Stephen Curry, league MVP, missed 13 three-point attempts in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, which is almost as many as the Cavaliers made (9).
Add in the airball that Curry launched with a few seconds left in overtime and it’s fair to say that the Golden State Warriors lost by a fingernail while getting as little as they ever will from their shooting star.
LeBron James, on the other hand, was T-Rex ferocious during his triple-double effort, getting angrier as the game went on. Part of it was because the refs weren’t blowing the whistle on his full-contact sprints to the basket. Part of it was because a few of his shots were actually blocked, and his try to win at the end of regulation didn’t go.
This was competition so tight that it made it tough to sit down watching the game on television, much less in person at the arena. Somehow, though, it feels to me like the Warriors will get over their Finals funk, play a little looser and make it a short series after all.
Golden State has more depth and more talent. That’s got to kick in sooner or later, and tonight’s Game 3 is as logical a place as any.
On Sunday the Warriors’ Marreese Speights missed a runaway dunk, for crying out loud, while Andrew Bogut has been reduced to grabbing people by the hands and arms and torsos just to keep the Cavs’ big men from getting every rebound. Bogut is no A-lister but if he could just stop playing like a D-Leaguer, that would mean a lot.
Most of all, Curry can’t be this cold for long. He’s shooting every time there’s an inch of separation and sometimes when there’s not. It’s a picture of a special talent trying to make every possession extra special rather than letting the Warriors’ slick offense work. It really is a thing of beauty when it’s clicking and Curry, unlike the King of the Cavs, isn’t actually required to do everything himself.
Overall, LeBron deserves all the praise he’s getting for lifting the Cavs much higher than anyone else could in the absence of Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, but I’m sticking with my prediction of Golden State in five. Crazy, I know, but we are talking about generations of deeply-ingrained Cleveland sports trauma here.
To go against that is almost crazier.