Golden State coach Steve Kerr shook off a long-term back ailment to return to the bench and help his Warriors win a record 14th straight post-season contest with a 132-113 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Two of the NBA Finals on Sunday.
The difference between making history and taking the title was put in clear perspective previous year when the Warriors won an National Basketball Association record 73 regular-season games but lost the finals to Cleveland, squandering a 3-1 edge in the best-of-seven series and falling to the greatest comeback in finals history. He was the best offensive player in Game 1 even as he was given the assignment of guarding James for most of the contest.
The Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio.
Can the Cavaliers get enough stops to play with the Warriors' fast pace? James was asked about fatigue on Wednesday before Game 3 of the NBA Finals. I don't expect that to happen this year, but Cleveland should come out much stronger.
"Slowdown basketball" isn't Cleveland's M.O. Altering the speed of the game could have an impact on preserving James as the Cavaliers look to rebound from a 0-2 deficit, but the small forward says he doesn't need the break. In the 60's, it was Lakers-Celtics; in the 70's, there were a few years of SuperSonics- Bullets; in the 80's, it was back to Lakers-Celtics; 90's, we had the MJ and the Bulls dominating; then, in the 2000's we had Kobe and Shaq's Lakers; finally, in the late 2000's-early 2010's, we had/still have Lebron. "I'm averaging a triple-double in the Finals, I'm pretty good". Through two games Tristan Thompson has just eight points and eight rebounds, Kyle Korver has 8 points total, and Deron Williams has yet to score at all. He went on to add, "Nah, I feel great". But he won't win the award unless the Cavs win four of the series' final five games and defend their championship.More news: Senate intel Republicans probe for weakness in Comey
"I'm averaging a triple-double in the Finals", he said. J.R. Smith has not scored a single point after the first two minutes of Game 1. The Cavaliers are led by LeBron James, who averaged 26.4 ppg.
"There's no one to guard Kevin Durant", he said. My bet is that they probably don't want to repeat that trend, or even give themselves a chance of doing so.
With this in mind, we accommodated a six-month sludge through a meaningless regular season, including an terrible post-All-Star game stretch that was highlighted by good teams resting their top players and bad teams tanking.
But that Warriors team, which posted a record 73 wins in the 2015-16 season, was not as risky as the current squad due to the addition of four-time scoring champion Kevin Durant to an already formidable lineup. James went on to lead both teams in all five major statistical categories (points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals) and the Cavs won the Finals in seven games. Eleven Cavaliers are shooting 35 percent or better from 3-point range in the playoffs, but James, Love and Kyrie Irving are the only Cavs who've made more than one open or wide-open 3 in the Finals.
Another problem that plagued the Cavaliers in Game 1 was missed layups. You got to play every game like you're down.
"We played against good teams, and we came to the Finals undefeated, and here we are up 2-0, so we're playing wonderful basketball right now".