Last night, for about two and half quarters, the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers did battle in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. The Warriors won handily, 69-53. Strangely, despite Cleveland furiously waving the white flag, they played out the full 48 minutes, ending with a final score of 110-77.
If fans are left speechless, it's because there really is nothing to say about this game. Cleveland has simply not shown any ability to match the Warriors in strategy, personnel, or talent. When the Warriors are zigzagging players and the ball around the court on offense, the Cavs are left hopelessly confused on defense. When the Warriors are switching and swarming on defense, the Cavs are left clueless on offense. Midway through the third quarter, the Cavs were trying their damnedest to keep the game in check. They were down by 9. Then Klay hit a 3. Then LeBron attempted and missed a 3, which the Warriors will let him have all day long; if LeBron is taking a 3, the Warriors defense have won that possession. The Warriors got the rebound and Leandro scored at the rim. Then another missed 3 by Cleveland followed by another easy two for the Warriors, a LeBron turnover, and a LeBron travel. 69-53, game over. Klay closed the quarter with this:
Klay to a wide-open Dray, Dray to a wide-open Shaun, Shaun to a wide-open Leandro, Leandro back to a wide-open Klay for an easy 3. First off, RIP Cavs defense. Secondly, look at Dray on that play. Look how if Klay bricks that shot, Dray is getting the rebound. In the Western Conference Finals, he was vilified when he kicked OKC’s Steven Adams right in the nards. After that kick, the Thunder’s defense effectively neutralized him and everyone outside the Bay cackled with joy and left him for dead, especially after he became a non-entity in Games 3 and 4. But everybody talks like they got something to say, but nothing comes out when they move their lips, just a bunch of gibberish, and motherfuckers act like they forgot about Dray. Last night, Draymond reminded them who he is. Dray flexed for the cameras as the rest of the country was coming to grips with the fact that the man they love to hate may very well be the next NBA Finals MVP. Last night, Draymond led all scorers with 28. He was 11 of 20 from the field, 5 of 8 from the three. Seven rebounds. Five assists. He was, as always, a wall on defense. But when he’s doing this on offense, you’re gonna react like this:
Why was Steph on the bench? Because he had four fouls. No matter. He played half the game and scored 18 points. And when you have teammates that can do what the Warriors can do, even the MVP is a fan watching the show.
The Over-Reaction: BREAK OUT THE BROOMS! FOUR? WARRIORS IN THREE! LEBRON GOING BACK TO SOUTH BEACH! KEVIN LOVE’S INJURY IS GOING TO BE DEVASTATING FOR THE WARRIORS!
The Mild-Mannered Reaction: The Warriors did what they were supposed to: protect the home court. Now it is on the Cavs to do the same in Cleveland. You have to expect the Cavs to go hard in Game 3. If they win, and the Cavs very well could, and frankly should, the series is 2-1 with the next game also in Cleveland. For Cleveland, this Game 3 is like the Warriors in Game 5 of the last series in a two-game deficit, but coming home for a must-win game. The Warriors pulled it off and the Cavs can easily do the same. That being said, they have been thoroughly outworked and outplayed and outsmarted by the Warriors and significant changes will need to be made. Do not be surprised if LeBron goes for 45 points in the next game, especially if Love is out. Game 3 is an absolute must-win for the Cavs, otherwise, the only question left will be if the Warriors choose to sweep or bring it back home to win Game 5 in Oakland.
Golden State Warriors v. Cleveland Cavaliers
Warriors lead series, 2-0
Thursday, June 2: Warriors WON
Sunday, June 5: Warriors WON
Wednesday, June 8: Warriors at Cleveland, 6 PM (ABC)
Friday, June 10: Warriors at Cleveland, 6 PM (ABC)
Monday, June 13: Warriors at home, 6 PM (ABC)
Thursday, June 16: Warriors at Cleveland, 6 PM (ABC)
Sunday, June 19: Warriors at home, 5 PM (ABC)