The Golden State Warriors faced the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland last night where the game ended up being extremely one-sided.
The Cavaliers walked on to their home court and played like they had a serious chip on their shoulder. They did not let the Warriors lead at all during the game. They also played stellar defense on everyone including Stephen Curry.
Matthew Dellavedova and LeBron James were the two keys in this game. Dellavedova locked down Curry and got into his head just a little bit and frustrated him. James was a facilitator and the scoring machine we all know he can be.
J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and James Jones played great quality minutes for the Cavaliers last night. Jones hit a couple of clutch threes, he made one when he was fouled and another at the end of a quarter. Smith came into the game hitting a couple of contested threes and had a great assist to Timofey Mozgov. Shumpert played great defense on Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry.
The big men for the Cavaliers have been the difference makers for the Cavaliers. Tristan Thompson and Mozgov both were able to control the boards. combined they had 18 rebounds compared to the Warriors big men who only had 9 rebounds
The Warriors looked disjointed and frustrated all last night, they could not get anything to go their way. The starters for Golden State were just atrocious especially Barnes, he did not make a single shot in this game last night and that can not happen when you are starter in the NBA Finals.
Curry could not get anything to go in the first thee quarters, he finally was able to throw up some shots in the fourth quarter to cut the Cavaliers lead down to one. The Warriors team as a whole is just throwing up threes right when they get passed the half court line and that will not help them especially when most of them are contested.
Andre Iguodala has been the only player from the Warriors that has come to play in every single game on both sides of the ball. David Lee also came into the game yesterday and gave them quality minutes, he was able to get the ball down low and also get to the foul line a couple of times.
Game 4 is on Thursday night in Cleveland.
If the Warriors want to tie this series up at 2-2 their starting lineup needs to show up. Curry needs to have a 30 point game along with Thompson contributing 20 points. The big men need to be able to be more physical grab rebounds and get some tip ins. Barnes needs to keep James out of the paint as much as possible. He was getting straight worked in game 3. Lastly give David Lee some more minutes he can score from elbow and he is a good rebounder.
If the Cavaliers want to take a 3-1 lead in the series Dellavedova needs to keep playing great defense on Curry. James need to have another 40 point game with around 10 assist. The role players need to be able put the ball in hole. Lastly keep playing that physical brand of defense.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors went head to head in an astounding game 2 of the NBA Finals.
This was an extremely close game throughout and ended up going into overtime.
The Cavaliers were without two starters in Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving but this did not stop them from competing.
LeBron James had a tremendous game where he ended with 39 points 11 assists and 16 rebounds. If James is able to win this Finals it will most likely go down as the best player performance in NBA Finals history.
Dellavedova played some hard-nosed defense against the league MVP and held him 0-8 shooting in half court sets.
Klay Thompson of the Warriors had a tremendous game. He had 34 points on 14 of 28 shooting. The rest of the Warriors starters did not play so well.
Curry was off from everywhere last night, he shot 5 of 23. Dellavedova was a key reason for Curry’s shooting woes. He also forced Curry to throw up a shot at the end of overtime that ended up to be an air ball. The Cavaliers ended up winning 95-93.
The series is now going to Cleveland with it tied 1-1. The referees missed a couple of calls in the 4th quarter that could have altered the outcome of the game.
The key to the Warriors winning game 3 is making sure the keep on working the ball and not play isolation basketball. Curry has to find his shot again and Thompson cannot get into early foul trouble.
The key to Cavaliers winning game 3 is for James to get everyone involved like he did in game 2. Dellavedova and Shumpert play lock down defense on Thompson and Curry. The last thing is that their role players score like they did in game 2. Jones Shumpert and even Smith had a good contribution offensively.
The Eastern Conference Finals are finally here and it will be featuring the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers, both of these teams got here by beating their opponents in six games.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are in the Conference Finals after beating the Chicago Bulls this was a pretty competitive series that had two buzzer beaters one from each team. The Cavaliers are hoping to come into series with a healthy Kyrie Irving but it is not certain if he will play in game 1.
