After hitting an NBA Finals record 24 three-pointers in their 137-116 Game 4 win last Friday, the Cleveland Cavaliers are still alive – at least for now.
Sekou Smith does not believe that the Cavs’ formula for beating the Warriors – out-shooting them from three – is sustainable over a seven-game series.
“Well, look, what are the chances of somebody going out and shooting a record number from beyond the three-point line in two to three consecutive games?” the NBA.com writer said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “We’re asking the Cavs to do something that’s never been done before, which I’m sure they’ll tell you they’re old hands at (by) now.”
Last June, the Cavs became the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 Finals deficit.
This year, however, is different.
“To assume that they’re going to be able to perform like they did in Game 4 consistently over the end of this series, if it goes to seven, would be unthinkable,” Smith said. “It’s unfathomable that they would be able to do that again and again and again.”
Kyrie Irving hit seven threes in Game 4. Kevin Love hit six. J.R. Smith hit five. LeBron James hit three.
The series shifts back to Oakland for Game 5 on Monday at 9 p.m. ET.
“Their role players would have to play out of their minds here tonight in Oakland and then again in a Game 7,” Smith said. “I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on this series. I think it’s an unsustainable model for them to assume they could do that for another three games.”
The Cavs shot 24-of-45 (53.3 percent) from three in Game 4. The shot 12-of-44 (27.3 percent) in Game 3 – and lost 118-113.
The Warriors have scored 113+ points in all four games of the series.
“(The Cavs) can’t count on the Warriors not going out and scoring at a high level,” Smith said. “If your thing is, ‘We’re going to go out there and play at their pace and put up shots the way they do,’ (that won’t work over a seven-game series). Ty Lue said when they were losing Games 1 and 2, ‘We’re not going to change who we are. We’re going to go out there and play the style we played all year.’ Well, if you’re going to do that, you have to knock down shots from all over the place in a way that a normal team couldn’t. I don’t think it’s sustainable. I just don’t think you can go out and do that night after night.”