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The Cavs responded in a big way in Game 5 with a 112-97 win.
Of course, Cavs Nation wants a win; that would force Game 7. And that would increase our already minuscule chances of winning the championship.
Better yet in some ways, winning tonight would keep the Warriors from celebrating their second NBA title at the Q. Again. No Cleveland fan wants that.
So what will it take to get a win?
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• Speaking of defense, the Cavs need to play great D. That especially means not letting any of the Warriors get open looks at the basket, whether it's in the paint or from three-point land.
The three losses in the Finals can be tied to Golden State finding those open spots on the floor and/or one of the Cavs not defending close enough. (This essentially is a repeat of what I said in my "Where is the fire in your belly?" post after Game 2.)
• LeBron James needs to have another big game. This sounds like a Captain Obvious statement, but it's easy to see the trend that Cleveland has beaten Golden State when the big man has come up big in the Finals. The Cavs play better and more aggressively when James is hitting shots and taking it to the basket.
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• Kyrie Irving, do your thing. Irving is going to shoot -- because that's what he does. Like LeBron, he needs to have another big game. (Again a 41-point encore is improbable, but still ...!) Attack the basket, shake and bake and shoot the ball, Kryie. That is your game, but don't try to do it on your own. But don't forget to play defense.
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• J.R. Smith, find that sweet spot from three-point land. The Cavs can't rely on the three-pointer, but they sure need their scorers to score. And Smith, if your shot isn't coming right off, don't give up on it. As counterintuitive as it sounds, the only way for shooters to find their shot is to keep shooting.
And yes, I've been on J.R. Smith's case since after Game 1. He's essential to "what do the Cavs need to do to beat the Warriors." Smith needs to continue to assert himself, get some three's and keep Golden State honest by putting the ball on the floor every once in a while.
• Kevin Love needs to contribute. Love needs to score points and bang bodies -- whether it's off the bench or from the tipoff. Another two-point game is unacceptable.
And finally, the bench players need to play aggressively when they're on the floor. LeBron, Kyrie and J.R. can't do it on their own. Tonight needs to be a team effort with intensity, good D and great shooting from everyone.
Now say it with me, fans: "Let's go Cavs! ... Let's go Cavs! ..."