3 SHOTS | 3 observations from first half of Cleveland Cavaliers-Golden State Warriors Game 4
It's time for '3 Shots' as we track the Cavs and Warriors in Game 4 of the NBA Finals at the Q. Golden State can complete a four-game sweep with a victory, while the Wine and Gold look to send the series back to Oakland. At the half, the Cavs lead by 18, 86-68
Here's what we've see so far in a record-setting half:
1. The Cavaliers played a historically great 1st quarter & Half
The defending champions made it clear early on that they aren't just going to lie down and let Golden State complete the sweep without a fight. The Cavs set an NBA Finals record (and franchise record) for most points in a quarter with 49 big ones. Everyone got involved: Kevin Love had 14 points, Kyrie Irving had 11, LeBron James scored 8 points and dished out 6 assists, and Tristan Thompson (remember him?) added 5 big rebounds.
The only negative from that quarter was at the foul line. The Cavs went to the stripe a whopping 22 times, but managed to hit only 14 shots. Remember that if this game goes down to the wire.
2. The Cavs lack of depth is very glaring
Head Coach Ty Lue has tried his best so far to keep James, Irving, and Love in the game as much as possible. But when he goes to the bench, you start sweating. At this point, who do you trust? Richard Jefferson scored 6 points, but had a couple of defensive breakdowns. Kyle Korver is shooting with zero confidence right now. Deron Williams is really starting to show his age, and Iman Shumpert just doesn't do enough out there. Maybe Channing Frye or Derrick Williams gets a call to play a shift in the second half?
Outside of Andre Iguodala, the Warriors bench isn't great. But when Steve Kerr taps one of his reserves, there's a lot more confidence that David West, Shaun Livingston, or Ian Clarke are going to give you productive minutes.
Speaking of minutes...
3. Can the Cavs maintain this energy all game?
It's going great right now. The Cavs also broke the NBA Finals record for most points in a half with 86. They lead by 18 at the break with a chance to catch their breath at halftime. But can the Cavs keep this up for 24 more minutes?
Irving played 21 of the 24 minutes in the first half, scoring a dazzling 28 points. James also played 21 minutes and tallied 22 points with 8 assists and 6 rebounds. Pretty remarkable. As was the 13-22 from beyond the 3-point line.
Somehow you get the feeling that the Warriors will have one of 'THOSE' runs in them when they go 10-0 or 12-0 on you. Can the Cavs physically and emotionally weather that storm and finish this? High drama, my friends.