OAKLAND — The Golden State Warriors took a 2-0 lead in The Finals with another easy victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2. The Warriors have now won seven straight games against the Cavs, by an average of 18.6 points.
One stat stood out from the rest in the Warriors’ 110-77 victory on Sunday and from the first two games of the series.
44.1 percent – What the Cavs have shot in the paint through the first two games.
Cleveland ranked ninth in field goal percentage in the paint in the regular season at 56.2 percent and third through the first three rounds of these playoffs at 55.3 percent. The Cavs had the postseason’s most potent offense, by a wide margin, before arriving at The Finals.
But in this series, the Cavs have been shut down, both inside and out. They’ve shot 14-for-50 from 3-point range and have made less than half their shots in the paint in both games.
The last part is nothing new. The Cavs have shot below 50 percent in the paint in six of the 12 games they’ve played against the Warriors in the last two seasons. Two of their three worst field goal percentage marks in the paint since LeBron James returned to Cleveland have come against Golden State (Game 2 of last year’s Finals and a meeting on Jan. 9, 2015).
On Sunday, the Warriors committed 14 live-ball turnovers and attempted just 10 free throws. But Cleveland couldn’t take advantage. They scored just 16 points off those 14 steals, and five of those came in garbage time, when the game had long been decided.
We know that the Cleveland defense won’t shut down the Golden State offense over seven games. But if the Cavs can’t get their own offense going, either in the paint or from beyond the arc, this series will be over quick.
Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
EFG% = (FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA
OREB% = Percentage of available offensive rebounds obtained
TO Ratio = Turnovers per 100 possessions
FTA Rate = FTA / FGA