Surely Green missing one game should not have had such an impact?
You whine about the overwhelming talent on the Warriors, but the three finalists for MVP wear other jerseys. When you have two of the NBA's top three players on your team, plus a top three shooter, plus the best defender, the insane breakdowns just don't even feel worth it.
Besides his play on offense, Irving has also been tasked with defending All-Star guards Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. But despite the chilly weather, Clevelanders were fired up to see if the Cavs can climb back into the series after losing Games 1 and 2 on the road to Golden State by a combined 41 points. Thompson must find a way to insinuate himself into a game he's been schemed out of, LeBron must find a way to ration his energy so he has something in reserve late in the game, and the Cavs as a whole must do something about all these missed shots.
What's Wrong Thus Far These Playoffs?Steve Kerr spoke about deliberately forcing James and Kyrie Irving (who was very, very good for most of the game) to exhaust as much energy as possible, knowing that they couldn't keep up that pace the entire time. Timofey Mozgov led all non-LeBron Cavs in scoring, and still LeBron dragged them to two wins.
They need to go back to playing smothering, blitzing defense in closing out on Golden State's shooters, getting physical, grabbing every rebound and playing as a team.
During the regular season, the Cavs games averaged 98.4 possessions per game. In this postseason, he averages 27.2 points, which is the best per game average among active players in the National Basketball Association.
They were winning by 16.9 points per game through the previous 14, which would easily be another National Basketball Association record. His offensive struggles finally affected him on the defensive end on Sunday night when foul trouble limited him to just two minutes of action in the second half. "You saw early in the first half (of Game 2) when LeBron's able to attack and get downhill with the floor open, that's when we're at our best, if they help, kicking it out for threes".
The sixth-year big man has had great success against the Warriors in the past - grabbing double-digit boards in all six contests back in 2015, averaging 13.0 boards per and doubling up in each of the final four games.
The Bulldogs have, in Williams-Goss, a more electric point guard and also play man-to-man defense while OR uses a zone. It was their first lead since the third quarter.
With all that they did better in Game 2, though, the Cavaliers came up against an iconic Curry game and a classic Durant game, which begs the question. "He's been an fantastic player in this league for a long time, and he senses this is his time, his moment, his team". But they are not invincible.
Cleveland was led by James with 39 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. I see nothing preventing them from going to eight to 10 straight Finals.
There is still one monster LeBron game lurking, and one Kyrie lights-out performance due.
Golden State is playing to be No. 1 this season. Oh yeah, he also took and made the 2016 NBA Championship shot. The likelihood of a similar chain of events occurring is terribly bleak.
Losing to the Warriors in the NBA Finals wouldn't be shameful, but it would make it increasingly hard for James to surpass Michael Jordan as the greatest NBA player of all time.
Figuring out how to play with James - taking a supporting role at times, while still being aggressive and taking over when he needs to - has been an adjustment for Irving, who was the No. 1 overall pick in 2011 after one injury-plagued season at Duke.