Cleveland’s in a familiar position again in the 2018 NBA Finals, down 2-0 after the first two games in Oakland. Here are the player grades from Game 2.
LeBron James: B+
James was far less aggressive in Game 2 than he was in Game 1, but still finished with 29 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists. He looked gassed at various moments in the game, but Kevin Durant’s engaged defense and the Warriors’ ability to clog the paint really hindered James’ game.
George Hill: B+
The Cavaliers’ starting point guard looked for his shot and was really consistent in this one, finishing with 15 points and three three-pointers. Hill was likely the Cavaliers’ second-best player tonight, but it wasn’t enough in a losing effort.
Kevin Love: B
Take out the third quarter and Kevin Love had himself a pretty average game. He continues to play poorly under contact in the post and throws up wild shots. While his three-point shot wasn’t falling in the first half, it came alive in the third quarter. That helped him finish with a 22-point, 10-rebound performance in Game 2.
Tristan Thompson: B-
Thompson’s effort needs to be appreciated. He’s running the floor, creating extra possessions and moving his feet whenever he’s switched onto a Warriors’ guard. Unfortunately, five rebounds for the biggest player on the floor isn’t going to cut it.
Kyle Korver: C+
One three-point attempt for Korver in 17 minutes is simply in-excusable. The Warriors were always solid at shutting Korver’s water off, but with the lack of three-point shooters on the Cavaliers’ roster, they need him to come alive.
Jeff Green: C
Whenever Green attempts a three, the closest Warriors’ defender is typically in San Francisco — yet he’s not making them pay. Green’s ability to help unlock the Cavaliers’ offense has been nullified so far in this series. And if Green isn’t going to guard Kevin Durant on the other end of the floor, what value is he bringing?
Larry Nance Jr.: C
Yikes, after a solid 19-minute performance in Game 1, Nance Jr. was pathetic in Game 2. Two points and six rebounds in 12 minutes of play? The Cavaliers need more energy and hustle plays from their backup center moving forward.
J.R. Smith: C-
As the Warriors’ fans were chanting “MVP!” for J.R. Smith, he was anything but for the Cavaliers tonight. Many were hoping for a redemption game from Smith, but he looked hesitant and finished 2-of-9 from the field for a total of five points.
Jordan Clarkson: D
Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Clarkson’s first-half minutes were pathetic and as a result, Ty Lue didn’t play Clarkson till the waning moments of Game 2. I expect we don’t see a lot of Clarkson moving forward — at least I hope not.