Posts Tagged ‘Cavaliers’

Game 5: 24-second thoughts


VIDEO: LeBron James and Steph Curry get hot from behind the arc.

24 — Following memorable performances by Carlos Santana (Game 2) and Usher (Game 4), Metallica’s James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett, Bay Area natives, thrash the national anthem.. LeBron & Co. just glad it wasn’t For Whom the Bell Tolls.

23 — If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Warriors stick with Andre Iguodala and small ball in starting lineup. No lie, Steve Kerr.

22 — Five minutes, five turnovers, two points. Are the Cavs playing with a square basketball?

21 — Fish will fly. Birds will swim. Elephants will tap dance on the head of a pin. J.R. Smith bangs in first two 3-pointers of the game. The good J.R.

20 — Then he lays out Draymond Green like a tractor-trailer smashing through a whipped cream pie. Flagrant 1. The bad J.R.

19 — That “stop whining, start playing” lecture Draymond got from his mama and grandma produced a 10-point, two dunk start in the first nine minutes.

18 — Welcome to the 21st century. In “Small Ball Finals” LeBron James plays center and guards Shaun Livingston.

17 — Shades of 1980? Remember Game 6 when Magic Johnson stepped into Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s spot at center and delivered 42 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists in Lakers’ close-out win at Philly. LeBron in the middle and the Cavs have pace very much to their liking.

16 — As J.R. bangs home back-to-back 26-footers for his third and fourth treys in 10 minutes off the bench, just one sound big heard inside Oracle: “Uh-ooooooooooh!”

15

14 — Pace and ball movement starting to tip the feel back in direction of the Warriors. They’re a thing of beauty when sharing and have assists on 15 of first 17 buckets.

13 — It’s one thing to be J.R. Smith, showing up for first time in five games to sling in a handful of jumpers to get attention and quite another to be the engine that is LeBron and have to pull the train. Near triple-double (20-8-8) already and he either scored or assisted on 15 consecutive Cleveland hoops from middle first quarter to halftime.

12 — Could that have been J.R.’s cousin who won Jamba Juice for everybody inside Oracle during last timeout? Guy missed first eight 3-pointers, then made last one.

11 — This is Steph Curry The Finals have been waiting on, “bouncy and fresh,” as he once described himself, like one of those little sheets you toss into your dryer.

10 — This “small ball” stuff is so much fun that Andrew Bogut and Timofey Mozgov probably just wish they were at a sports bar knocking back a few pitchers at sports bar while watching it.

9

8 — According to most of the folks at Oracle, Matthew Dellavedova killed Arya Stark tonight on Game of Thrones.

7David Blatt rode LeBron hard in third before finally giving him a break with 1:58 left. With 24-12-9 already, how much more does James have left fourth quarter, down 73-67?

6 — LeBron’s running jumper 12 seconds in gives him more fourth quarter points than all of Game 4.

5Iman Shumpert’s corner 3 off pass from you-know-who gives LeBron his second triple-double of Finals (29-12-10). That’s James’ 6th career triple-double in Finals, trailing only Magic Johnson’s record of 8.

4 — Splish! Splash! Cavs take a bath, long about a Sunday night on back-to-back 3s by Curry and Klay Thompson. Worth the wait: Steph is finally Steph with 37 and 7 treys.

3 — Perhaps the only thing funnier than Curry’s so-called “mean-face” is watching serial free throw mauler Iguodala (2-for-11) try to run away from would-be foulers to avoid a trip back to the line.

2 — LeBron racks up first 40-point triple-double since Michael Jordan 30 years ago. Please, let’s not have anyone embarrass themselves by still questioning what he brings to the table and pointing out a 2-4 Finals record if this thing ends on Tuesday night. For the second time in Finals history, MVP could come from losing team.

1 — For directions to a championship, just make a right turn at Planet Iggy. Warriors coach Steve Kerr: “He’s been our best player in the series.”

The Finals Live Blog Game 5

@wardell30 with the speedy dribbling! 🏀💨💨#NBAFinals

A video posted by NBA (@nba) on

OAKLAND — The biggest game of the season.

That’s what Game 5 is to both the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, and not just because it’s the next game in these NBA Finals.

It’s the biggest because when it’s over the winner will be a mere four quarters from being able to finish this thing and claim that Larry O’Brien Trophy, feed a championship-starved fan base and etch their names in NBA lore among the other championship teams that preceded them.

