Sports

On crazy ratings, Stephen A. Smith pontificating and dancing men: anticipation for NBA Finals Game 5 rising

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) and his teammates are looking forward to Monday’s NBA Finals Game 5 and a chance to beat Cleveland and win the world title
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) and his teammates are looking forward to Monday’s NBA Finals Game 5 and a chance to beat Cleveland and win the world title AP

With the NBA Finals Game 5 hours away, social media was buzzing about the prospects of Golden State becoming NBA champions Monday night, and about Cleveland possibly forcing a Game 6 later this week.

We’re guessing that ABC executives probably hope that LeBron James & Co. can somehow rally to force a historic Game 7.

Cleveland’s 137-116 win in Game 4 prevented a Golden State sweep and averaged more than 19 million viewers, up from about 16.5 million viewers for the 2016 Game 4 between the two teams. For last Wednesday’s Game 3, the closest game of the series so far, an average 20.5 million people were watching. That’s the most watched Game 3 of a finals ever for ABC.

Moreover, this series was the highest rated through the first three games of any NBA Finals since Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls beat Utah’s Jazz 19 years ago.

So what’s ahead? Is Monday night the final game, or will there be more?

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith believes that Golden State better handle things at home Monday night. The Warriors lead 3-1 in the best-of-7 series.

Former NBA All-Star and TNT guest host Kevin Garnett seemed to be excited about Game 5.

Here is the schedule for the remainder of the series, however long it lasts.

Tickets for Game 5 are, as expected, pretty hot.

The teams are ready.

Over on Fox Sports, it’s website ran a piece giving five reasons why Golden State will win Monday. Meanwhile, on the Fox Sports TV side, noted LeBron James fan Shannon Sharpe said on “Undisputed” Monday morning why he thinks the series will go to a Game 7.

And even Sharpe’s co-host, Skip Bayless, a noted non-devotee of the man he calls “The King of Akron,” believes James and the Cavs can win.

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