NBA Finals Game 2 – Cavs get franchise first Finals win, can they win 3 more?
The Cleveland Cavaliers, led by Lebron James, won their first Finals game as a franchise. This is just the second time the Cavs are in the Finals, and the last time they were here, the team was smoked by the Spurs 4-0. This time, however, Lebron James is more mature, with 2 rings on his hands, and is ready to take the challenge. The first two games showed a lot of patterns, and the question now is can the Cavs win three more games and bring that elusive title to Cleveland. Here are some things we learned from NBA Finals Game 2 which the Cavs won 95-93 in overtime.
Matt Dellavedova is more than just “dirty” player
During these playoffs, Matthew was heavily criticized by fans about his dirty play, and alleged intentional fouls and run-ins. So far, three victims fall to his play, including Chicago’s Taj Gibson, and Atlanta’s Kyle Korver and Al Horford. When the reports of Kyrie Irving’s injury went online, there was a meme showing Dellavedova thinking about his next target, Steph Curry. But Matt showed in Game 2 he is more than what many consider a dirty player. He was all over Curry in Game 2, contributing to the final stat sheet of the MVP, which read 19 points on 5-23 shooting. Dellavedova also contributed 9 points in 42 minutes of action, and had the second highest +/- on the Cavs at 15. The highest was scored by James Jones (+22).
Cleveland is setting up the pace
In two games, the Cavaliers have managed to set the pace, and slow down the Warriors significantly. The pace plays into Cavs favor, as they prefer half court battles rather than up-tempo style, especially now Kyrie Irving is missing the Finals. The teams have scored combined 496 points, 201 by the Warriors and 195 by the Cavs. The Warriors averaged more than 110+ points in the regular season, and they would love to get back to that pace.
Kerr is not afraid of messy tactics
The Golden State Warriors trailed 83-72 with little more than 3 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but Kerr decided to go to a Shaq-a-Hack tactic. After Iggy hit a 3-pointer, Curry fouled Thristan Thompson, made a 3, and then fouled Thompson again. The power forward sank 2 of his 4 free throws in the NBA Finals Game 2. J.R.Smith then fouled Curry, who sank two of his free throws, resulting in a short burst of 8-2 in Warriors favor. They managed to close the gap with the tactic, which greatly helped them force the overtime.
Fatigue might catch up with James
We are all humans, including Lebron James. The isolation heavy offense is draining Lebron James, and the question is how much he can handle. It was evident in the fourth quarter that James is not at his best, since he was missing some easy and open shots. James played 50 minutes, had a triple double with 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists, but the general feeling is that in the long run, this type of play might eventually help the Warriors. James already has an experience playing almost alone versus a great, deep team in the Finals, and it might be the same result.
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