Games like these come with the pressure that shows the true character of the men involved. We’ll find out if Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Splash Brothers, are truly ready for prime time? If LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers just needed a little rest to continue engineering one of the all-time great upsets in NBA and sports history (they are a robust 15-0 this season on exactly two days of rest)?

Fifteen just happens to be the magic number tonight.

The Warriors are undefeated this season (a staggering 57-0) when they get a 15-point lead in a game.

#15isthemagicnumber

And they’ve got karma in the house thanks to the Barrys (Rick and Brent “Bones” Barry, one of just three father-son combinations to have won NBA championships joining the Walton and Goukas clans as the only duos to accomplish that feat).

Warriors champ Rick Barry with the crew! #NBAFinals

A photo posted by @nbatv on

Lineup changes and defensive tweaks are fine. And they worked well for the Warriors in Game 4. Now it’s the Cavaliers’ turn to throw a wrinkle or two into the mix.

LeBron said there will be no lineup change. An extension of the rotation from seven players to say eight or nine, however, seems to be a must. Mike Miller and Shawn Marion need to be on high-alert tonight. But really, guys like J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert are the ones who need to step up for the Cavs.

Shump in the corner, getting ready for Game 5.

A photo posted by John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) on

Someone is due for a breakout effort tonight, either the Splash Brothers or Smith and Shumpert (they get a nickname if and after they have that breakout game).

Game 5 is the time someone needs to get it done. Because it’s all on the line tonight, right here at Oracle Arena. Winner takes the commanding 3-2 advantage and the chance to finish this series off Tuesday in Cleveland ….

***

***

***

***

#15isthemagicnumber

***

***

***

***

He whose name should not be spoken … at least until he starts playing better!

***

Same starting five as Game 4. No need to fix it if in ain’t broken.

***

If you go strictly by the numbers …

***

Ugh!

***

Brutal start for both teams. Turnovers, bricks, turnovers, etc.

***

Warriors pick it up. Cavaliers keep turning it over.

***

Why wait?

***

Good Draymond vs Good JR

***

Well, until JR flattened Draymond and picked up a Flagrant 1

***

***

LeBron playing all five positions. Biggest Cavs player on the floor and running the point. Cavs 17, GSW 16 #unreal

***

Still waiting on that Splash Brothers reunion …

***

MVP stuff

***

***

I believe the proper term is #BeastMode

***

Warriors better pick up the pace because JR is hot!

***

***

Swish

***

***

Don’t know how easy they are, but he is getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants and wherever he wants it.

***

Delly with a dive, draws Draymond’s second foul

***

Meanwhile, LeBron is in #BeastMode

***

Best way for LeBron to keep JR engaged?

***

Dirtyvedova … hmmmm!

***

Bogut with the assist.

***

Two full days of rest = #BeastMode

***

Eyes in the back of his head.

***

Common foul indeed.

***

Harrison Barnes goes up big late and LeBron goes on the poster. Warriors rally for the 51-50 lead at the break.

***

***

***

It doesn’t matter what language you use, it’s called Ballin’

***

Lots of basketball to be played Sir. But it is something worth pondering.

***

Small Ball is the name of the game right now.

***

I want mine. Strawberry Banana #JambaJuice

***

Steph cannot get loose. Simply nowhere for him to go with the Cavs cutting off all angles.

***

Stripes messing with us tonight. Don’t let the whistles get in the way.

***

Looming large!

***

What do you do with a two-day wait for Game 5? Apparently a few people went to the movies.

***

Pretty good company …

***

Welcome to the new NBA … No Bigs Allowed!

***

Down to the wire …

***

No LeBron, No business!

***

And then there’s that …

***

Anything Kerr can AI can do better.

***

Mozgov’d again?

***

@kingjames with his 2nd triple double of the 2015 #NBAFinals. Watch on ABC!

A photo posted by NBA (@nba) on

***

Just another #NBAFinals triple-double for @kingjames… 29-12-10 early in the 4th qtr

A photo posted by NBA on TNT (@nbaontnt) on

***

You never say that word!

***

The MVP back and forth is breathtaking to watch. Klay and JR can get it on the fun, too.

***

***

Your turn JR …

***

LeBron is so preposterously good at this game of basketball. Does it all.

***

Coaching shots fired?

***

Finals MVP if the Warriors win?

***

Extremely inaccurate!

***

#StephBack MVP … Delly had no chance.

***

Love from Down Under even

***

LeBron with another 3 from the Oakland Hills. Wow!