Irving has been battling a foot injury and knee tendinitis, this would not be good for the Cavaliers if he is not ready to go because he is their second best player on the team.
The Atlanta Hawks beat the Washington Wizards in a hard fought series where both teams went on several scoring droughts. If the Hawks want to win this series they have to play team basketball like they have done all season.
Coach Budenholzer use to be an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich and he has adopted the same playing style as the San Antonio Spurs. The Hawks do not have that go to player that can drive the lane in tough situations and win them a game. They are built to win games through their passing and efficient scoring.
One thing this Hawks team can absolutely not do is go on scoring drought against a high powered offense like the Cavaliers. That was how the Cavaliers beat the Bulls in their series. Al Horford has played phenomenal in the playoffs this season.
Jeff Teague also has to be more aggressive this series and run the offense take the ball to the basket and not be hesitant. If Teague is not aggressive it will be hard for the Hawks to win this series. This also might be the time where you see the Thabo Sefolosha injury hurt the Hawks.
If the Cavaliers and LeBron James want to make it to the NBA Finals Irving and James have to play lights out. They both need to score 20 points a game. James also cannot turn the ball over to many times because that is what this Hawks team feast on.
The role players are very key for the Cavaliers also because there will be no Kevin Love so Smith, Dellavedova, and Shumpert all have to contribute.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls faced off last night in a blowout Eastern Conference semifinal game.
The Cavaliers came out in the first few minutes of the first quarter attacking and playing lock down defense. This gave the Cavaliers a 13-2 point advantage straight out of the gate.
The Bulls came out sluggish and were not making any of their open shots. They also kept leaving the Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert wide open. He started the game going 3-3 from the three-point line.
LeBron James came into this game not wearing a headband because he wanted to look like his teammates. This game he went with the headband and played like a man among boy. He was very judicious with his passing not committing as many turnovers as he did in-game one. He ended the game with a game high 33 points.
This game was very crucial for the Cavaliers because they did not want to travel to Chicago and be down 0-2.
Derrick Rose did not play well this game. He scored only 14 points and was 6-20 from the field. If the Bulls want to win this series Rose has to step up and play like the former NBA MVP he is.
Jimmy Butler was the only bright spot for the Bulls and that is not saying much. He scored only 18 points and let James score 33 on him. Jimmy Butler has also been named the NBA’s Most Improved Player.
Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers played a very efficient game. He ended the game with 21 points and also got to the free throw line 12 times.
The Cavaliers starting shooting guard J.R. Smith will be back after serving his two game suspension for the hit he landed against Jae Crowder of the Boston Celtics in the quarterfinals. Kevin Love is out for the rest of the playoffs due to a shoulder injury. Many people in and around the Cavalier organization are fearful that Love might leave this summer in free agency. Will Smith’s returning hurt Shumpert’s play? It is a possibility but no one will know until game 3.
The interesting NBA season is coming to an end. This means that the MVP race is also coming to an end.
The Western Conference has been the conference with most depth this year. This is no surprise because for about the last 10 years it has been this way.
Stephen Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and LeBron James are all in the running for the MVP race. LeBron James has won the MVP three times since he has been in the league.
Curry is the best player on the best team in the West. He is one of the best shooters in the league. Curry can pull up from anywhere and make the shot with ease.
Harden has been playing extremely well.He has put a Rockets team on his back and lead them to the number two seed in the Western Conference. Dwight Howard has been out with injuries for the most part of the season. Harden also is first in the league in scoring ahead of Westbrook.
Last but not least is Westbrook. The Oklahoma City Thunder have been riddled with injuries this season. Westbrook has been the most healthy out of their teams big three. Ibaka and Durant have both missed much of the season. Durant is out for the rest of the season. Westbrook has been a dynamic and electric player this season. Westbrook this season has made 11 triple doubles that ties the great Michael Jordan with most in a season.
Who will make that last and final push to get the hardware?