After winning at an .804 clip through 102 games, the Warriors need only to play .500 basketball over two games to bring an NBA championship to the Bay Area.
Rather than split those games, though, they much prefer to take care of business Tuesday night by beating the Cavaliers in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
The Warriors entered the series as favorites and, for the most part, have looked it. They were clearly superior in Games 4 and 5, winning both by double digits. They are 4-1 in closeout games this postseason.
They’ve yet to require a Game 7 in any series. They don’t want to see one now.
Warriors by 4.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Andre Iguodala et al vs. LeBron James: James has been and continues to be Cleveland’s only hope of pulling the upset. He has been marvelous. But that won’t be enough unless he also controls the pace and tempo. The Warriors would be wise to double-team LeBron just often enough to disrupt his rhythm.
Stephen Curry vs. Matthew Dellavedova: Having dispelled the myth of Delly as a Steph-stopper, Curry will be out for more blood. That’s his mentality. He wants not only to beat you but also to humiliate you. Assuming his mini-bout with dehydration is not a factor, it could get ugly enough for the Cavs to resort to Iman Shumpert.
Draymond Green vs. Timofey Mozgov/Tristan Thompson: With the limitations on the Cavs’ roster, Mozgov and Thompson are the only two bigs who play. Green has spent time defending both. And with Green’s achy back much better, neither has been able to keep up. So he’ll shift into overdrive for Game 6.
KEYS TO VICTORY
1) Early statement: The crowd will be frenzied in an attempt to lift the hometown Cavs. An impressive opening quarter would be an effective silencer.
2) Push it: Run after misses, run after makes, run anytime the ball is in play. The Cavs don’t seem very deep, so the Warriors should do all they can to test that depth.
3) Respect the rock: The Warriors are capable of winning despite themselves. This is not one of those games in which they want to try that. Take care of the basketball.
“We’re just focused on tonight. We have a great opportunity tonight. All of our energy, all of our effort, will go into tonight’s game. If we have to worry about another game, we’ll think about that later on.” – Warriors coach Steve Kerr on the possibility of needing a Game 7.
Warriors: No injuries listed.
Cavaliers: G Kyrie Irving (left knee surgery), F Kevin Love (dislocated left shoulder) and C/F Anderson Varejao (ruptured left Achilles tendon) are listed as out.
The Warriors have a 3-2 lead through the first five games of the series, the first postseason meeting between the teams. They split two games in the regular season, the Warriors posting a 112-94 win at Oracle Arena on Jan. 9 and the Cavs taking a 110-99 victory at Quicken Loans Arena on Feb. 26.