***

#BeastMode

***

#StrengthInNumbers

***

***

***

Back & forth we go on ABC in Game 5 of the 2015 #NBAFinals!

A video posted by NBA (@nba) on

***

Told you, #15isthemagicnumber

Warriors biggest lead … 15!

***

***

LeBron was unreal. Unreal. But the MVP gets the win.

Green: No comfort at home for Warriors

OAKLAND, Calif. — The alarm bells have been silenced. The missing persons reports for the high-powered Golden State offense have been called off. The team that has lost only four games at Oracle Arena all season has regained home-court advantage and so one might think the Warriors have a sense of comfort back in The Finals.

“Absolutely not,” said forward Draymond Green. “If we could, we’d like to win this one and the next one on their court. We’re not looking at this and saying, ‘Oh, we’re at home. The series is over.’ It doesn’t work that way, especially not in The Finals.

“We got to come out and compete, play with an edge, play with an aggressive nature and just be ready for whatever. They’re gonna come and give it their all. They feel like, ‘Hey, we gotta win one on their court. Why not be tomorrow?’

“That’s gonna be their mindset. We have to make sure we come out ready to play. Not depending on the crowd. Let the crowd feed off us. Not us try to feed off the crowd.”

Kerr’s open door lets in success


VIDEO: Warriors coach Steve Kerr speaks at Saturday’s availability.

OAKLAND, Calif. — By now the world knows that Steve Kerr is not like a lot of rookie coaches. First off, not very many rookie coaches get the chance to play for a championship right out of the box.

Then again, not many rookie coaches are willing to think completely outside the box and take strategy suggestions mid-championship series from a guy whose duties include selecting and spinning the tunes at practice.

But when 28-year-old special assistant to the head coach Nick U’Ren proposed that the Warriors switch to a small lineup for Game 4 of The Finals, it was music to Kerr’s ears. And the notion that they’re all in this together continues to be why this entire season has come together like a symphony for a Golden State franchise seeking to win its first NBA title in 40 years.

With U’Ren’s plan, the Warriors ripped off a 103-82 win on Thursday night in Cleveland and now return to Oracle Arena for Game 5 with a 2-2 tie and home-court advantage back in hand.

“Things are open every day that we have a meeting,” said Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton following Saturday’s practice. “Go back to the Memphis series. (Assistant coach) Ron Adams threw out the idea that we should try putting (Andrew) Bogut on Tony Allen. It wasn’t, ‘Well, Ron said, it we’re doing it.’ It turns into a discussion and Steve really liked the idea.

“We give Steve a lot of credit also to be a rookie coach and to have the balls to do some of these moves this deep into the playoffs. It is impressive. He hangs it out there and our guys respond every time that that type of challenge presents itself. It’s all year long. Anytime anybody has ideas, we bring them to the table. He doesn’t want the credit for it. I mean, he should get it all, because if it doesn’t work he’s gonna get the blame for it.

“Steve would have taken the fall. At 7-0 (Cavs) early in that game, people were probably questioning, ‘What the heck is this guy doing? He’s in over his head.’ And he would never have thrown Nick under the bus.”

The Warriors players have responded through a 67-15 regular season and long playoff run to Kerr’s atmosphere of overall inclusiveness.

“One thing I’ve always been taught is that in order to be a great leader, you have to be a great follower,” said forward Draymond Green. “In order to be a great leader, you have to listen to other people. Most people would probably say, ‘Oh, man! Nick’s not on the coaching staff.’ But yet Coach Kerr always tells us, ‘I listen to anybody — video guy, video intern.’ Those guys watch a ton of film. You know, sometimes they may even watch more film than Coach does. They’re the ones breaking it all down. So it just says a lot about Coach Kerr’s character that he would listen and get it worked out.”

Game 4: 24-second thoughts

VIDEO: Andre Iguodala put on a show for the Warriors in Game 4

24Steve Kerr blinks first. Andre Iguodala in starting lineup for Andrew Bogut.

23 — Time for the Warriors to get inspiration from national anthem singer Usher? Here I Stand.

22LeBron James with the no-look, over-the-head pass for Mozgov dunk is pure Magic.

21 — They can’t find those escaped convicts from N.Y. prison, but bloodhounds seem to have located Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green in first quarter for a change.

20 — Nine minutes, 1-for-4 shooting, 0-for-2 on treys. “Oh yeah, just remembered I’m Matthew Dellavedova, not Jerry West.”

19 — Kerr got everything he wanted out of his lineup change. Better pace, spread the floor, moving the ball, Iguodala everywhere. Your serve, David Blatt.

