2015 NBA Finals: Stephen Curry and the Bench Factor

The Warriors were down 20 in the 3rd canto and Game 3 looked headed to a total blowout.. But suddenly, the Cavs lead was under 10. Then just to 1..

80-81, until Dellavedova hit a contested shot, got fouled and converted on the free throw.. Pushing the Cavs’ lead back to 4. And though Golden State still managed to make it a little interesting at 91-94, perhaps it was just a little too late for the Warriors. Everything else that followed (for both teams) after Dely’s 3-point play was simply elementary – just icing on the cake as the game has already been decided after Dely’s momentum breaker.

Nonetheless, while the Warriors have something to look forward to, they also have a question they need to answer..

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David Lee. He’s a talented power forward who could post up or shoot midrange jumpers. How come he’s not being given more playing time? Steve Kerr may not realize it but David is key to fully unlocking the bombs of Stephen Curry. With more threat from the post, there would be less time for the rest of the Cavaliers to help Dellavedova harass Curry..

And that’s all Steph needs. A split second.. And boom! Err, splashhh!

The Warriors has got a deep bench which made them favorites even when Kyrie Irving was still around for the Cavs; but Lee makes that bench more flexible.. And not just limiting them to small ball lineup options.

Then again, the Warriors now have something to look forward to. For what seemed to be a paved road (after a Game 2 win) for Cleveland’s eventual coronation – could now be turning to an imminent eruption called Mount Fury.. Ehem, Mount Curry.

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While James has carried most of the scoring load for the Cavs albeit his low percentages and volume shooting (about 36 attempts a game, wow) – Curry hasn’t really done that for the Warriors, so far. Yes, he doesn’t really need to, what with help around (James also has help but the team’s designed for him to keep holding the ball) but isn’t he averaging 29.2 ppg going into the Finals? That’s like 30, 30 plus a game but has yet to really happen, right?

Yet “analysts” keep talking about a Smith explosion!? Yes, he could give you at least one 20-point game; but don’t you think Curry is more likely to give the Warriors those regular 30-point games than Smith would to the Cavs?

True, the Cavs are now leading 2-1 but Game 3’s fourth quarter served as a wake up call to the reigning NBA MVP in a late but valiant effort for the Warriors. Hmm… Some sign that the coronation may still be up in the air.

Thursday’s Game 4 could prove to be Golden State’s biggest battle..

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