clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

One play that explains the Cavs’ Game 2 loss

New, comments

Kevin Durant has wreaked havoc in the first two games of the Finals.

NBA: Finals-Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A look at the final score of Game 2 would tell you that it went pretty much the same way that Game 1 did. The Warriors won both games handily, yes, but despite the score, Cleveland actually did play better Sunday.

Even with Cleveland improving on some areas of weakness from Game One, Golden State was too much for the Cavaliers to handle. The Cavs have little margin of error against this Warriors team, and sometimes even if they do everything right, it still is not enough.

There are plenty of examples of this to choose from. This one occurred in the fourth quarter when the Cavaliers had fallen behind by 16 and were in danger of falling out of the game completely. This play, as the series as a whole has, revolved around Kevin Durant.

David West came to set a screen on LeBron, and James wisely elected to fight over the screen instead of going underneath it and allowing Durant an easy look from deep. James got over the screen and got a hand up to contest Durant’s attempt, but it did not make a difference. Durant’s shot still found the bottom of the net.

Granted, the Cavaliers’ defense was not picture perfect here, but it was hardly a breakdown either. Sure, it was a tad late, but against most shooters, that’s a solid contest from LeBron. The only glaring issue is that Kevin Love, who was guarding the screener in West, could have shown harder to give James an extra second to get over the screen. All things considered, though, this play was more about Durant playing exceptionally well than the Cavs playing poorly.

Durant picking apart the Cavaliers’ defense was a recurring theme Sunday. At the end of the first quarter, Cleveland played nearly perfect defense for an entire possession. It did not matter that time either. Durant sank a contested three-pointer over Richard Jefferson as the shot clock expired.

Durant has proven to be the series-shaping addition to the Warriors that Golden State hoped he would be. He has dictated both ends of the floor in both games so far, and two games into the Finals, it does not look the Cavs have much of an answer for him.