2016 NBA Finals – Game 5

LeBron and Kyrie make history.

Advertisements

Tonight, the entire NBA Playoffs could come to an end. The Warriors are one win away from wrapping up their second consecutive championship. That’s actually been slightly overshadowed by the Draymond Green/LeBron James ruckus. In Game 4, Green hit the ground, and LeBron stepped over him, incensing Green so much that he hit LeBron in the nuts, and took another swing at him before the two squared off. After the NBA reviewed the incident, Green was suspended for tonight, as it pushed him over the magic limit of flagrant foul points that one can accrue during the Playoffs before an automatic suspension. This has caused quite the row, with the Warriors players calling LeBron James a crybaby, and people arguing over whether or not James could handle the older, more rugged days of the NBA. On top of that, people are upset Green was suspended, claiming it only happened because he went after LeBron. Also, James claims Green called him a bitch, which crossed a line, furthering people’s doubt that LeBron would survive in the olden days of the NBA. Also, LeBron claims that he didn’t step over Green on purpose. What a mess!

I think it’s clear that LeBron did step over Draymond on purpose. It’s one of the most disrespectful thing a man can do to another man on the basketball court. I think he did it because he knew, as did the rest of us, including Green, knew that Draymond was one incident away from getting a suspension, and he fell for LeBron’s bait. LeBron’s not a bitch, a dick, maybe, but not a bitch, and Draymond should have kept his cool. Easier said than done in that situation. Anyway, now Green will be watching tonight’s game outside of The Oracle, in the neighboring coliseum, where the Oakland A’s play. Word on the street is the NBA might let him into The Oracle towards the end of the game, if it’s clear that the Warriors are about to close out the series. Anyway, it’s certainly made for an interesting lead up to Game 5.

Now, onto the game itself. Andre Iguodala will start in place of the suspended Green. The Warriors seem pretty pissed off about this whole situation, which could provide an added spark for them to finish off the Finals with a resounding win. As for the Cavs, their backs are against the wall, and they’ll be facing a hostile Oracle crowd. The pressure’s on LeBron to come up with a big performance tonight, because if he wilts, not only will the Cavaliers suffer a five game gentleman’s sweep, but all people will remember is Draymond Green calling him a bitch, the Warriors calling him a baby, and then him going out there and screwing the pooch in an elimination game. So, yeah, LeBron needs to have a great game tonight.

8:59 pm – Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson welcome us to The Oracle for Game 5. This could very well be the last time we hear from them this season, which isn’t the worst thing, as much as I do miss basketball during the off season.

9:03 – Before the game, we have a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting down in Orlando. Former Magic player, and Orlando resident, Grant Hill says a few solemn words before the moment of silence begins. We here at The Bonus send our good thoughts and well wishes to the friends and families of the victims, and all of the people down in Orlando, including some friends of ours that are living down there. Things like this often bring the best out of the good guys, and the people of Orlando have been no exception as they’ve come together with strength and unity in the wake of this terrible event.

9:11 – Oh my god, the Cavs are wearing horrifc sleeved jerseys tonight. I hope they lose by 100 points. Anyway, the Warriors win the opening tip, and Game 5 is underway! By the way, Kevin Love is back in the starting lineup for Cleveland after coming off the bench in Game 4.

9:12 – LeBron gets his first touch, and is immediately and loudly booed. Much to everyone’s delight, Andre Iguodala steals the ball from him and goes all the way for a layup for the first points of the ball game! That’s followed up by a Kyrie Irving three, and the Cavs begin the game with a 3-2 lead.

9:13 – Oh man, you can feel the hatred coming through the television.

9:16 – We’ve got the first time out of the night after Klay Thompson blows by JR Smith, loses control of the ball, but has it go straight to Andre Iguodala for an easy basket. The score’s Golden State 9, Cleveland 3 with 8:36 left in the first quarter. The Warriors are locked in on defense, forcing four Cleveland turnovers already. The crowd is full of energy and hate, and even though we’ve played about three and a half minutes, this game already kind of feels over.

In other news…

9:20 – Five turnovers for the Cavs now.

9:25 – Another “FREE DRAYMOND” chant as the refs review a foul that Festus Ezeli committed on Tristan Thompson. Best review ever. It ends up just being called a common foul.

9:28 – In case you’re wondering what Draymond Green’s up to…

9:32 – We’ve got a time out as the Cavs have gotten themselves into this one. It’s Golden State 25, Cleveland 22 with 3:12 left in the quarter. Some good news for the Cavs: LeBron’s hit a couple of threes. If he can keep up the good outside shooting, he’ll be able to have the kind of legendary performance the Cavs need out of him tonight.

9:39 – Another time out with the score Golden State 27, Cleveland 26 with 1:44 to go in the first quarter. Obviously, the game no longer feels over, but I stand by the statement I made earlier. I was there, and by there, I mean on my couch, but that’s the way it felt at the time.

9:46 – A long first quarter comes to an end with the score Golden State 32, Cleveland 29. Steph Curry’s got 10 points to lead the Warriors, while LeBron James leads the Cavs with 12. JR Smith also has ten for Cleveland. It ended up being a pretty good quarter as the Cavs survived after a quick start from the Warriors. One concern for Cleveland is that their starters did not get much rest in the opening quarter, with LeBron and Tristan Thompson playing all twelve minutes. On the other hand, eleven different Warriors have appeared in the game.

9:49 – Richard Jefferson starts the second quarter off with a dunk, after receiving a nice pass from JR Smith, and the Cavs trail, 32-31. LeBron starts the quarter on the bench for his first rest of the night.

9:51 – Kyrie Irving pulls up and hits a three, and the Cavs have scored the first seven points of the quarter to make the score Cleveland 36, Golden State 32 with 10:45 left in the first half. Looks like this one is going to be more interesting than we thought.

9:54 – I just saw a trailer for Jason Bourne in which Bourne drives by someone on a motorcycle and punches them in the face. If he had done that to LeBron, he’d totally get suspended, am I right?

10:05 – We’ve got a time out with the score Golden State 49, Cleveland 48 with 5:09 left until halftime. Both teams are going at it, and the energy level from all of the players, and the fans, is right where it should be for a game with this much at stake. Klay Thompson is really going bonkers right now. He’s up to 23 points, and the Warriors have needed every last one of them to stay ahead of the Cavs. It’s the sort of performance that could earn him Finals MVP if this keeps up.

10:12 – Kyrie Irving picks off a lazy pass and takes it all the way to the hoop for a layup as turnovers have become an issue for the Warriors, while the Cavs continue to be a worthy opponent. In fact, they even have the lead. It’s Cleveland 54, Golden State 50 with 3:45 to go until halftime.

10:22 – A fantastic first half comes to an end with the score Golden State 61, Cleveland 61. It’s been a back and forth game, with both teams trading punches, unfortunately none of which have come via a speeding motorcycle. Nevertheless, it’s been a killer game. We’ve got a duel brewing between Klay Thompson and LeBron James. Klay’s got 26 points for the Warriors, and LeBron’s poured in 25 points and grabbed 9 rebounds as neither team looks keen on giving an inch. It’s not just those two contributing either. Kyrie Irving’s got 18 points, and JR Smith has contributed 10 for the Cavs. Steph Curry’s scored 13 for the Warriors, and Andre Iguodala has been all over the place and goes into the break with 10 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

Now that’s what we all like to see! As I mentioned earlier, it looked like the Warriors were primed to just put this one away early, but LeBron and the Cavs have stepped up, and we’ve got a good one here in Game 5. Also, former NBA player Doug Christie loved our lame testicles joke…

I enjoy that I just had a vague interaction with a player I remember watching when I was a kid. Kevin Garnett was right, anything is possible….ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10:32 – All right, it’s time for This Day In NBA Playoff History, brought to you by the good folks down at Basketball-Reference!

