NBA Finals Game 2: Cavs @ Warriors

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NBA Finals Game 2

1. Cleveland @ Golden State (10:05am)

Game 1 was nothing short of a flogging yet the Cavs faithful remain confident – referring to last season when the Cavs were down 2-0 and then 3-1. The Wolf says things are very different this time around…

To begin with last season the Warriors were mentally fatigued after chasing a record 73 wins and having a tough time overcoming the Thunder in the Conference Finals. Then there was the Draymond Green suspension in Game 5 which gave the Cavs a lifeline and the momentum.

This time around it is the Cavs who are the hunted and for more reason than one – many fuelled by the media. There is the non-stop references to LeBron being the best player on the planet followed by criticisms of Durant’s ‘weak move’ to the Warriors and Curry’s inability to perform in the NBA Finals. All of those things came to a head in Game 1. Durant went berserk and Curry made it rain in a 22 point win as the tables turned with the Cavs now being the hunted.

The addition of Durant is a lot more significant that first meets the eye. His offensive prowess is there to be seen but it is the effect he has on LeBron which is rarely talked about. Last season James was matched up against Harrison Barnes at the small forward position and with Barnes struggling the Cavs leader was able to play a roaming role on defence. The attempts to do this in Game 1 were an epic fail! Durant was left a free path to the basket and has 6 dunks in the 1st quarter. If the Cavs to not adjust Durant will average 35+ in this series. If they do and LeBron marks up on him than you will see the Warriors move the ball and get open look after open look – SPLASH!

Cleveland’s dominance in the East against some inferior teams have disguised their weaknesses. Throughout the playoffs it has been LeBron, Kyrie and Love who have shouldered the majority of the scoring and we have rarely seen their bench contribute. They have 2/3 of the Cavs scoring in the playoffs and that percentage would be higher had they not sat out so many 4th quarters following blowouts.

Game 2 has the makings of another comfortable Warriors win. They are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 following a double digit margin win and 21-6-1 ATS in their last 28. The Cavs on the other hand are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 following a loss and 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 against Western Conference opponents. We were all over the Unders in Game 1 (a comfortable winner) but The Wolf is expecting a zig zag. The Cavs won’t stop the Warriors from scoring and with Love set to play a lot more at centre for matchup purposes we will see smaller lineups for a longer period. That means pace, space and points!

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