With their season on the line, at home, the Golden State Warriors delivered. What does that mean for them on the road in Game 6? An uphill battle, and a lot of basketball left to be played.
When Curry and the Warriors were on the ropes against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016, the odds were stacked against them. The Thunder had an incredible scorer, a dominating rebounder and plenty of depth.
Now? The Warriors face an incredible scorer in LeBron James, an incredible rebounder and defender in Anthony Davis, and the depth to match the Warriors bench. Down 3-1, Golden State responded with their backs against the wall. So, let's take a look at what Golden State did to land a fighter's punch, and what they have to do to make ironic history in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Plenty has to be said about the Warriors home court advantage at the Chase Center. With the momentum behind them, Golden State never lost a quarter. They extended their lead in the 2nd quarter, outscoring Los Angeles by 10 and capitalized by yet another Steph Curry buzzer beater to end the half.
Not enough can be said about the impact Draymond Green made on Game 5. The Warriors are an incredibly dangerous team when Green attacks on the offensive end, and he did plenty of that last night. With 20 points and a perfect 5-5 performance from the free throw line, Green opened up plenty for Curry and others on the offensive end.
"I knew it was on me to come out and set the tone for our guys," said Green. "Season is on the line, backs against the wall. You got to come out and give it all you got. That was my mindset."
The Warriors absolutely gave it all they got, but hopefully they left some juice for Games 6 and 7.
But, it wasn't just Green that improved offensively. Andrew Wiggins dropped 25 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in his first takeover performance since coming back at the beginning of the playoffs.
With the emphasis on stopping Curry and Klay Thompson, the offensive presence of Wiggins and Green is imperative to any extended success the Warriors want to have. Stretching Los Angeles thin on the defensive end will allow for Golden State to play at their pace, not the pace LeBron and AD want.
Golden State is facing an uphill battle, but not an impossible one. In 2016, Steph Curry said in Game 5 "We aren't going home yet!" When they returned to OKC in Game 6, the Warriors had to fight in a close win, aided by 41 points from Game 6 Klay.
The clock on the dynasty may be ticking closer to midnight, but there may be one more pair of glass slippers to slide on the feet of some of the greatest basketball players we have ever seen.
Game 6 on Friday at 9PM in LA. The stars will be there on and off the court, and it will be must-watch basketball.
Oh and also, heaven forbid Steph Curry comes back from a 3-1 deficit against LeBron? Stay off Twitter then, NBA fans...