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The Starting 5 – The Power of the Warriors’ Lineup Change

The Starting 5 – A look at some of the best hoops content from around the Internet

1. The real power of the Warriors’ bold lineup change — Mike Prada, SB Nation

The Warriors altered the NBA Finals by benching Andrew Bogut in favor of Andre Iguodala. Prada writes that after three games of letting Cleveland dictate the style of play, Steve Kerr had enough. By going small nearly all game, the Warriors finally took Cleveland out of its comfort zone. Moving Draymond Green to center forced the Cavs to move its defenders to the perimeter. Timofey Mozgov‘s rim protection was neutralized by forcing him to match up with Iguodala. Can Cleveland adjust to this style of play in Game 5?

2. The Warriors’ depth finally paid off — Paul Flannery, SB Nation

Going into these NBA Finals, Golden State was considered heavy favorites in part because of its superior depth. It took until Game 4, but the Warriors finally showed why having a deep bench matters late in the season. Flannery dives into Golden State’s rotation change and the advantages of that depth. Shaun Livingston was superb in Game 4 while David Lee continued making a positive impact. The Cavaliers, on the other hand, are searching for any small contributions they can get off their decidedly short bench.

3. LeBron James’ personal barber: “There is no dye.” — Marc J. Spears, Yahoo Sports

For years and years, the greater NBA community has fiercely debated the merits of LeBron’s … hairline. Ever since his headbands started growing bigger and bigger, fans and media have been fascinated with the King’s seemingly flexible hairline. Well, Spears caught up with his personal barber to try and quell all the rumors. Nick Castemanos is adamant that LeBron’s hair is all natural; I’m not so sure. Either way, a really cool story about one barber getting the opportunity of a lifetime.

4. How The Warriors Figured Out Game 4, How The Cavs Can Adjust For Game 5 — Jonathan Tjarks, RealGM

A detailed breakdown from Jonathan Tjarks on how the Warriors controlled Game 4 by going back to the principles that won them 67 games this season. Removing Bogut allowed the Warriors to play in a frenzied passing flow that yielded open shots for nearly all of their players. With way more space to operate, they were able to knock down more of those shots than previously. Tjarks also throws out some adjustments Cleveland can make to take control back of the series, including reshuffling lineups and leaning more on Timofey Mozgov.

5. Five Questions: Oklahoma City Thunder — Bryan Toporek, BBALLBREAKDOWN

BBALLBREAKDOWN is doing an offseason “Five Questions” series, and Bryan tackles the imminently interesting Oklahoma City Thunder. Aside from Kevin Durant‘s health, the biggest question is obviously the transition of Billy Donovan from the SEC to the NBA. Bryan also looks into who the Thunder could go after with their lottery pick and how much they should really spend on Enes Kanter in free agency. Finally, Bryan poses what he refers to as the “nuclear option”: do they consider trading Durant? It’s going to be quite an interesting season in Oklahoma City, indeed.

Bonus Link: I wrote about the Cavaliers’ desperate need for more depth. We’re really at the point where James Jones, Mike Miller and Shawn Marion might decide an NBA Finals.

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