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cashgazette.com June 23, 2017


Warriors vs. Cavs, Game 2 Sunday

05 June 2017, 08:15 | Jackie Morgan

The Cavs are going to need to play their best ball to win this series, but it's far from unthinkable that they can.

Second quarter, 0:32, 65-62 Warriors: This guy's floor side is impressive. James specifically cost his team by turning the ball over eight times in the contest.

Thus far, the Warriors have done nothing to disprove that.

FM: That includes another long, hot, weary, wonderful trip to E. 9th Street in Cleveland in late June for me.

This one is looking much different.

Game 1 of the NBA Finals was very fun. James has 27 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.

Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant were spectacular.

Of course, Golden State didn't have Kevin Durant in either of their previous two Finals showdowns vs. Cleveland.

A two-time MVP in Curry, and Durant with one MVP award to his credit, have pushed each and taught each other and are now both better off because of it.

Let's zero in on the Cavaliers' task at hand: Their most glaring problem in Game 1 was the flurry of Warriors' uncontested dunks in the first half.

LeBron James has learned a thing or two about concentration after seven consecutive NBA Finals appearances.

Indeed, the Warriors needed 106 shots to make their 113 points.

Curry and James each have 27 points to lead all scorers. Some of our lack of communication led to mistakes and led to buckets. And Game 2 of the NBA Finals is starting like a 100-meter dash.

"His length and versatility really helped out....he can play any of the other four positions", said Warriors acting head coach Mike Brown, even joking that Durant could not play center because the Warriors already had so many. I wouldn't have done my teammates any good if I wasn't just enjoying the moment....

Either way, this philosophy from the Cavaliers will be put to the test, and if it fails in Game 2, it may set up a breaking point in Game 3 where they have to decide whether to abandon that approach entirely and regroup, or go down with what they feel is the best plan of attack they feel they have.

Bad blood spills out with J.R. Smith's comments about Draymond Green.

James said he blocks out all the crowd noise, even supportive shouts, to focus on the game, especially on the road as his Cavaliers are for the first two games in the best-of-seven championship series. Kerr's picture was shown on the videoboard as the fans stood and cheered. Kerr has not coached the Warriors since Game 2 of their opening-round sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Throw in the Warriors snagging Kevin Durant as a free agent last July and many pundits had "Warriors-Cavs" penciled in as the Finals matchups since last summer. With the Cavaliers' role players struggling to impact the game LeBron will have to shoulder a large chunk of the scoring responsibility. It isn't time to rest yet because Golden State still has a lot of work left to do, it's a very good start. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 14 in a row during their 1992 and 1993 runs in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Can LeBron and Co. return the favor Sunday and even the series before it shifts to Cleveland for Game 3?

The last 29 playoff series James has been in have proven that. Three more performances like that and the Cavaliers will be hard-pressed to win a single game.

While Curry played an exceptional offensive game Thursday night, his defensive energy may have been the clearest sign of his health. This time, Greg Popovich didn't have Tim Duncan to fall back on.

Former Warriors coach Al Attles was honored for his longevity and influence before Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

But most likely, we'll never know.

The Warriors are 13-0 in the playoffs and are trying to become the first team to go through the postseason undefeated.

"There's an old saying, 'You don't miss the water 'til the well runs dry, '" the 80-year-old Attles said after receiving the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award.



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