to Steven Adams, he didn’t perform well. I expect him to perform a lot better tonight and be the motor of the team to keep the game close so Stephen Curry can once again silence the critics and close the deal. Warriors by five.