The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers came into Game 5 even at two wins a piece. Statistically, the team that wins game 5 when a series is tied wins the series almost 75% of the time. The importance of this game was something that was very evident. And coming out of the gate, the Warriors came out swinging. But the Cavs, to their credit, came back and made a game of it. But in the end, the Cavs just did not have enough to make it happen, as they fell to the Golden State Warriors 104-91. LeBron had JR Smith show up in the first half, but Smith disappeared in the second half of the game, as he could not even find the basket in the second half. LeBron, the former league MVP, turned it up in the fourth quarter. It looked like the Cavaliers were going to make it happen and come back to win this one. The former MVP had stepped up. But when he turned it on, the current MVP made his presence felt. Curry had 20 points heading into the fourth quarter, but he knew his team needed him and he scored 17 of his 37 points to close out the Cavaliers and put Golden State one game away from winning the title.
Throughout the series, Curry has been up and down. He has had moments that have stood out and others that are forgettable. Who can forget the comments and articles being written (including one on this site) over him not showing up in Game 2? And who can forget the thoughts that Matthew Dellavedova shut him down in Game 2 and most of Game 3? Dellavedova played a solid game against Curry in both those games and he made a great impact against Curry with his physical play, but he does not deserve all the credit for what he did to Curry. Part of what happened was Curry making things difficult for himself by missing shots with a high degree of difficulty. In this game, he took it a little bit more to the basket, but he was hitting those high difficulty shots that he was missing for the first part of the series. And when he is hitting those, there is no stopping him. And in the fourth quarter, Steph cooked up a special meal for Dellavedova. He hit him with the crossover and stepback three. He mixed him up in a screen and roll with the midrange jump shot. And he also took it off the screen and went right to the basket. Curry was the MVP we all watched this season and the Warriors benefited greatly from it. And as far as Dellavedova, he looked like he was trying to two-step but lost his rhythm. All those comments of Curry being locked down by Dellavedova faded away and seemed like a distant memory. This was a great win for the Warriors, but they must still remember that it was only one game. And in the end, it is not three games you have to win but four to win this series. Game 6 will be tough and they must be mentally ready to tackle that one as it comes to them.
Game 6 will be back in Cleveland of course. The crowd will undoubtedly be pumped up for the return of their team. The town will bring their energy to the team and will more than likely fuel the role players in this one. And one LeBron James will be focused on extending this one to a seven-game series. But for the Golden State Warriors, they need to end this one in Cleveland. Even though a Game 7 would be at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, there is no way the Warriors want to face LeBron James in a Game 7 scenario. Anything can happen in those games and when you have a great player involved as the opponent, that makes a Game 7 even scarier. The main person that can help them end this series in six games is Curry. He has found his mojo. And it all goes back to the fundamental change the Warriors made in Game 4 when he got that little bit of rhythm and got some shots to fall. At that point, that is when the Chef made his way back into this series and he has not left it since. Curry has firmly seated himself at the head of this team as its leader. And it is because of his calm demeanor and his quiet fire that this team follows his lead. Many can say that Draymond Green is the heart and soul of this team, but Curry is the real fire and desire behind this team. And over the years, he has assumed the leadership role. This year, he seems to have stepped to the head of the class.
The end of this season is looking to be a culmination of a championship for Steph Curry and his team. They did things their way and never let anyone tell them any differently. And although many wanted them to fall from grace, they stood steadfast in their belief in themselves and their drive of bringing a championship to Oakland. Well, the time is almost here and the moment is about to arrive. Curry is peaking at the right time and he is carrying them at the big moments. The end is near and the finish line can be seen. Can the Warriors cross that finish line in Cleveland on Tuesday?