Cavs beat the Warriors in game six to push this series to the brink for both teams.
Unanimous MVP? Yep.
Fouled out? Yep.
Ayesha Curry? Salty.
Biggest takeaway from the game last night? This is still LeBron James' league. He's still the best player in the league.
In these NBA Finals, the statistical anomaly that is most shocking is that James is leading the finals in every category.
Field goal percentage (min. 50 attempts)? First.
James is shooting 51.4% from the floor, nearly 10% better than Curry, the unanimous 'MVP'. This harkens back to the idea that James threw out after the voting for the MVP: let us not conflate the idea that the MVP is both the most valuable player and the best player in the league - that is not what the award is for. James has been the most valuable player for the Cavs in these Finals, and he has been the best player on the floor, that much is apparent.
James became the fifth man ever to put up back to back games of 40+ points in the NBA Finals, scoring 41 in each of his last two games. He has put this team on his back, and he has been helped by the dynamic scoring and shooting of Kyrie Irving. Tristan Thompson has been an animal in the series as this is a better match-up for him than for Kevin Love. Love isn't a useless player, he's a very talented player, but the problem with him for Cleveland is that this team is a bad match-up for him, and that's it. He doesn't need to be traded, and he doesn't need to be ridiculed, it's simply a bad match-up for him.
At this point, the question of whether or not the Warriors have been mentally defeated is coming into play. Never have we seen Steph Curry act the way he did last night, never have we seen him ejected from a game, and it's been two and a half years since he fouled out of a game. He has been in foul trouble for at least three of the games in the series, none more so than last night. This has caused him to play safe on defense, and safe means soft, which only opens things up more for the Cavs. The Warriors also missed Andrew Bogut last night as a last line of defense in the paint.
James was unstoppable in the restricted area last night, and that was due, largely, to the fact that Ezeli isn't the same type of defender, and Green is smaller than James. Green had to play carefully due to the fact that if he got a flagrant last night, he was gone for game seven, and that helped to contribute to him being very quiet on the stat sheet last night. Green was most visible in the game when getting blocked by James on a leakout layup attempt and when he was arguing with Ken Mauer last night in the fourth quarter.
The home team in NBA Finals game seven's are 15-3, and that doesn't bode well for Cleveland. Having said that though, the Warriors haven't looked like the same team since game three. Yes, they won game four, but it wasn't the same type of Warrior victory. Cleveland should have won that game. Cleveland came out firing behind Irving and James in game five, and in game six, LeBron James showed the world that he will not go quietly into that dark night.
Game seven is Sunday night. Let's all sit back and enjoy the final game together.