THE NBA FINALS GAME 2 PREVIEW
Hey, the NBA big-wigs really know how to kick someone when they're already down, eh?
The latest to come from that NBA Finals Game 1 fiasco - see Golden State 124, Cleveland 114 in overtime - is now the league's head honchos say there should have been a "lane violation" assessed to Warriors' F Draymond Green on that missed free throw by Cavaliers' G George Hill with 4.7 seconds remaining in regulation play (we just watched the replay again and sure enough Green stepped into the lane prematurely) but a whole lot of good that's gonna do the Cavs right now!
Let's examine what's ahead for Game 2 on Sunday night in Oakland:
CLEVELAND at GOLDEN STATE - Warriors lead series 1-0; Game 2 at 8 p.m. ET, ABC
You can bet your proverbial bottom dollar that the host Warriors will come with bad intentions to start off this Game 2 bash - again, sluggish first halves have been the rule and not the exception for Steve Kerr's squad this post-season (don't ask why!) and so if 12-point underdog Cleveland is gonna hang tough here and have a shot late in this tilt then LeBron James and Company likely have to withstand some early-game body shots.
Here's three "suggestions" to the upset-minded Cavs should they wish to even this best-of-seven series at a single game apiece:
As much as it may pain Cav Nation, get brain-cramped J.R. Smith and George Hill in the offensive flow early - this tandem combined for just 17 points in 68 minutes of time in Game 1 and neither ever looked comfortable save for one Smith trifecta. James' 51-point outing was a godsend, but he stills needs help;
Number two, make that determination to crash the offensive glass again here - the 19-to-4 advantage on the offensive boards was a major reason why the Cavaliers had a shot at winning Game 1 outright - did you realize that Cleveland attempted nine more field goals (that's 99-to-90) in this series opener and that's almost impossible stuff against a Golden State team that always gets off loads of shots;
Finally, there's no way that this defensively-challenged Cleveland team is gonna get a real handle on the Stephen Curry / Kevin Durant / Klay Thompson trio (they scored 79 points on 61 field-goal tries in Game 1) but the Cavaliers must force more than just seven turnovers. Look for Cleveland to "cheat" at times when switching or double-teaming guys out on the perimeter in an attempt to get some gimme steals/hoops. Curry's great with the dribble but Durant/Thompson/Green can be picked clean, so expect Ty Lue's crew to be a bit more active on "D" in the open floor.
Here's the 2018 NBA Finals head-to-head matchups so far between the Cavaliers and the Warriors (all home teams in CAPS):
|5-31||GOLDEN ST||- 13||Cleveland||124-114 (ot)|