NBA Finals Game 2: Five things we learned

Five things we learned from the Warriors' dominant win in Game 2.

Jay Asser
by Jay Asser
6th June 2017

article:6th June 2017

CAVS CAN’T BE STUBBORN ON PACE

It seemed pretty obvious after the series opener that Cleveland had to slow the game down and grind it out, similar to how they played the Warriors the past two years, for them to have a chance.


And yet, all we heard from Cavs players leading up to Game 2 was how the pace wasn’t the problem, but rather the execution. Well, after surrendering 132 points in a game that featured 108.46 possessions, it’s time for Cleveland to adjust.

THOMPSON’S SHOT IS BACK

It was only a matter of time before Klay Thompson found his stroke in the playoffs. The sharpshooter’s offence returned to life in Game 2 as he made 8-of-12 from the field, including 4-of-7 beyond the arc to pour in 22 points.

Thompson was and continues to provide stellar defence on the other end of the floor, so his scoring at this point is just gravy for the Warriors. But it’s yet another reason for the Cavaliers to be demoralised as Golden State’s waves of attack just keep on coming.

IRVING NEEDS TO STEP UP

LeBron James was the number one reason why the Cavaliers won the title last year, but Kyrie Irving was clearly number two. These Finals have been a different story, however, as Irving hasn’t looked like the same player who went out of his mind last June.

There are rumours he may be dealing with an undisclosed injury, but regardless, Cleveland have zero chance unless he starts providing some explosive scoring, because he’s certainly not helping stop the Warriors on defence.

DURANT’S DEFENCE ON FULL DISPLAY

Kevin Durant has been the best player on the floor in the Finals and it hasn’t just been because of his extremely efficient offence. He may not get his due as a defender that often, but in this series, everyone is witnessing just how imposing he can also be on that end.

Durant isn’t just matching up on LeBron and limiting his looks, he’s also been stout as a post defender and has used his incredible length to disrupt shots and passes. Simply put, he’s showcasing every facet of his amazing game.

CAVS HAVE NO ROOM FOR ERROR 

This isn’t exactly a revelation, but Game 2 highlighted just how quickly the Warriors’ tide can overwhelm Cleveland. The Cavaliers were more competitive in the second meeting and were within a possession during the third quarter, only for Golden State to send another avalanche their way and all but bury them in the blink of an eye.

Every offensive rebound surrendered or turnover lost or mental mistake comes back to haunt Cleveland.


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