After enduring a drubbing courtesy of the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, The Cleveland Cavaliers were looking to turn things around in Game 2 before heading back to Cleveland.
However, things did not go as they hoped.
Throughout the first two games of this series we have seen the Cavs keep within reach of the Warriors, and even though they are hanging within 8 points – it never seemed that close.
Huge games from Lebron James and Kevin Love brought the fight for Cleveland, but like Game 1 – the support was not there. James had no problem getting to the rim while Love consistently knocked down long range shots – but that was not where the team was falling down.
“Our offense isn’t the problem right now.” Says Kyrie Irving. “When you’re down by three, it can turn into an 8-0 run in a matter of seconds. We have to be conscious of that and slow down their fast break more.” Irving Continues, “You have to remain non-wavering. As I say, never waver in terms of whatever the outlook looks like. We understand who we are and we stay the course.”
While that defensive breakdown that let to Kevin Durant taking charge in Game 1 was marginally corrected in the first half, limiting the impact Durant had on the game. In the second half however, Durant picked up where he left off; finishing with 33 points and 13 rebounds
“We’ve just got to make it tough for them” Kevin Durant told us after the game. “I’m not going to take a step back. “
The performances of Stephen Curry and Durant over the first two games of this series have been some of the greatest of their season. Draymond Green remarked after the Warriors win. “They’re more locked in than I’ve seen anyone in my life”, which is saying something given their consistent and outstanding contributions throughout the year,
The questions if going to be; can the Cavaliers find a way to stop Curry and Durant without giving up points to another one of the Golden State sharpshooters.
After a poor offensive showing in Game 1 Klay Thompson was a man on a mission in Game 2 finishing with 22 points and hitting his stride early in the game, as well as continuing his role on the defensive end keeping Irving relatively quiet.
“Klay got going a little bit” remarks Irving, “We just gotta get used to it (the Warriors tempo), it’s as simple as that. We play at a high tempo too. But when they have number in transition they’re knocking down shots.”
It might seem like the odds are now stacked heavily against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but as the saying goes, you are nothing until you win away from home.
Coach Tye Lue spoke after the loss about how his team knew it was going to be tough to come into Oracle Arena and walk away with a win – but heading back to play for their home crowd, the Cavs’ know they need to regroup in what is a do or die situation.
Cav’s forward Kevin Love reinforced, “Being down 0-2 means we have to take care of business.”
The NBA Finals now move to Cleveland where Game 3 will take place on Wednesday.
Feature Image: SB Nation