Way back on June 13, 1989, the Detroit Pistons won their first NBA title by finishing off a sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers with a 105-97 victory in Game 4 of the Finals. Joe Dumars scored 23 points and dished out 6 assists, leading six Pistons players who scored in double figures. James Worthy submitted a valiant effort for the Lakers, scoring 40 points, while AC Green chipped in with 6 points and 12 rebounds. In what turned out to be the final game in his legendary career, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar bowed out with 7 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. It should be noted that the Lakers did have to battle the Pistons without stars Magic Johnson and Byron Scott after they were lost to injuries earlier in the series, but that old Pistons team probably would have beaten them anyway.

nba_1989Pistons_576.jpg

10:39 – Meanwhile…

10:40 – Kyrie Irving starts off the second half by getting fouled, getting to the hoop, and laying the ball in. He hits his free throw, and the Cavs go up, 64-61. Irving’s got 21 points.

10:41 – Steph Curry immediately ties the game at 64 with a three, but LeBron answers right back with one of his own, and the Cavs are ahead, 67-64, as James is up to 28 points on the night.

10:42 – Andrew Bogut blocks a layup from JR Smith, but Smith goes flying into Bogut’s knee, sending the Warriors big man to the ground in pain. Play goes on, with each team getting a possession, and Bogut remaining on the ground, before the Warriors take a time out. The score’s still Cleveland 67, Golden State 64 with 10:07 left in the third quarter and a potentially big injury looming over the Warriors.

10:46 – Oh dear, we’re back from time out, and we see footage of Andrew Bogut being carried to the locker room, unable to put any weight on his left leg. Horrible news all around. Now the Warriors will have to carry on without Bogut, and of course Draymond Green, who as you might remember, is suspended for tonight’s basketball game. They’ll have to roll with some pretty small lineups for the rest of the night.

10:47 – Two Klay Thompson free throws makes this a one point game with the Warriors behind, 67-66.

10:48 – Kyrie Irving gets near the hoop and banks in a floater, extending the Cavs lead to 69-66.

10:50 – Kevin Love finds LeBron James for a dunk, and the Cavs have their largest lead at 71-66. James is up to 30 points.

10:53 – After he’s fouled shooting a three, Klay Thompson goes 3-3 from the free throw line, and the Warriors trail, 74-71. Klay’s up to 33 points this evening.

10:54 – Tristan Thompson goes 1-2 from the line for the Cavs, and they lead, 75-71.

11:00 – Klay Thompson misses a short jumper, but Festus Ezeli slams home the offensive rebound, and the Cavs call a time out. The score’s Cleveland 85, Golden State 77 with 3:50 left in the third quarter. Golden State’s fallen out of their groove ever since Bogut left the game. They’ve started trying to do too much on every possession, going for big home run plays instead of playing relaxed and under control. Meanwhile, the Cavs continue to be aggressive as LeBron and Kyrie Irving are putting on a show. Do they have enough to hold on and extend this series, or can the Warriors calm themselves down and regain control?

11:04 – Back from the time out, the Warriors resort to intentionally fouling lousy free throw shooter Tristan Thompson. He goes 1-2 from the line, and the Cavs lead is 86-77.

11:05 – Another intentional foul of Thompson. This time he misses them both, but the Warriors can’t score on the other end and trail, 89-82.

11:06 – After failing to score, the Warriors go right back to fouling Thompson. He hits them both this time, and the Cavs lead is up to 91-82.

11:11 – The third quarter comes to a close with the score Cleveland 93, Golden State 84. The Warriors have looked panicked since halftime, and they’ve made some unfortunate decisions on offense. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers are enjoying incredible performances from LeBron James (36 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists) and Kyrie Irving (29 points, 5 assists). This is the sort of game that cements legendary legacies, and I think it’s safe to say that no matter what Draymond Green may or may not have said, LeBron ain’t no bitch.

11:15 – Steph Curry leads off the fourth quarter by nailing a three, and the Warriors have their deficit down to 93-87.

11:16 – Bad news for the Warriors…

11:21 – Another “FREE DRAYMOND” chant rings out as the refs review a JR Smith foul upon Anderson Varejao. Smith hit Varejao across the dome as he went up for a dunk, as Jeff Van Gundy commends Varejao on his acting skills, after the Warriors center spent some extra time lying on the ground, holding his ear. It ends up being a common foul.

