Game 4 was really how most of the NBA-savvy observers thought the entire Finals would play out, it just took 4 games for the young and fiesty Warriors to wear down the depleted Cavs.
After heroic, borderline super-human physical efforts from LeBron James and Matthew Dellavedova through the first 3 games (Delly so drained that he need full IV rehydration and an overnight stay in a Cleveland hospital after Game 3 Tuesday night) LBJ hit a wall and Delly clearly had nothing left in his tank either.
Course the post-Game 4 narrative is “Why isn’t Cavs coach Dave Blatt using his bench more?” The answer’s easy. Because he doesn’t trust them and no need to as long as the Cavs who are logging huge minutes can continue to handle it Since All Star Guard Kyrie Irving went down for the rest of the Playoffs with a cracked kneecap late in Game 1, Dellavedova’s played almost 41 minutes a game in Games 2 and 3, both Cavs wins to push them right into the thick of this Finals series. Game 4 is proof that Coach Blatt must find a few minutes for the likes of Shawn Marion, Mike Miller maybe even G Joe Harris, and Blatt better hope those precious few minutes can be productive so Delly and LeBron do not find themselves down double-digits if they do get to rest extended minutes. This is the reality when two of your players are All Stars and both are out with serious injuries.
The other key to the flow of this Finals series? Coach Kerr’s hush.hush change in the Warriors starting lineup. 6’6″ swingman Andre Iguoodala replacing rumbling 7-footer Andrew Bogut in Golden State’s starting lineup for Game 4. Talk about pushing the proper buttons? Iguodala played 39 minutes and not only did he, once again, battle James on the defensive end, Iguodala proved probably harder to guard than “The King” was in Game 4.
In 39 minutes, “Iggy” went for a playoff career high 22 points (8-15 FG, 4-9 PTFG) 8 Rebounds, costing Andrew Bogut serious playing time. Came into Game 4 averaging 20 minutes a game in these Finals, Bogut played just 3 minutes.
I’d say Coach Kerr’s hunch was ‘bang on’.
— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) June 12, 2015
Now the Warriors have homecourt advantage again heading back to Oracle Arena for Sunday’s Game 5. Then another flight, back to Cleveland where the teams will play their 4th game in 8 days, with a roundtrip Cleveland to Oakland and back. Too many games, too few days, too many minutes too few Cavs to share them. First title coming to the “The City” in 40 years OR another miracle infusion of energy, luck and inner strength could deliver Cleveland’s first title of any kind in 51 years.
Either way, someone’s serious itch will be scratched by Tuesday or…Friday. Prepare for the parade. Andre “The Giant” gets his own float!