18 — After telling his team in huddle, “They’re only using seven players, they’ll wear down,” where does Kerr go with his own rotation? Do Bogut and Festus Ezeli get to take off their warmups?

17 — Got to give credit to Iguodala for making the sacrifice to come off the bench all year and to David Lee for being virtually buried, but staying ready to perform in The Finals.

16 — Dear Cavs: As much as they’ve struggled at times in the series, it’s never really a good idea to leave the Splash Brothers open.

15 — Warriors have 12 assists on first 16 baskets. Oh, so that’s the team that won 67 games this season.

14 — Think about it: LeBron just six shots in first 17 minutes. Hardly a plan for success.

13 —LeBron bleeds after collision with TV camera. Would you blame any of the other players on the court for licking their chops and wishing they could get a few pints of that stuff?

12 — World back spinning properly on its axis. Small-ball Warriors moving, scoring, rebounding, in control.

11 — Matthew Dellavedova back-to-back 3s out of the locker room. Did he return to his old routine and get a triple-shot of espresso at halftime?

10 — You can talk about the Warriors shooters cooling off early in third quarter. But pace, pace, pace. The Cavs go back to grinding and get back in the game.

9 — Sure, he’s got an unflappable, unflinching air about him, but Stephen Curry looks a bit disengaged from all of the emotion of what’s at stake in what has become a three-point game.

8 — OK, who had the prop bet in Vegas where Timofey Mozgov (21 points) plays a virtual draw with the combined Splash Brothers (22) in the first three quarters?

7 — How much does it say that on a night when LeBron appears a little out of sorts, fatigued, he’s closing in on another triple-double with 20 points, nine rebounds, seven assists going into fourth quarter?

6 — How is it that J.R. Smith can arrive at the arena riding a hoverboard, but his game usually needs training wheels?

5 — Was David Blatt getting paid by the word for that long-winded answer to Doris Burke or just trying to talk his team back into the game? Where is grunting Smiley Popovich when we need him?

4

3 — Oh, Mama, can this really be the end? To be stuck inside of Mobile with with the Memphis blues again.  Now the Cavs got a taste of Golden State playing with desperation. Just as they responded in conference semifinals down 2-1 to Grizzlies, the Warriors started off adversity and responded on the road.

2 — Best thing for the Cavs after a 103-82 thumping? The calendar. Two days off. It looked like a plow horse against American Pharoah.

1 — Gettin’ Iggy Wit It.  Move of the series so far by Kerr — Iguodala gets first start of the season and comes through with 22 points, four treys, eight rebounds and defense on LeBron.  If Warriors win series, he could the MVP.

The Finals Live Blog Game 4

#NBAFinals Game 4: 9pm/et Thursday on ABC

A photo posted by NBA (@nba) on

CLEVELAND — I know it’s hard to resist thinking about the ending before we’ve actually reached the finish line in these Finals.

The plotlines are so juicy.

The 51-year title drought. The return of the King. #AllinCLE and everything else.

There’s a lot of basketball to be played, folks.

This series is 48 minutes (or more, if needed) of away from either a seemingly insurmountable 3-1 lead for LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers or a back-to-even 2-2 mark for Stephen Curry and his Golden State Warriors.

The same mistake we made when we learned that Kyrie Irving was done for the rest series late in Game 1 is the one people seem to be making now, assuming that a 2-1 lead for the Cavaliers heading into Game 4 tonight here at the Q means the Warriors are done.

I’m not ready to go there. I have to see what sort of physical and emotional toll those first three games, and Game 3 in particular, has taken on the Cavaliers. I need to see how much bounce they have in those legs, how much energy they can muster after exhausting every drop to get here.

We know the Warriors will play desperate. Steve Kerr will pull out all the stops (… doubling LeBron, David Lee, Leandro Barbosa, Shaun Livingston, the ghosts of Cleveland sports hiccups past, etc.) to put his team in a position to even this series.

He knows what’s at stake.

He knows that a 3-1 hole is the disaster scenario.

Game 4 is essentially the Warriors’ last stand …

Meanwhile, the Cavaliers know that with their depleted roster, winded superstar and aching role player, they cannot afford to let this series stretch to six or seven games. They have to keep the pressure on or risk the Warriors getting back to even and swinging the momentum back the other way.

It’s just Game 4 … and everything on the line for both teams!

