Game 7 Preview and Prediction


Tonight, regardless of the outcome, will be the final game of the 2015-2016 NBA season. Game 7 of the NBA Finals will tip off shortly after 8 p.m. ET. The series began by the Golden State Warriors looking like the team that had won 73 regular season games, an NBA record. The Warriors won both games 1 and 2 by a combine 48 points. Cleveland responded with a 30 point victory in game 3. After Golden State won game 4, nearly everyone was calling this series over. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving were two people that were not ready to call it quits, leading Cleveland to victories in both games 5 and 6. With the series tied at 3, the NBA Finals will gets its first game 7 since 2013.

Cleveland wins if…

LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson will all need huge games again. LeBron has had consecutive games scoring at least 40 points and he will need another historic performance if he wants to lead his team to a game 7 victory. Irving has been fantastic, scoring 41 points in game 5, and 20 in the first half alone in game 6. LeBron won’t be able to do it alone, and Irving has been just the guy LeBron needs to get the job done. The third thing that needs to happen for Cleveland to be victorious is for Tristan Thompson to come up huge again. Thompson had 15 points and 16 rebounds in game 6. Thompson took full advantage of the Warriors playing without their starting center, Andrew Bogut, and will need to duplicate that performance on Sunday night. For the Cavs to bring their first championship to the city of Cleveland since 1964, it will be important for James, Irving and Thompson to continue their great play into game 7.

Golden State wins if…

Steph Curry said during his press conference yesterday that he will need to play the best game of his season, if not his career. I agree. Curry had a slow start to the series but has come on as of late. Curry scored a quiet 30 points in game 6 but also stayed in foul trouble for much of the game. Curry will need to stay on the court as much as possible if Golden State hopes to win. Curry will not only need to be hitting shots, but also control the tempo and pick his spots to be aggressive. If Curry can avoid careless turnovers and score in ways he did in game 6, he will give the Warriors a great chance to win. Like LeBron, Curry will not be able to win this game alone. Klay Thompson will need to play extremely well and be efficient in shooting the basketball. Klay, along with the rest of his teammates, got off to a rough start in game 6. The Warriors scored a season low 11 points in the first quarter. If that happens in game 7, Golden State won’t have a chance. Klay needs to come out and have a game similar to his game 5 performance where he scored 37 points. If Steph and Klay are both hitting on all cylinders, Golden State is a tough team to beat. The final thing the Warriors need to do to be successful to win back to back championships, is to have Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala be on their game defensively. The Warriors are known for their offensive explosions, but their defense has been just as important. Green and Iguodala will both get their fair share to guard James, and they need to do a much better job at containing him if they hope to win.

Who wins…

This game can obviously go either way. Zero of the six games have been decided by single digits. Both teams are very explosive offensively and can create separation from their opponents in an instant. I believe this game comes down to who can get the most defensive stops in the fourth quarter and a possible x-factor. When the game is on the line tonight, watch for Harrison Barnes to hit some big shots. He has been a non factor the last 2 games, shooting 0-8 for 0 points on Thursday night. Expect Barnes to be a difference maker in this game and hit some timely shots. Golden State has not lost three straight in the Steve Kerr era, they have not lost consecutive home games all season, and I don’t believe either of those streaks end tonight. I expect Golden State to cap off their historic season with a game 7 victory and leave Cleveland still searching for a championship.

Warriors 108 Cavaliers 101

About Aaron Davis

Aaron is a staff writer and the Co-Founder of NBALEAD. He has been following the NBA for over 15 years. Graduated from Purdue University.

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