The Scoop: cleaning up yesterday’s action in the Association…
NBA Finals (Game 2)
Top DOG of the Night: Draymond “Money” Green (28 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 5-8 3PT)
Draymond Green showed why he’s a Delay of Game Different Breed™ last night, stuffing the stat sheet in most major categories and knocking down 5 threes as the icing on the cake. Curry and Thompson rebounded from low game 1 performances of 11 and 9 points with a follow up in game 2 of 18 and 17 points respectively.
The real story of the series thus far is the production of the others vs the “stars”. So far, Shaun Livingston and Leandro Barbosa have combined for 21-26 while Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love have totaled 21-60.
LeBron put up great numbers on paper (19 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals), but overall his game was marred with almost half of the teams’ turnovers (7 out of 18) and suffered a plus/minus of -21.
In order for the Cavs to have success in Game 3; they Cavs’ supporting players need to go from court jesters to kingsmen.
Game 2 Highlights:
Game 2 was supposed to be different. Since 2009, Lebron James won every game 2 immediately after a game 1 loss. Coach Tyronn Lue proclaimed that he saw no reason for major change after game 1 due to being impressed with their defense and shot selection….he just wanted them to play faster and convert. Game 1 was supposed to be the feel-out game for Cleveland; they’re on the road playing against the record-clinching best team in NBA history. Game 2 was the real show.
Game 2 ended with a 33-point blowout, firmly planting the Cavs’ series record at 0-2 and promoting the Golden State Warriors to an even higher level of favoritism than they already achieved. Cleveland already has an obituary written for them and you could see it in the collective body language of the team last evening.
“They just beat us,” LeBron James said. “We didn’t win anything. No points of the game did we beat them in anything.”
The Cavs were forced to succumb to the predictable unpredictability of the Warriors’ offensive onslaught as the next man up seemingly takes the reins every night. One of the Warriors’ most dangerous abilities lies in the fact that their entire roster can have a big game on any given night.
The Cavs on the other hand? Their offense looks stagnant, sloppy, subpar, and confused. The Warriors are playing terrific defense all around the hardwood, wether its Andrew Bogut protecting the paint with 5 blocks or Andre Iguodala playing elite defense on LeBron James. When you force one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA to have his first scoreless quarter of his CAREER in an NBA FINALS game, you’re doing something right.
The fact of the matter is, the Warriors are playing at an absolute elite level as a collective. The Cavs are just….playing. With the looming status of the concussed Cavs bigman Kevin Love (Love traveled with the team but his Game 3 status is still uncertain) and the extremely pedestrian play of Kyrie Irving, LeBron is deep into the darkest part of his reoccurring NBA Finals nightmare; trying to win a championship with no help. This time around Irving and Love aren’t medically out but their extremely average production and effort is leaving the King awfully lonely trying to fend off the Warriors.
The series shifts to the home court of the Cavaliers tomorrow night in an absolute must win scenario for the Cavaliers and the King. There’s ZERO chance they come back to win a game 7 series against the 73-9 Golden State Warriors in an NBA Finals setting.
The tone of Game 3 in Cleveland begins and ends with LeBron, but the production of the rest of the roster begins and ends with the rest of the roster.