*Note video was recorded before the Warriors Game 3 win.
After dominating the Cavs, the Warriors are up in the NBA Finals. As the series heads to Cleveland, the hot take belief is LeBron James will come out bulldozing, determined to just overpower the Warriors.
In Games 1 and 2, James drove the lane with all his might and flew around on defense with disruptive intentions. He was a force in the first half, with Kevin Love playing great alongside him. In the first halves, the Cavaliers went blow-for-blow with the Warriors.
However, the second half is when the Warriors come out swinging. LeBron James and Kevin Durant was the defining match up of the series. Durant is able to occupy LeBron and he consumes so much of his energy and focus. That leaves the paint more open. It means LeBron can’t carry the offense for whole quarters or longer, like he has in every other series. Otherwise, he will be completely spent like he was halfway through the second quarter in Game 1.
Durant’s ability to shoot over the top and drive, in addition to his ability to contest shots on defense, doesn’t give LeBron moments to relax.
And in Game 2, Steph Curry took over the entire game in the third quarter. He put the game in his own hands and created a significant advantage for the Warriors, and that advantage was too big for the Cavaliers to overcome. With seven All-Stars on the court, Curry shined brightest in the deciding quarter. His favorite quarter.
He posted his first-ever postseason triple double breaking down the narrative that he doesn’t play well on this stage. Steph brings defenders all the way out to the perimeter. He pushes the ball relentlessly. Curry doesn’t overpower like LeBron or make it look easy like Durant. But his impact cannot be minimized.
LeBron is exhausted trying outperform Curry and Durant while his point guard has struggled to dominate like he did last year. The Curry-Durant tandem is a thing of beauty, but what makes Golden State so special is their unselfishness on offense and consistency on defense.
While LeBron James claimed Durant as the difference between this year’s Warriors and last year’s Warriors, he has much more to worry about than only KD.
Warriors have a healthy Curry. They have Green who is playing Defensive Player of the Year quality basketball and he is keeping himself on the court by reigning in his emotions. Thompson is consistently winning his match-ups and willing to take a back seat to help the team win.
NBA Finals 2017 on ABC:
- Game 4: June 9 | 9:00 PM ET
- Game 5: June 12 | 9:00 PM ET*
- Game 6: June 15 | 9:00 PM ET*
- Game 7: June 18 | 8:00 PM ET*
- *If necessary