11:28 – After Kyrie Irving knocks down a shot, and is fouled, he converts the old fashioned three point play, and the Warriors call a time out. Our score’s Cleveland 102, Golden State 92 with 7:30 remaining in the game. The Warriors continue to make some inexplicable decisions on offense, launching up impossible shots, attempting ridiculous passes and just trying to do too much. There’s still enough time for them to pull off a comeback, but if they don’t settle down, we’re going back to Cleveland for Game 6. It all might be a moot point anyway with the way LeBron and Kyrie are playing.

11:35 – Kyrie Irving ignores a wide open Tristan Thompson under the hoop to launch a heat check three…and he’s still on fire. The three puts Cleveland up 109-96, and gives Kyrie Irving 41 points.

11:36 – We’ve got a time out with the score still Cleveland 109, Golden State 96 with 4:41 to go. LeBron’s missed his last four shots, and could be a little tired, but it doesn’t matter because Kyrie Irving is on the warpath and ensuring the Cavs don’t lose any ground. What an incredible performance tonight.

11:38 – Oh man, Robert Wisdom, the guy who played Bunny Colvin on The Wire, just liked one of our tweets. What an amazing night.

0152a2a1-647e-4abd-b3ee-f3c1e65cf84e.jpg

Shout out to Tiffani Clements as well!

11:41 – LeBron hits a jumper, plus he’s fouled! It gives him 40 points on the night, making this the first time in NBA history that two players on the same team have reached 40 points in a Finals game. He hits his free throw, matching Kyrie’s 41, and the Cavs lead has ballooned up to 112-96.

11:45 – We’re back from a time out, and all of the Warriors starters have been removed from the game as we go under two minutes remaining. The NBA Finals will live to fight another day.

11:50 – Game 5 comes to an end with a final score of Cleveland 112, Golden State 97. Well, all of the drama that led up to this game was overshadowed by legendary performances by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, the perfect response to all of the noise coming from the Warriors about James being a crybaby, and a bitch and what have you. LeBron finished the evening with 41 points, 16 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks while shooting 16-30 from the field. He also hit a great amount of his perimeter shots, something he’s been struggling with throughout the Playoffs, and something that makes him damn near unstoppable when he’s hitting them. Kyrie Irving stepped up as well, and really caught fire down the stretch as LeBron started missing shots. He also sprung for 41 points, and dished out 6 assists, and most impressively, he shot a sizzling 17-24 from the field, and those weren’t all easy shots, I’ll have you know. It was one of the more incredible performances I’ve ever seen in the Finals, and once again, it was the first time two teammates have topped 40 in a Finals game. Oh, and Tristan Thompson chipped in with 6 points and 15 rebounds. We can’t forget about that. Anyway, the Cavs still face a 3-2 deficit. Not ideal, but much more manageable than what they faced coming into the night.

getty-images-540018270.jpg
It was a great win for the Cavs, but, good God, those are horrible jerseys.

As for the Warriors, Klay Thompson led them with 37 points, and Steph Curry finished with 25 points and 7 rebounds, but shot just 8-21, particularly struggling throughout the second half. Andre Iguodala went for 15 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists, but the game got away from them after Andrew Bogut was hurt. If they have one weakness, it’s that they can try to do too much and over compensate when their opponent makes life hard for them. That’s what happened here tonight as they went down in a sea of crummy, rushed shots, bad passes and a lack of calm. Now they’re heading back to a frenzied Cleveland for Game 6, although, they will have Draymond Green back, but what about Bogut?

You never know when something utterly insane, ridiculous and legendary will happen, which is suppose why people like me try to watch every goddamn Playoff game. I’m of course talking about Doug Christie and Robert Wisdom interacting with us on Twitter. The game was also pretty good, however, and I’m glad the Finals are continuing on, especially since we predicted the Warriors to win in seven games.

 

Author: tomeagher

Watching too much basketball.

1 thought on “2016 NBA Finals – Game 5”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s