***

***

@klaythompson of the @warriors arrives for tonight's #NBAFinals Game 4 on ABC. #nbastyle

A video posted by NBA (@nba) on

***

@cavs fans have been enjoying #NBAFinals week in town! #phantomcam

A video posted by NBA (@nba) on

***

Usher warming up for the anthem before Game 4. #NBAFinals #thatboycansang

A photo posted by Sekou Smith (@sekou3000) on

***

If you’re going to ride, ride in style like J.R. Swish!

***

Nature Boy in the house!

***

***

His old school rocks more than your new school …

Dolph Ziggler, Ric Flair & The Miz here at Game 4 of the 2015 #NBAFinals.

A photo posted by NBA (@nba) on

***

Warriors going with the Super Small Ball Lineup

***

***

Ch-ch-change that you can believe in?

***

***

If this tweak doesn’t work, what do you get out of Bogut the rest of the way? Same thing you did before!

***

Sometimes you gotta ride with your team no matter what!

***

Usher did a fine job but no one will ever top Marvin Gaye! Never, ever, ever!

***

Staying far away from this man if his words prove to be prophetic.

***

Exactamundo! 7-0 Cleveland run to star the game. Cavs controlling the paint on both ends already against smaller Warriors.

***

Baggins! Shire!

***

David Lee might have been a better choice with the first five.

***

Bron to Moz! So pretty …

***

Warriors making the small lineup work right now. But Mozgov and Tristan Thompson are going to eat tonight. But you have to like the fire from the Warriors so far.

***

Harrison Barnes is not done yet!

***

Warriors with a 22-20 lead … what?

***

Ha!

***

P-N-R

***

Crazy in here tonight. That said, Kerr is looking like a genius right now with this small lineup and the 31-24 lead after the first quarter.

***

***

Pace and Space

***

Kerr looking something like a genius right now. Warriors controlling the pace.

***

Dell lobbying for a spot on the All-Agitator first team.

***

Yeezy! Amber! Etc!

***

Warriors’ scramble unit is legit. Draymond Green screaming “I’m back. I’m back.” Loving this twist.

***

No Delly?

***

Flawlessness …

***

LeBron leaking upside the head after a nice shove from Bogut

***

***

***

Warriors in a flow right now. Making shots from all over the floor. Ball moving. Cavs reeling a bit. Folks, we still have a series here!

***

LeBron wasn’t acting. Might need some stitches at halftime.

***

***

The David Lee Effect In Effect

***

Shut Up!

***

Back to reality for Delly, the Cavs and especially the Warriors at the half. 54-42 Warriors at the break.

***

***

Good news for the Warriors indeed.

***

Who’s counting?

***

Lead evaporating. LeBron with the finish on the oop. Warriors clinging to a 65-62 lead with 5:03 to play in the third.

***

***

***

Cole World in the building!

***

***

They love him Down Under

***

Worth keeping an eye on down the stretch …

***

Cavs continue to control the boards and have slowly pushed this game back to their pace.

***

***

***

Where are the Splash Bros?

***

Ask and you shall receive …

***

That’s just wrong … so wrong.

***

Fluids during the break between the third and fourth quarters might not be enough.

***

***

Someone had to bring this up. #Knicks

***

Another minute and this 78-70 lead could get doubled.

***

John R. Heisman

***

The bench has been the key for the Cavs throughout this series, but not tonight.

***

#GoBlue

***

J.R. Miss! (three misses on one four-shot possession for the Cavs) and the MVP answers on the other end with a dagger!

***

Warriors rollin’ right now. Cavs exhausted right now.

***

Heat check!

***

Iggy Ball!

***

No Speights Invaders Needed

***

Warriors won’t lose 3 in a row. Won’t do it.

***

Not really … it’s his to lose if the Warriors win this thing.

***

Order restored, at least for one night.

***

Ouch!

***

2-for-1

***

It’s ovah!

***

Yup!

***

No words …

***

Seven?

***

We were due for a blowout in this series. Road team delivered the beating tonight. Brilliant stuff from Kerr and his staff. Warriors win with Splash Bros playing pedestrian ball and the supporting cast finally stepping up. Cavaliers came back to earth in ugly fashion. All even at 2-2 headed back to Oracle for Game 5 Sunday.

With 5:51 to play on ABC, the @warriors lead the @cavs 90-77 on @wardell30's 20. #NBAFinals

A photo posted by NBA (@nba) on

 

 

Game 3: 24-second thoughts

VIDEO: Matthew Dellavedova was all over the floor in Game 3

24
— Four quarters just isn’t enough in these Finals. Two games and two times we’ve gone to the fifth. If it happens again tonight, we just might need another fifth to survive.

