Mired in a 2-0 hole, the Cleveland Cavaliers desperately need to claw a game back in game 3 of the NBA Finals or face the prospect of being on the receiving end of an unthinkable sweep.
Worryingly for Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, the defending NBA champions are struggling at both ends of the floor.
Offensively, they put up just 91 points in game 2 and defensively, they’ve given up 122.5 PPG across games 1 and 2.
LeBron James though, is doing his part to lift the team to back-to-back championships, logging a near triple double in game 1 of 28 points, 15 rebounds and 8 assists before a triple double of 29 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists in a losing effort in game 2.
While James has been carrying the scoring load, Cleveland’s support cast needs to step up after only three players hit double figures in games 1 and 2.
The Warriors in contrast, had no less than six players hit double figures in their 132-113 rout in game 2.
Defensively it has been ugly for the Cavs, especially from the perimeter where the Warriors helped themselves to 76 shots from beyond the arc in games 1 and 2.
The Cavs desperately need to shut down the Warriors’ long-range sharpshooters or it could be raining threes again in Cleveland.
Steph Curry (pictured below) and the Warriors are lighting it up from downtown and in game 2 shot 18 of 43 at 41.9 per cent with Kevin Durant (4 of 8), Curry (4 of 11) and Klay Thompson (4 of 7) hitting four treys apiece while Draymond Green sunk three of six.
Golden State’s shooting has been efficient the whole series so far and if they replicate their 51.7 percent shooting in game 2, they’ll be hard to contain.
The Cavs recovered from a 3-1 deficit last year, and despite being in a 2-0 hole, they’re not a forlorn hope of getting back into the series.
While their support cast will relish the comforts of being on their home court where they went 31-10 in the regular season and 5 of 6 in the play-offs, their defence has yet to show they can stifle the high-scoring Warriors.
Expecting the Cavs to make a game of it back in Cleveland, but the Warriors have the firepower to spoil the party.
Cleveland at $2.33
Golden State at $1.63
Tip: Golden State at $1.63
Line tip: Cleveland +3.5 (1.91)
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