NBA Finals: Warriors to triumph over Cavaliers in low-scoring clash
Robbie Purves | June 7, 2016
Golden State Warriors @ Cleveland Cavaliers
- NBA Conference Finals
- Thursday, June 9th
- Tipoff: 02:00 BST
- Q Arena, Cleveland
Dubs embarrass LeBron’s men
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been embarrassed by the reigning champions Golden State Warriors, losing game two by a colossal 33 points.
It seems LeBron James’ chances of lifting a third NBA Championship trophy are slipping through his fingers as the team he assembled is clobbered. The mileage in LeBron is high even for a superstar – he has played over 46,000 minutes throughout his 31st year – 7,000 more than any other in history.
With this reliance on ‘King James’, it is no surprise that when Andre Iguodala shuts down James, the whole Cleveland team grinds to a halt. Iguodala has been dominating defensively since June 2015 when they met in the Finals and LeBron shot just 35 per cent in the last 10 meetings with the Warriors when Iguodala guarded him.
Cavaliers came into this series relatively unchallenged, sweeping their first two and beating Toronto Raptors 4-2. Now, when faced with elite opposition, Cavaliers are crumbling.
Warriors turn on style
Despite the recent doubts, when Warriors are on their game and the threes are falling, they are by far the best team in basketball.
If Golden State are to win this series and therefore back-to-back Championships, they just need to continue what they are doing. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are the greatest shooting backcourt in NBA history and will destroy anyone foolish enough to challenge a team built on three point shooting. Cavs have fallen victim to this just too many times.
Warriors are passing the ball relentlessly, finding wide open looks easily and are really winning in style. The teams have averaged 190 points a game in this series and are 8/5 to score a total below 200 in game three.
Before the series started, Draymond Green was highlighted as a key player for the Dubs. Green provides grit and an extra dimension to Steve Kerr’s side, but his ability to control his emotions were highlighted as a cause for concern after his kick out at Steven Adams. Far from ripping his own team apart, Green has excelled and dropped 28 points in game two.
Can Cavs salvage a home win?
The Wine and Gold return to Ohio where they were very successful throughout the regular season and perfect through the Playoffs. Tyronn Lue is an unbeaten 7-0 at home in the 2016 Playoffs and their seven straight home wins are tied for the longest home winning streak in franchise postseason history.
Right now, Dubs are making a mockery of Cleveland. If Cavs are to come back from 2-0 down, they need more from Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Irving averaged just 18 points and shot just 33 per cent in the first two games. Love was just 9-for-24 from the floor in games one and two, and may not feature in game three due to a concussion.
Love is being over powered by Green and looks lost. Four-time champion Shaquille O’Neal said: “Kevin Love’s getting punked by Draymond, he really is, I hate to be the one to say it, but he has to step up. You can’t let a guy do the muscle thing in your face and you don’t respond.”
If Cleveland are to get back into the series LeBron’s supporting cast need to get a grip and show why James should faith in bringing them to the Q Arena.