23 — Nice job, but just asking: How many of the Warriors and Cavs have Rascal Flatts pumping through their headphones?

22Jeff Van Gundy on Stephen Curry: “It’s not like he’s in a slump.” Well, it’s not one bad night. In his last four playoff games, Curry has shot 29-for-82.

21Iman Shumpert to the locker room with shoulder injury. This “next man up” stuff for the Cavaliers only works as long as you have a next man.

20 — Two words: Tristan Thompson. And six points and seven rebounds. On a night when Cavs need to be big, nobody has played bigger in the first quarter.

19 — Happy Festus-vus! Off the Warriors’ bench comes Festus Ezeli for the Feats of Strength when Golden State needs it. He’s got a lot of problems with you people.

18 — Toss a coin. Tonight we get the “good” J.R. Smith. 3-for-3 start.

17 — How much Warriors’ frustration is showing? Curry has to restrain Draymond Green from going after a referee.

16 — More Tristan Thompson.

15 — How much more of the burden can LeBron James carry? Now he’s got to overcome his own teammate (Thompson) knocking the ball out of the basket.

14 — The series has been a reminder of just how much Andre Iguodala gave up of himself to come off the bench for the Dubs. Iggy has been sensational at both ends of the floor.

13 — Cavs’ defense is a dirty, gritty, grinding, relentless, suffocating thing of beauty. Warriors 15-for-44 (.341) and 3-for-18 (.188) at the half.

12 — If LeBron were 30 of 88 shooting in the last 4 1/2 playoff games as Curry is, just how much grief would he be taking?

11 — Warriors’ 37 points in first half is as much as Klay Thompson scored by himself in third quarter Jan. 24 vs. Kings.

10 — A spot-up 3 and then a gorgeous runner. Dellavedova-Curry is moving into Buster Douglas-Mike Tyson territory.

9 — MVP sighting midway through third quarter. Stephen Curry gets his first bucket since the opening Warriors score of the night.

8 — Controlling the pace, making the plays, hitting the fadeaway, blocking shots — LeBron has the game, the Warriors, The Finals in the palm of his hand.

7 — Curry caught with ball in his hands on layup as horn sounds to end third quarter. That sums up his night so far.

6 — Iguodala 3 from corner cuts the 17-point lead down to nine just 2:02 into fourth quarter. Laissez les bon temps rouler. Remember, Warriors came from 20 points in fourth (Game 3) at New Orleans way back in the first round of the playoffs.

5 — Doesn’t that guy on his way to 17-point fourth quarter look a lot like Stephen Curry? We should just hit fast forward and go to overtime.

4 — LeBron limps off court to the bench. One more injury and the Cavs should be able to clinch the championship by Thursday.

3 — The little Aussie isn’t the only one selling out with his hustle. After missed baseline jumper, the superstar LeBron (40-12-8) — sprints back to make the key deflection on Curry. He’s got 123 points in 142 minutes, most ever in first three games of Finals.

2Danny Crawford blew his whistle and then decided it was a good time to show the world his Rick Perry impersonation. “Ooops!”

1 — So what do you think the devil is going to do with that soul Delly sold him?

Morning shootaround — June 8


VIDEO: The Cleveland Cavaliers evened The Finals at 1-1 with a Game 2 win Sunday night at Oracle Arena

*** Click here for the Game 2 Wrap ***

NEWS OF THE MORNING
Delly does it, steps into the void for Kyrie, Cavs | Warriors in a real fight now| Cavs dictating terms of series

No. 1: Delly does it, steps into void for Kyrie, Cavs — Matthew Dellavedova doesn’t fit the script of Finals hero. But there he was with the everything on the line in Game 2 of The Finals Sunday night at Oracle Arena, frustrating KIA MVP Stephen Curry into the worst playoff shooting performance of his career and helping the Cavaliers even the series at 1-1 with the battle headed back to Cleveland for Game 3 Tuesday. Delly proved himself more than capable of handling the job, filling in for the injured Kyrie Irving and helping LeBron James flip the script of this series. Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer shares his perspective from the epic performance:

As the teams went to midcourt for the opening jump ball, I wondered what James thought. It was Game 2 of the NBA Finals, and his four fellow starters were Tristan Thompson, Shumpert, Dellavedova and Timofey Mozgov.

With a group like that, the goal for the Cavs is to make the game ugly and keep the score down. Prevent the Warriors from getting too many fast-break points. The Warriors averaged an NBA-high 110 points per game in the regular season.

