GameChangers (06/14/15)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Game-Changing plays from the NBA Finals.



To highlight the Live ScoreCaster, we took our in-game technology to the next level to review the game-changing plays from NBA Playoffs and what the game would have looked like if the plays had turned out differently.

Click the header below to view the Game Breakdown for Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Stephen Curry made seven three pointers and scored 37 points leading Golden State to a 104-91 victory in Game 5 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors have a 3-2 lead in the NBA Finals and will have a chance to close out the series Tuesday night in Cleveland.

The Cavs could have won if…

LeBron James posted one of the most impressive triple doubles in Finals history with 40 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. James' excellent game was all for not because the Cavs failed to block out and get defensive rebounds in the fourth.

Golden State had five offensive rebounds in the game's final quarter. The extra possession allowed a two point game with less than five minutes to play become a double-digit win for the Warriors.

As great as LeBron played he was guilty of not performing one of the most basic plays in basketball. With 3:45 to play, Cleveland trailing 89-84, LeBron failed to box out Harrison Barnes on a missed three pointer by Klay Thompson. Barnes offensive rebound led to an Andre Iguodala layup extending the Warriors lead to seven points and making Golden State greater than 90 percent likely to win for the first time all game.

Had LeBron boxed out Barnes and corralled the rebound, Cleveland's expected win probability doubles going from 8 percent to 16 percent. If the Cavs then score on the next possession cutting Golden State's lead to 89-86, Cleveland would have a 30 percent chance to rally for the win.



Dubs closed the game on a 19-7 run thanks in part because of offensive rebounding.

Additional Game Notes:
Since the NBA Finals has gone to a 2-2-1-1-1 schedule format, the winner of Game 5 when a series is tied 2-2 has won the title twelve out of fourteen times.