Wow. There are honestly no other words to describe this one. The Cavs found a way to battle back against all odds to beat the Warriors 95-93 in overtime. The Wine and Gold stole home court advantage and will be heading back to the Q in what is now a best of five series. Here’s what we learned.
• Cleveland has the coaching advantage. It doesn’t matter if it’s David Blatt, Tyronn Lue, or LeBron James calling the shots, the fact of the matter is they came up with an excellent game-plan to slow down Golden State’s high powered offense. They found a way to rally the troops after Kyrie Irving went down with his injury. Let’s hope they can build a winning game plan to pull out three more wins.
• Steve Kerr isn’t the best at managing his timeouts. There’s no excuse for not having a timeout at the end of the overtime. They could’ve got a better attempt at a game winning shot if Kerr would’ve saved one of those timeouts. No one’s going to say anything about it, but if that would’ve been Blatt the national media would crucify him.
• Matthew Dellavedova isn’t afraid to dive on the floor for loose balls. We already know that, but the Warriors learned that in Game 2. The Cavs needed every loose ball he grabbed to get the win. Those rugby skills came in handy yet again.
• Steph Curry breaks records like it’s no one’s business. In Game 2 he broke the record for the most missed threes in NBA Finals history with 13 missed shots.
• Apparently you don’t bring your kid to the post-game news conference when you miss 13 threes.
• The moment isn’t too big for Delly. He hit the game tying and go-ahead free throws with under a minute left to play. Those were clutch free throws from a guy that hasn’t exactly been known as a clutch free thrower shooter.
• J.R. Smith doesn’t always take the best fouls. He fouled out in this one, and there really wasn’t an excuse for three of them. Fortunately, the Cavs were able to bail him out.
• LeBron isn’t afraid to pass to a three point shooter in the corner with the game on the line. Just like in Game 1 and 2 of the ’07 Eastern Conference Finals when LBJ passed it to veteran shooter Donyell Marshall, James Jones missed the shot. Fortunately Delly was there to save the day and grab the offensive rebound.
• LeBron doesn’t get calls at the end of the game any more. There were numerous calls that didn’t go the Cavs way. It felt like the whole world was against the Cavs at some points.
• Steph Curry likes bounce passes a little too much. I don’t know what he was thinking with that last bounce that was picked off by Shumpert to end the game. Bounce passes are great, but that wasn’t a time to do one.
• Klay Thompson can get hot fast. Thompson kept the Warriors alive in Game 2. He finished with 34 points on 50% shooting.
• Good defense stops good offense. In Game 2, the Cavs’ defense held the Warriors to under 100 points in 53 minutes. The defense did a great job of running shooters off the 3-point line and held them to 8-35 (23%) shooting. The Wine and Gold completely disrupted the rhythm of the Warriors and their shooters. That needs to continue for the Cavs to steal this series.
• Delly is Steph Curry’s kryptonite. The Australian put on a clinic of how to play defense. The MVP was held to 19 points on 5 of 23 shooting. He was 0 for 8 when Dellavedova was guarding him including a huge miss at the end of overtime. We’ll see what kind of adjustments Curry makes to have a better game on Tuesday.
• “In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.” This one didn’t come easily for anyone. LeBron James did everything he had to do to win. He finished with another triple double and did a great job of balancing between getting his teammates involved and putting the team on his back. It wasn’t pretty, but that doesn’t matter. James willed this team to the first Finals win in franchise history. Everyone counted the Cavs out after Kyrie’s injury and many even said they couldn’t win a game. LBJ and company proved them wrong again. It won’t be easy, but I don’t think they’d have it any other way.
Players of the Game: Delly and LeBron – shutting down the MVP and a triple double are both impressive. It’s tough to decide between the two.
The Cavs will be back in Cleveland Tuesday night for Game 3. The Q will be rocking!
pic credit Cleveland.com