Game 5 was probably the easiest to anticipate in a series that was unpredictable at every turn and pretty much every night.
Why? Because they were at home, down, and desperate, the defending champions. What other advantages would there be for the Warriors, for instance?
Since Draymond Green brought the contagious energy, Stephen Curry swished a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer for a double-digit lead and momentum-grabber, and Anthony Davis was head-butted in the fourth quarter and decided to end the game, there really wasn’t much suspense in Game 5.
The biggest game of the series, at least until Game 7, was therefore very certainly going to be played in Los Angeles (where the Lakers haven’t lost in the playoffs or The Play-In Tournament).
Then, we will find out whether the Warriors, who have been eerily flat on the road throughout the season, can muster the fire necessary in what will be another elimination game for them; whether LeBron James can add to his close-out legacy with an epic performance; and whether Klay Thompson can have a Game 6 like he once did on a ballistic night in Oklahoma City.
NBA players will someday be the subject of research to see why they might be aggressive one night and passive the next.
Draymond Green is a wonderful example to use. In this series, he has fluctuated in his level of enthusiasm.
Given his position as the ferocious commander of the Warriors, it’s unexpected. But a desire to shoot or at least be a danger to score doesn’t always follow from a basketball rage.
Even when he is in the paint, Draymond has a propensity to miss easy shots, and he has never been one to post up lesser players. Especially when he’s left alone at the 3-point line, it’s obvious that he only feels comfortable throwing the ball.
As the Lakers have smartly done to seize control of the series, the defense treats Draymond with plenty of disrespect when he isn’t a threat to score and focuses instead on Curry and Thompson.
On the offensive end, however, that abruptly changed for Green on Wednesday when he took the most of those open shots and was successful enough to score 20 points, surpassing the 20-point barrier for just the second time in 12 tournament games this spring.
His change of heart was mostly due to the sense of urgency.
The Warriors’ head coach, Steve Kerr, yet stated: “When he scores a certain number of points, we often win.
He provides a new dimension to our team when he is that aggressive and ready to attack. I admired his strategy for tonight’s game. One of the best competitors I’ve ever seen is Draymond.
Thus, you anticipate him to bring it. read full article