CLEVELAND (Diya TV) — Game 4 of last year’s NBA Finals is when the Warriors turned the ship around, decisively winning the next three games to capture the team’s first championship in more than four decades. Andre Iguodala was inserted into the lineup for that game in place of Andrew Bogut, which proved to be the kryptonite for the Cavs offense.
After being blown out 120-90 in Game 3, one thing head coach Steve Kerr isn’t worried about is his lineup, specifically the absentee play of MVP Stephen Curry.
“Just think about the OKC series. We’re down 3-1, he hadn’t played well,” Kerr said Thursday.”Look what he did the last few games. So that’s Steph. That’s who he is. He always responds. He’s got a huge heart, competitive as hell, and extremely talented. I know how he will respond. He’ll play well. He always does.”
Curry led the league in scoring throughout the regular season with 30.4 points per game, but the MVP found himself in foul trouble during Game 3 on Wednesday. Additionally, he was missing his trademark swagger on the court for the third game in a row. The Cavaliers defense have been glued to Curry since the series began.
“We can definitely help Steph out and we will. We can put him in better position to catch the ball or to handle the ball and to come off screens and that kind of stuff with more space, and we’ll do that tomorrow. Then the other side of it is just him playing better, and that’s what the Playoffs are about.,” Kerr said.
“All this stuff about, ‘Oh, my God, what are we going to do?,” he added, “All we have to do is take stock. We’re up 2-1. We’re in pretty good shape. We haven’t played that well. Let’s play better.”
Golden State had emerged victorious against the Cavaliers in seven consecutive games, stretching back to Game 4 of last year’s Finals until Wednesday. Recognizing that Game 4 was the turning point of last year’s series, Cleveland star LeBron James spoke on the importance of coming out Friday night with the same effort.
“We can’t afford to go down 3-1 and go into their building and give them confidence going back. So it’s a do-or-die game for us still,” James said Thursday.
Kyrie Irving was an integral part of the Cavaliers victory on Wednesday, the 24-year-old had to sit out last year’s Finals after fracturing his knee during Game 1. The former No. 1 overall pick is viewed as James’ sidekick.
“As a maturing young player, young man, I had to really just remove myself emotionally and realize that the journey isn’t going to be easy in order to be a champion in this league, a great player or anything. And when you have the chance to learn from someone like that and you have a group of guys in our locker room like we do with veteran leadership, it makes my job a lot easier and a lot more fun to be a part of,” Irving said. “So I’m happy about the team that we’re part of and the teams that I’ve been part of. But being around him every single day has been great for my career.”
For Cleveland, the real question is whether Kevin Love will be a go for Game 4. Head coach Tyronn Lue said the team missed his rebounding and scoring prowess in Game 3.
“We miss his rebounding. We miss his post presence. We miss his three-point shooting,” Lue said Thursday. “So we definitely want him back, but he has to take the steps necessary to get himself back. So just staying positive with him. We know it’s a tough time being in the NBA Finals. It’s something you dreamed about your whole life, and having to deal with this is tough. But myself, my coaching staff, teammates, we all have his back and we wish him well and need him back.”
India Rising puts forth valiant effort in loss to Boeheim’s Army in TBT
SYRACUSE (Diya TV) — With The Basketball Tournament commencing, most eyes have been set on Boeheim’s Army and their path to repeating as champions. However, their first match provided an opponent true to its name: India Rising.
While one may look at the 90-62 score and disregard the India Rising squad, when watching the game, the team did truly give Boeheim’s Army a run for their money in the first half. Facing a team full of guys who played under one of the greatest basketball coaches ever, Jim Boeheim, India Rising jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and was able to keep pace with Boeheim’s Army for a substantial amount of time. Most people may have written them off early but they kept fighting. They had a clear cut goal to bring attention to basketball players of Indian descent by pulling off a cinderella win and carve a path for themselves. It is clear that they put in their full effort to try and realize those goals.
In the second half, Boeheim’s army was able to pull away but India Rising had made their message clear: Indian ballers should not be overlooked. The box score does not paint the real picture of how much heart, determination, and grit India Rising displayed to get more recognition. General manager Gautam Kapur and head coach Ajay Sharma have done an excellent job overseeing the initiative and giving the best Indian hoopers a chance to shine on a big stage.
