5 Takeaways From the Cavaliers in Game 2
*Photo via NBATV
The Cleveland Cavaliers won a grind it out game in another overtime thriller, 95-93 over the Golden State Warriors. The stat of the night for the Cavs was bench points, after a pathetic nine points in Game 1, the Cavs bench outscored the Warriors bench 21-18 a huge factor in the win. After this big road win, the Cavs look to protect home-court. However, first let’s see the five takeaways for the Cavs in Game 2.
1.LeBron James being LeBron James, how do you top a 44-point outing in an overtime loss? You play 50 minutes while totaling 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists for your fifth career finals triple-double. Which is exactly what LeBron did in this Game 2 in which many had written him and his Cavaliers off. This wasn’t LeBrons finest shooting night, however, he did knock down half of his threes while hitting 14 of 18 free throws. This is the second straight game LeBron has carried the weight for the Cavs, can he continue this high level of play for three more wins is the only question. My money is on LeBron though.
2.When Kyrie Irving went down, like many others I wrote off this Cavs team. I didn’t see how Matthew Dellavedova could fill those shoes, Delly as they called him proved me to be horribly wrong for at least the night. Dellavedova had just nine points, but tallied three steals, along with this he was able to shut down MVP Stephen Curry. Curry was zero for eight when covered by Dellavedova a huge part of the Warriors offense was shut down by a role player. How Dellavedova does in the rest of the series is a toss-up, but he has left a clear mark in this Game 2 win.
3.Unlike in Game 1, the Cavs were able to win the battle on the boards. The Cavs out-rebounded the Warriors 55 to 45, and on the offensive glass they won 14 to 10. The Cavs best chance of winning this series has been from the start winning the battle on the glass. This allows the Cavs to force second chance points and to stop the Warriors from getting any more looks then they are bound to get. If rebounding stays this lopsided throughout the series the Warriors will have trouble pulling away from this gritty Cavs team.
4.The Cavs bench outscored the Warriors bench? Yes, you read that right. The Cavs outscored the Warriors bench 21 to 18 as mentioned prior. This is still a concern, however, the only bench players that scored were J.R Smith and James Jones. Jones had a solid eight points in the first half, but was shut down after, while Smith chipped in 13 points but struggled shooting before fouling out. The Cavs will need more production still, as only three Cavs players reached double figures in the second straight game.
5.Timothy Mozgov for the second straight game was a force for the Cavs in a much needed game. Mozgov had 17 points and 11 rebounds, he didn’t play the last three minutes of the third or any of the fourth, but around that he was a huge factor. LeBron clearly trusts Mozgov as his touches have been fairly sufficient in these first two games. If Mozgov can continue to bully and be effective down low, this Cavs team can continue to feed him and attack the paint with the intensity they have through two games.