In the playoffs, it’s 104.6 points.

If the Cavs had a healthy Irving and Kevin Love, running with them would not be a bad idea. But with the current group, the idea is to keep the Warriors from getting any type of flow. Make the game feel herky-jerky-klunky. Keep the shooting percentages low. Own the rebounding, out-hustle the Warriors for loose balls.

The Cavs played this way twice in the Chicago series. It led to an 86-84 victory in Game 4, and a 94-73 blowout of the Bulls in Game 6. Both games were in Chicago.

“We are really locked in defensively,” said Blatt. “We are making multiple efforts on each possession.

Dellavedova drew raves from Blatt and his teammates. As Blatt said, “He’s a courageous kid that plays right. … He’s always there for his teammates. He played big and we needed him to.”

Consider that the Australian scored nine points. He had five rebounds. In his 42 minutes, the Cavs outscored the Warriors by 15 points with him on the court.

The Cavs won despite shooting 33 percent from the field. They won with James shooting 4-of-21 from the field after halftime, but he still scored 19 points. His final line was 11-of-34 from the field. But the 16 rebounds… the 11 assists… the 50 minutes on the court.

“He willed his guys to win,” said Blatt. “That’s what a champion does, and obviously he is a champion.”

*** (more…)

Game 2: 24-second thoughts

24 — If you were already a longshot to win the series and now have lost one of your two main offensive weapons, isn’t it a good time, at least, for an underdog to be led by a guy named David (Blatt)? Better be a big slingshot.

23 — National anthem singer Carlos Santana was a guest of the Warriors. But long ago in 1969, his featured number at Woodstock was Soul Sacrifice, exactly what the LeBron James and Cavs need here.

22 — That’s one way to slow down Klay Thompson’s 4-for-6 shooting, nine-point start. Get a bad call on Iman Shumpert drive that sends Thompson to the bench with his second foul.

21 — So much for the Cavs rolling over without Kyrie Irving. Took the early punch from Warriors and fight their way back end of first quarter. Doesn’t hurt when Stephen Curry shoots 1-for-6. Credit the pest Matthew Dellavedova.

20 — Despite two early fouls on Klay Thompson and Festus Ezeli, indication is you’ll have to withstand a bruising tonight. They’re letting them mix it up and play.

19 — How much longer can Blatt keep Delly on Klay here in second quarter? The mouse is having the whole house land on his head. Cavs have to get out of that matchup.

18 — About that getting everybody else involved plan by LeBron? His teammates are 5-for-20.

17 — Off night in the Stanley Cup Finals, but the Cavs might as well be wearing skates and carrying sticks for the way they’re mucking this game up in the corners. These are not comfortable Warriors.

16

15 — LeBron 20-6-6 at the half. Just as important, Cavs run two quarters off the clock and give themselves a chance. Now if somebody would just put a body on Klay.

14 — Cavs shoot 6-for-8 off passes from LeBron in second quarter. They did not take a shot off a LeBron pass in the first quarter.

13 — Maybe if Draymond Green would take off those headphones, somebody could tell him that he might want to turn the volume up on his game that so far has been forgettable in The Finals.

12 — OK, so the MVP finally got rid of the pest Delly. All it took was your average double-crossover, behind-the-back dribble only-by-Curry drive for a layup.

11 — You have to ask whether the Warriors are just missing all these open 3s — 4-for-22 middle thirrd quarter — or they’ve been rattled by the Cavs?

10 —Sums up the Golden State night. Marreese Speights blows the breakaway dunk to end third quarter. The Cavs have everybody but Klay Thompson looking over their shoulder and the 12-minute game they wanted. First time all season Warriors didn’t hit 65 after three quarters.

9 — If Cavs win this game, little point guard from Cleveland is going to get the Bucky Dent treatment forever in Bay Area: Matthew %$#!!*&# Dellavedova!

8 — Can Warriors stand up to the night long pounding by Cavs? Down five with 8½ minutes left, Steve Kerr goes back to the small lineup to pull it out. But Golden State looks beat up.

7J.R. stands for Just Remember, I’m J.R. Smith and dumb plays like that foul on Curry are what make me me. And then I do it again by fouling Harrison Barnes. And just for good measure, one more time on Curry in OT.

6 — Cleveland sports history: The Pass. The Fumble. The Shot. Next up: The Collapse? Cavs lead by 11 with 3:12 left and now LeBron’s miss sends it to OT.

