Cleveland: here’s some things to watch for as we head to NBA Finals Game 7


LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunks the ball during the second half against the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 16, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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OAKLAND, CA – The drama continues.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were down 3-1 going into Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Ticket prices dropped, viewers assumed it was a done deal — the Golden State Warriors would be the champs.

Then James and Kyrie Irving scored 41 points and the Cavs were still in it. James had a repeat performance in Game 6 and now the Finals are headed to Game 7.

CNNMoney’s has come up with a “Player ROI”  –  a tool to determine how your favorite players are performing, relative to how much money they make. Kind of a different way to look at the game, should you need one.

Tipoff is scheduled for Sunday at 8 pm ET.

Take a look again at the new Nike video, and get pumped up for the biggest game in Cavs’ history:

1. Who will be the “Best Bang for the Buck?”

The Warriors may have lost Game 6, but guard Leandro Barbosa had a standout performance.

He had the best Player ROI with a score of 4.96 — he scored 14 points and had two assists. Being ranked at number one, earned him the status of “Best Bang for the Buck.”

Part of what makes the Brazilian Blur such a good investment is that the veteran player earns an annual average salary of $2.5 million.

2. Can James help the Cavs make history?

The Cavs would have to overcome terrible odds to win the series. No team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals to win.

They lost in six games to the Warriors in last year’s Finals. If they hope to avoid a repeat loss, King James’ performance will be key.

James has averaged 34.4 points in five previous Game 7 appearances, including in the 2013 Finals, which he won.

In Player ROI for Game 6, James ranked 8th with a score of 1.81. His impressive 41 points and 11 assists helped him reach Earned Their Keep status — in spite of his royal average annual salary of $23.5 million.

3. Can Curry keep his cool?

Stephen Curry was ejected during Game 6 for throwing his mouthpiece into the stands and hitting a fan.

He’s had a solid Finals performance — aside from a two-game slump — and had 30 points in Game 6 which helped earn him an ROI score of 1.34, qualifying him for Earned Their Keep status.

Curry sets the tone for his team. He’ll need to put on a show on Sunday as well as stay calm. Not easy to do considering it seemed the Warriors had the championship in the bag just a few games ago.

Other Warriors players also seem frustrated. Forward Draymond Green was suspended for Game 5 because of a flagrant foul.

With an average of 14.7 points during the playoffs, Green’s absence hurt the team. Green’s ROI average during the playoffs is 0.85 — Overpaid. That’s because he hauls in a $16.4 million average annual salary.

**If the Cavs win, how will you capture the moment? Share here**

More of our Cavs coverage, here. 

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