June 4, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) steals the ball away from Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) during the overtime period in game one of the NBA Finals. at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
NBA 2015 Finals – Game 2 Recap:
Entering the night news that Kyrie Irving was lost for the entirety of the playoffs after fracturing his kneecap had most pundits expecting the previously favored Warriors potentially sweeping the undermanned Cavaliers. But, as the game got off to an extremely slow paced start with the Warriors missing repeatedly from the field the Cav’s strategy for Game 2 was obvious.
Following the loss of Game 1, management on the Cavaliers’ side stated LeBron James would need to do even more than his 44 point, 8 rebound and 6 assist effort. Assistant coaches spoke openly on NBA TV to the fact James would need to be in the triple-double territory and still carry the majority of the offensive load. While that seemed like a tall task even for what most consider the best player on the planet, he silenced many when he literally accomplished the task his coaching staff laid before him.
Again the game went to overtime marking the first time in playoff history the first two games of a finals have done so. As predicted in my pregame report the Cavaliers came out as the aggressors and were extremely physical. Something the zebras allowed throughout the game until inexplicably in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter when they stopped calling fouls for James and began evening up the calls against the Cavs.
The NBA may have created a new off site location in Secaucus New Jersey to offset the issues with refereeing, but this season I’ve seen more missed calls, blatant bias calls (see Atlanta in Houston as one example) and inconsistencies than I can ever recall. Game 2 was the watershed moment in that regard as James went to the line just 7 fewer times than the entire GSW roster, but then didn’t receive the most blatant foul against him of the night. Of note, while many have cited this missed call on James the fact he traveled prior to the foul shouldn’t be ignored.
Earlier a badly missed call cost the Warriors 2 points when Shaun Livingston was called for offensive cylinder interference when it was clear the ball was well outside the rim. Calls like that may seem like small things, but given the game went to overtime those 2 points would have given the Warriors the game.
For their part Golden State saw the emergence of Klay Thompson in the first half, but his splash brother was abysmal (by his standards) to the point most Houston Rockets fans were left wondering “why oh why, couldn’t we do that”. The Warriors were hampered by the zebras who called various ticky tack fouls against them and forced them to back off defensively and the Cav’s dictated a slow as molasses pace which all but killed their offensive flow.
LeBron James: 39 points, 16 rebounds, 11 assists, 11 of 35 from field, 3 turnovers, 14 of 18 free throws and even in plus/minus
Timofey Mozgov: 17 points, 11 rebounds (2 offensive), 2 turnovers +11
Stephen Curry: 19 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 6 turnovers, 5 of 23 from field, -2 and was a gaudy 2 of 15 from 3
Klay Thompson: 34 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 14 of 28 from field, 0 turnover, -1
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