In a 64 team tournament, India Rising stood out and gave a near-professional squad a tough time. For what this team set out to achieve, no heads should be hung low. India Rising should be getting the recognition they so rightfully deserve.
Warriors win Game 5 at home, now just one game away from the title
SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) —The Golden State Warriors are just one win away from their fourth title in eight years. The Dubs returned home and overpowered the Boston Celtics 104-94 to take a 3-2 series lead, even though Stephen Curry only scored 16. Infact, Curry did not make a single three, a first in the last 3.5 years. Andrew Wiggins on the other hand matched Tatum while scoring a team-high 26 points and added 13 rebounds, including the dagger dunk to finish off Boston.
Draymond Green saw glimpses of a turnaround game as he was very close to a triple double before fouling out for the 3rd time in this series. Klay Thompson made a great contribution on the offensive end with 21 points, on the third anniversary of his horrific injury in the finals against the Cavaliers in 2019 . The Warriors trio of Curry, Thompson and Green were able to cement themselves even further with their 20th Finals win together, the most of any trio over the past 30 years.
The Celtics saw franchise star Jayson Tatum have a better game scoring wise than the last game with a team-high 27 points. But while Tatum showed up for game 5, Jaylen Brown did not. When both of those players are on at the same time, the Celtics can light it up. However, there has been inconsistency from both throughout the Finals. The C’s will need both guys to be on for them to fend off the Dubs and force a Game 7.
The Warriors can close out the series and add a 7th ring to their collection with a win on Thursday in the hostile environment of TD Garden. A collective team effort would do the trick as in Game 4, Curry shouldered the load while the rest of his supporting cast did the same for him. The Celtics will look to put forth their best effort of the season in a final effort to keep their season alive. It could very well come down to if both Tatum and Brown can prove they can be a dynamic duo on the biggest stage.
Warriors seal Game 4 victory with an epic Steph Curry performance, tie series 2-2
BOSTON (Diya TV) — The Warriors, seal Game 4 victory with a vintage Stephen Curry performance, evened up the NBA Finals in an absolute thriller, winning 107-97.
The start of the game saw both teams match each other pound for pound with Boston ultimately taking the first quarter by a single point. There were notions before the game about Curry having a foot sprain, but he quickly laid those doubts to rest. He began to heat up in the first quarter (and talked some trash along the way). Conversely, Draymond Green continued his finals performance with more fouls than points. Robert Williams III showed off his skills as a rim protector on defense, which was a missing piece for the Celtics up until the point of Williams’ return. In the first half, Curry and Jayson Tatum battled against each other in classic star matchup fashion with Curry scoring 19 and Tatum going for 16. Tatum was money from beyond the arc (made 3 out of his 4 three-point attempts), just like he’s been all Finals as he’s been shooting 48% on 3’s.
The officiating in the first half was questionable, especially in the second quarter when Payton Pritchard clearly traveled and yet a foul was called instead. This set off Warriors HC Steve Kerr and his temper led to him getting a technical foul. For a non-call to be that egregious and then to double down by giving Kerr the technical foul is asinine and something that certainly sparked controversy. Attention was also brought to the Celtics free throw attempts versus the Warriors (15 and 5 respectively) even with both teams attacking the basket often. Despite this disparity, the Warriors were able to keep it within 5 at the end of the half.
More Curry magic continued in the second half with him carrying the team on his back, in essence. 43 points highlight the stat line but when watching the game, it was clear as day that he was really the only dependable source of scoring throughout the ballgame for the Dubs. With 7 threes made tonight, we saw the greatest shooter in league history go to work and will his team to victory. In the biggest stage of basketball, Curry made his mark once again.
The Celtics now face a daunting Game 5 heading to San Francisco. Winning both games on their home court would have all but sealed a championship for them. But now, the door has not only creaked, but swung wide open. The #1 defense in the NBA will gameplan to try and find answers for Curry. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will be facing a challenging environment in Chase Center, but one they are familiar with.
Meanwhile, the Warriors will look to capitalize off the momentum and adrenaline this win has given them. Off the heels of a classic performance, Curry will try to carry on his titanium-strong Finals MVP case. Draymond Green, coming back to friendly faces in San Francisco, will try to turn around an awful stretch. This series is shaping up to be a dramatic one with both teams trading blows. Game 5 should deliver more popcorn-worthy entertainment, especially if Stephen Curry is involved.
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