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Aussies in NBA Finals: Delly shows signs of fatigue, Bogut gets benched
The Warriors clearly understood the importance of Game 4 on the road as they were trying to avoid going down 3-1 in the NBA Finals. In what was a much more offensive-minded battle than the previous three games of the series, Golden State were clearly setting the pace of the game.
This new-found pace was due in large part to the inspired line-up change from Steve Kerr that saw Andrew Bogut come off the bench for the first time in his playoffs career. The insertion of Andre Iguodala into the starting line-up meant the Warriors played extremely small, but Iggy was ready to attack and scored 9 first quarter points.
When LeBron James doesn't score 40 points, it seems the Cavaliers just can't keep up with the fire power of the Warriors. Iguodala, Draymond Green and Shaun Livingston all played their best games of the series as the Warriors ran away 103-82 winners.
The impact of the Aussies was not as great as we've seen throughout the first three games.
Andrew Bogut didn't enter the game in the first quarter, finally checking in with 5:41 left in the first half. He immediately made his presence known though and left a mark on the contest (and LeBron's head) after this hard foul on James.
Unfortunately for Bogut, he picked up three very quick fouls in less than 3 minutes and sat for the remainder of the game. Kerr continued to go with Green and David Lee down the stretch, which was a simple decision given how successful the small-ball line-up had been throughout the game.
It's hard to see Bogut starting again this series after Iguodala starred and Green played well on both ends of the floor. Can he force his way back into the rotation? Only time will tell.
'Delly Mania' hit a slight road block today and the signs aren't great for him going forward in the remainder of the Finals. Dellavedova looked extremely fatigued and struggled to stay in front of Curry, as the MVP was able to drive past Delly on multiple occasions with such an ease that we haven't seen all series long.
Dellavedova's usual scrappy defence was still on show, but he was fighting a losing battle when matched up on Livingston. The 6'7" guard was simply too big and posted up Delly on multiple occasions, taking advantage of the mismatch.
There were still some very nice highlights for Delly throughout the game as he hit back-to-back triples to start the third quarter.
Those back-to-back treys were the only field goals from beyond the arc for Delly as he struggled to find his shooting rhythm and finished 2-9 from three-point land. It certainly wasn't his shot selection that let him down as many of his attempts were uncontested. It was just one of those nights.
It was clear that he was still feeling the effects of the cramps that took over after Game 3. Dellavedova demanded to be subbed out less than 2 and a half minutes into the third quarter after his hot start to the second half.
To his credit, he battled through and still managed to play 33 minutes.
His most impressive move of the night was this sweet post up on Steph Curry.
Isn't Curry supposed to be the unguardable one?
A close second to that nice play was his beautiful alley-oop pass to LeBron.
Just awesome to watch.
I get the feeling that Curry isn't a huge Delly fan. This was very apparent after Dellavedova had some words to David Lee at the conclusion of the first quarter. Take what you will from this exchange.
With the series now tied at 2-2 heading back to Oakland, Cleveland will need to steal another win on the Warriors floor to keep their Championship hopes alive.