It’s not over yet, but the Golden State Warriors made their case that this series is over, even without Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson playing well because other players step up and contribute. They showed just how dominant of a team they are in a 110-77 game 2 victory against the Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Here’s a mind-boggling stat for people to wrap their heads around. The Warriors are a +48 in the first two games of the NBA Finals, the highest plus-rating in the first two games in NBA Finals history.
I expected Cleveland to come out with a little more intensity than they had in game 1, but once one of the Warriors’ explosive and demoralizing runs hit the Cavaliers like a tidal wave, it was over in the 3rd quarter. The Cavaliers are faced with more reality than ever. They might just not have the talent and discipline to keep up with this 73-win team.
The defensive switching scheme and ball movement system Steve Kerr has them play are too much for the Cavaliers to handle, especially with below-average defenders like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Meanwhile, the Warriors are looking like the dominant team they have been all season and a win away in Cleveland on Wednesday from taking full command of this NBA Finals. Here’s the kick: the Warriors can play even better than they’re playing right now. Crazy right? They could limit more of their turnovers and get the Splash Brothers going. Imagine, if they played a complete game.
Draymond Green had a spectacular night hitting three-pointers at a Steph Curry-esque rate at 5-of-8 and scoring 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists and his usual fire and intensity that makes the Warriors such a difficult team to stop. The Splash Brothers combined for just 35 points with Curry going for 18 points and Thompson with 17 points. Andre Iguodala came off the bench to score seven points and play his usual stellar defense on the self-proclaimed “best player in the world,” LeBron James.
James led the Cavaliers with 19 points on 7-of-17 shooting, eight rebounds, nine assists and seven turnovers, including back-to-back traveling violations. Kyrie Irving had 10 points on 5-of-14 shooting and Kevin Love had only had five points as he sat out most of the second half in a concussion protocol after getting hit in the head by a Harrison Barnes elbow in the second quarter. Richard Jefferson had 12 points off the bench in 26 minutes.
The team LeBron James led through a relatively weak Eastern Conference going up against the Pistons, Hawks and Raptors did not prepare the Cavaliers for the beast that was the Warriors, who had been without its best player for essentially two rounds and down 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals before coming back to win.
The harsh reality is setting in for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Golden State Warriors are not just better than them. They are infinitely better and have displayed a brand of basketball that has made them the best team in the league during the regular season the past two years. The Warriors winning with a group that they have drafted throughout the years and made a few free-agent signings, whereas the Cavaliers are desperately trying to win with LeBron James coming back to Cleveland and courting his own team with Kevin Love and James Jones signing. A vastly different approach between the two teams. Drafting their own players, whereas another team is having one player recruit all of these other players to come play for him to compete for a championship.
There will be no excuses this time. Not this time, especially when the Golden State Warriors have beaten the healthy Cavaliers in every facet of the game and will once again be crowned NBA champions for back-to-back years.
Golden State Warriors (2-0) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (0-2)
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Quicken Loans Arena
Golden State Warriors Writer