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Warriors vs. Cavs // Game 2's big talking points

Our man Thomas Theodore was courtside for the NBA Finals Game 2 between The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Here are his six key talking points from the game

Well that got bloody. The Warriors, led in scoring by Draymond Green (28 pts), went on an electrifying 19-2 run in the second quarter, opening up an enormous lead. The Cavs threw in the towel during the third quarter, eventually losing 110-77. So here are the big talking points as we head towards Game 3...

Thompson is key to containing Curry

Tristan Thompson’s first quarter performance is perhaps the only positive the Cavs can take back to Cleveland. Thompson’s a 6ft 9in Center and the only Cav with sufficient arm span and length to nullify Steph Curry’s shooting. Shifting Thompson out to the perimeter is a similar strategy employed by Oklahoma in the Western Conference Finals, who relied on Kevin Durant’s length and agility to suppress the usually free-scoring Curry. Though he’s not quite as athletic as Durant, Thompson started well, and ended the first quarter leading his team for points (8) and rebounds (4) and restricting Curry to 1/4 from behind the arc. The only time that Curry broke free from Thompson in the first quarter he did this…

But then Draymond Green Exploded

With so much focus is on defending Curry, fellow All Star Draymond Green stepped up and turned it on in the second quarter. Led by Green, the Warriors went on a 19-2 run, building a strong platform and not looking back. Curry got into foul trouble and only played just over 24 minutes, spent large chunks of the game sat on the bench and having a ball. Containing Curry is one thing part of the puzzle, but when Green’s hits 5 three pointers, you’re still going to be in trouble. 

Bogut’s block Party

Shutting down the Cavs like a 7ft Australian Skepta, Andrew Bogut had the Oracle Arena rocking with five blocks in just 15 minutes. The Warriors defence was the foundation upon which this victory was based, atop the blocks they forced turnovers, stripped LeBron in the lane, and defended. Post game, Steve Kerr praised his teams defence, singling out Andre Iguodala for his ability to contain James.

Andrew Bogut block game 2 2016 ()

 

Cleveland need to step Up

Inevitably, LeBron James was at times offensively uncontainable, scything through the Warriors defense. The Cavs looked so reliant on his scoring, The more the Warriors lead grew, and the more desperate things got, the more James was stretched – he was stifled in the post, stripped in the lane, and airballed a three, delighting the crowd.

What the Cavs need now is Kevin Love… and everyone else… to play much, much better

Kevin Love was concussed in the second quarter, but not removed from the game until the middle of the third. Post game, much online vitriol was targeted towards Love, who’d been absent defensively and shot poorly prior to the head injury, but truthfully, he wasn’t the only offender: JR Smith needs to score, Kyrie Irving needs to play like an All Star, LeBron needs to cut out the clumsy turnovers.

Kevin Love needs to start delivering the form he showed playing for Minnesota, and quickly, otherwise this series could be over quickly.

Kevin Love Steph Curry ()

 

Warriors dominate their home court

Warriors fans strut out of the arena hi-fiving and boldly talking about a possibly 4-0 series sweep. Online, Lebron-haters are posting videos of LeBron running back to South Beach. But noise out of the Warriors camp is that this is simply job done, they’ve taken care of business on their home court, and know that playing The Cavs in front of a hostile Cleveland crowd presents a much tougher challenge. 

Steph Curry said after the game:

“We’re not getting ahead of ourselves, there’s no point celebrating or jumping up and down two games away from winning a championship. It’s a trap to think we’ve figured things out and that we have the perfect formula to beat Cleveland. That’s probably going to be the chatter over the next 48 hours, but we have to stay in our own little bubble and worry about going out to win Game 3.

Draymond Green game 2 2016 ()

 

Images: Getty

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