Will the Warriors take a second game in Oracle?
Before we get started, let me make one thing clear: This series is far from over. Remember the 2016 NBA Finals? Golden State won the first two games in Oakland, including a 33-point win in Game 2. Cleveland won Game 3 by 30 points and went on to win the series. If these were two different teams, then I wouldn’t let last year impact my commentary. But, alas, we are witnessing a third series between the Warriors and Cavaliers. Past series should be noted, which means that we’ve got to consider that LeBron rarely wins Game 1’s. We have to consider that blowouts like the one we saw on Thursday are common between these squads (rarely is the final score less than ten points between them).
So, don’t count the Cavs out just yet. This series very easily can turn around, and that shift in power can occur as early as tonight. Here’s how tonight’s Game 2 of the NBA Finals is shaping up.
Okay, so with all of the defending I just did of the Cavs, there were some glaring holes in Game 1. They just couldn’t stop the Steph and KD. Klay Thompson may have struggled on offense, but the guy played some stifling defense. Cleveland couldn’t knock down any threes and struggled with drawing fouls down low. LeBron James scored 28 points, dished out 8 assists, pulled down 15 rebounds, and had 2 blocks. Those aren’t bad stats, but James also had 8 turnovers. In fact, the entire Cavs team struggled with turnovers. Their total of 20 turnovers was a real difference-maker as Golden State only tallied 4 total, tying a Finals record for least TO’s.
Another obstacle that Cleveland will have to overcome is Kevin Durant. They have to figure out how to stop KD and prevent him from putting up 38 points like he did in Game 1. I understand that Golden State has a lot of options, but Durant is arguably the best scorer in the league and must be a top priority for the Cavs. Let Kyrie Irving worry about Steph—after all, Kyrie has done a decent job at guarding Curry in the past. Put Love or LeBron on Durant. Double team him occasionally. Bottom line is that if KD plays like this every game, then the Cavs don’t have a chance.
And, honestly, that’s how I see Game 2 going. I doubt it will be as much of a blowout as Game 1, but the Cavs still have to figure things out before they can get a win in this series. As LeBron James said in his postgame interview, Kevin Durant brings a whole new set of problems for the Cavs.
Warriors win, 113-102.Filed under: Sports, NBA Basketball, Finals, Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers