NBA Finals Game 2: Cavs to tie the series 1-1 if...

MANILA, Philippines – Nobody knew it would be a lopsided win for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals Game 1. Despite of the league-leaders status, the Warriors are chasing their stolen rings from the King and his Cavaliers. They might have won the opener but it’s still a long way to go to reclaim what is rightfully theirs.

NBA Finals Game 2: Cavs to tie the series 1-1
Lebron James’ 8 out of team’s 12 total turnovers costs the Cavs their Game 1 loss.
So, what went wrong for Cleveland that resulted to opener blow out-loss? There are just two things that caused the Cavaliers a very poor performance last Friday.

Should Lebron James take the blame? Yes he should as the team leader and he has admitted that during the post-game interview. It’s not that he just recorded a nearly-triple-double with 28 points which was a team-high, 15 boards and 8 dimes. He could’ve have made it almost a quadruple-double if only turnovers count! 20 total team turnovers and Lebron committed roughly half of it with 8. Yes 8 turnovers in the finals is a woe.

Next point, at the 5 position. Obviously, Cleveland will never win this aspect. It’s two against one or Zaza Pachulia and Javale McGee versus Tristan Thompson alone. Oh wow, I thought the Cavs signed-up the 7’3” Edy Tavares from the D-League? The shot-blocking guy is a good backup for Thompson! Coach Ty Lue should field him in more often! That’s correct my friend, Edy Tavares is currently with the Cavs. But bad luck hit him and his team hard as the defensive monster fractured his hand during a live scrimmage mid-playoffs. So Coach Lue had no choice but to rely on Channing Frye, a 6’11 guy who spend most of his time at the 3-point area to assist Thompson in the middle.

The Cavs really don’t have the success in landing a secondary center. Mid season, they signed ex-Warrior Andrew Bogut that they believe will make a huge difference in defending their title against the Dubs. But, in just 2 minutes of Bogut’s game in Cavs uniform, he busted his knee and carried out of the court on a stretcher.

Tristan Thompson who’s currently leading the entire league in offensive rebounds got only 4 all in all. That’s a massive let down for the Cavs. Not only he posted 4 rebounds but recorded 0 point as well! Cleveland virtually played game number one without a center! And that’s the reason why Golden State got easy shots inside the paint. Kevin Durant alone made 7 dunks at least. By the way, Durant boasted a game-high of 38 points.

What really happened to Tristan Thompson then? Many say that Cleveland is jinxed because the Cavalier-center allegedly got Kim Kardashian pregnant. You’ll know why NBA players and fans call it a curse if you’ll realize what happened to Lamar Odom, Khloe’s ex-husband and the LA Lakers after they got married. They’re now divorced though. But seriously speaking, only Thompson could answer the questions on his humiliating performance. In the eyes of his teammates and spectators, he played terrible basketball and Pachulia and McGee beat him under the rim.

So, what will be the prediction in Game 2? Certainly, the Cavs will make adjustments on all angles of the floor and the Dubs will continue to dominate the areas where they beat the Cavs especially in the middle. Tristan Thompson will surely redeem himself from his horrible performance, or else, management will shop around the league to score a reliable big man next season.

There’s no really a problem with Cleveland’s big three. Along with Lebron James’ 28. Kyrie Irving contributed 24 while Kevin Love chipped in 15. The supporting casts have the problem. Aside from the big three, Richard Jefferson is the only notable player who has a decent marker of 9. JR Smith and Kyle Korver were both MIAs in game one. Good thing for the Warriors that it was only Klay Thompson who was MIA. But that’s more scary news for the Cavs that they got beaten up without the aid of Klay Thompson.

As for Lebron James, he’ll make up for his 8 incredible turnovers. If labelling a 28-point game as an off-night for the King, how much more will he produce if he’s playing an excellent basketball? If I were Interim Coach Mike Brown, I’ll be terrified on James’ full potential in the games to come.

Many times, basketball commentators and analysts make JR Smith a barometer of Cleveland’s success. If JR plays and scores well, they will win. But if he plays bad, there’s a big chance that they will lose it. Check game one, Smith only scored 3 points and they lost. Sorry to say that JR Smith has no medial game. If he plays well, his team will surely secure the win. But if he doesn’t, prepare the bad news. To dig deeper in this theory, it will simply tell that if JR Smith is producing good numbers, technically his teammates are doing the same too because it’s a chain reaction. Scoring and defensive stops are really contagious. Make no mistake, bad games are infectious too. Look at James’ 8 turnovers, the rest of the team got 12 against Warriors’ 4 total turnovers. While for the Warriors, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry who had 28 encouraged the rest of their teammates except for Klay Thompson to score well.

Good for Cavs to commit the errors in the first game, they now have the plans to convert them into good strategies and battle plans moving forward. Cleveland will win Game 2 I say. Coach Lue will just have to clog the middle and James for sure will lessen his turnovers and gear-up his Finals plying form. Lebron has proven the fans many times that he’s almost unstoppable. All he has to do is get his team involved especially the reserves to play solid defense and get the ball in.

--Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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