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Warriors at Cavs NBA Finals preview: Draymond Green's return is bigger than Andrew Bogut's absence for Game 6

The Warriors have another opportunity to close out the Cavs in Game 6.

Image by Tony.psd.

Golden State Warriors
Playoffs: 15-5
Cleveland Cavaliers
Playoffs: 14-5
June 16, 2016
Quicken Loans Arena — Cleveland, OH
6:00pm PDT
Blog Buddy: Fear the Sword
Projected Starters
Stephen Curry G Kyrie Irving
Klay Thompson G J.R. Smith
Andre Iguodala
F LeBron James

Harrison Barnes
F Kevin Love
Draymond Green
C Tristan Thompson
Key Injuries
Andrew Bogut (knee) — Out for season

No injuries reported


We've come to the point in the season when media have clearly run out of things to say.

I won't link any of the specific articles I'm thinking of, but wondering whether some random gadget is the reason behind the Golden State Warriors' success, whether they can win after losing Game 5, or whether the return of Draymond Green from suspension will help the team are the types of headlines that come to mind.

It's not just that this thing is over, though the odds are clearly against them recovering from that 3-1 hole they found themselves in — it has been 50 years since anyone has even pushed a series to seven after losing three of the first four games.

It's moreso that, as Bram and I discussed with Ryan Mourton of Fear the Sword in our most recent podcast, there just aren't really any other adjustments to imagine between these two teams at this point.

But to address one topic of discussion today, 1) YES! Draymond Green's absence did contribute to the point differential in Game 5 and 2) YES! Draymond Green's return will help the Warriors.

Draymond Green is really quite good at basketball!

We probably don't have to have an extended conversation about this topic on this site, but one thing that somehow got lost in most of the hysteria over the Cavs' Game 5 performance is how many open shots the Warriors missed. Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post nicely described that.

In Game 5 against the Cavs, the Warriors created 19 wide-open three-point shots, 21.6 percent of their total attempts...By the end of the game, the Warriors were 4 of 19 on wide-open three-point shots alone, a woeful 21.1 percent success rate. We would expect this kind of performance or worse from Golden State once every 24 games, and it just so happened to occur in their 22nd game of the playoffs.

With this clunker out of the way, and Green set to return, the Cavaliers’ luck is about to run out.

I don't entirely like characterizing the loss as merely a matter of "luck" because the Warriors made their share of mistakes, but with Draymond Green back and the team making a normal rate of open shots I'm not worried about them winning a second straight title on the road.

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