5 — Tony Brothers, your guide dog could have made that call on Andre Iguodala’s hack of LeBron while helping you across the street.

4 — Green reaches and holds down LeBron by the shoulder on jump ball. Has there ever been an NBA superstar who didn’t get two consecutive huge calls in such a situation?

3 — LeBron 39 points, 16 rebounds, 11 assists in 50 minutes and he’s so emotional seems on the verge of tears while talking to Doris Burke. Can we stop now with the nitpicking and cheap shots at James? He was all-in for the biggest win in Cavs history.

2 — Steph Curry (5-for-23), you’re on the clock.

1 — It’s Delly’s World and we’re all just living in it.

The Finals Live Blog Game 2

Everybody wants a piece of Larry O'Brien! #NBAFinals

A photo posted by Sekou Smith (@sekou3000) on

OAKLAND — Eyes on the prize.

That’s what the Golden State Warriors are focusing on for Game 2 of these Finals. Everyone else is talking about Kyrie Irving and to a lesser extent Kevin Love, the two superstars missing from the Cleveland Cavaliers lineup for the remainder of this series.

You know those two will be o the mind of one LeBron James when we tip this thing off shortly.

The Warriors, however, are focused on another name. Larry O’Brien (that’s him up top in gold). The prize. Three more wins for the Warriors and he takes up residence here in the Oakland (and the Bay Area) for the first time in 40 years.

Think about that for a second … a 40 year absence between appearances in The Finals and championships. It’s no wonder this building is electric with anticipation tonight. Oracle Arena is ready for the “Roar.”

We’ll soon find out if LeBron and these beat up Cavaliers are ready to shock the world and guarantee a return trip. We’re here all night live from the scene …

***

You know this cat is ready

The @cavs & @warriors have hit the floor for Game 2 of the 2015 #NBAFinals on ABC!

A video posted by NBA (@nba) on

***

The Logo and Santana, two living legends in the building!

Jerry West & Carlos Santana chat prior to tonight's #NBAFinals Game 2 on ABC. #LEGENDS

A photo posted by NBA (@nba) on

***

“Warriors” chants started early tonight. Those jitters from the start of Game 1 extended from the home locker room and into the crowd. No such luck tonight for the visitors.

***

Starting lineup data provided by my main man @johnschuhmann of NBA.com

***

Well, if you believe in signs …

***

You can’t do the anthem any better than the Santanas did it tonight!

***

Oracle is lit up and ready to go!

***

Interesting … his mind has to be racing.

***

Mismatch!

***

They are definitely still paying attention in Miami …

***

Folks seemed convinced that this series won’t make it back here, I’m not so sure about that.

***

The MVP’s shoe game is wicked!

***

***

Maybe the Birthday Prince can help?

***

Doing what MVPs do!

***

Cavs right back in this thing.

***

Warriors clearly are not a one-man team. Steph’s struggling with that shot (1-for-5).

***

Like I said, it’s looking like a Klay Thompson kind of night in Game 2!

***

This is not Lob City folks …

***

Flick of the wrist for James Jones

https://twitter.com/Barryathree/status/607712477896253440

***

Hoops Twilight Zone in here right now. James Jones putting it on the floor and scoring and Delly locking up Steph as Cavs lead 40-33.

***

LeBron said he could only play 41 or 42 minutes in a Finals game. But he’s on pace for the whole thing …

***

A little J.R. Smith update for you.

***

Blake Griffin created a beast that has become Mr. Timofey Mozgov?

***

Cavaliers have to feel good about where this thing is headed if they continue to play this way.

***

At the half

https://twitter.com/NBATV/status/607718850465898496

***

***

You didn’t know Dwyane Wade would be at The Finals this year?

***

A little perspective on the work 23 in blue has done thus far.

***

A little bit of Klay goes a long way.

***

Please Steph, don’t hurt him.

***

Cavs miss 10 straight shots but stay ahead 51-49 because Warriors can’t hit either and they are controlling the tempo.

***

Fan just nailed a half court shot. At least somebody is hitting ’em out there tonight. Cavs are shooting a grizzly 36 percent from the floor and still lead 51-49.

***

Cavs coach David Blatt has officially pulled out all of the stops for Game 2. Mike Miller on the floor.

***

Hard to argue with the Cavs up 62-56 with 2:14 to play in the third quarter.

***

Control the glass, control the game!

***

The MVP cannot shake loose from the Cavaliers, who have done an outstanding job locking him down.

***

Mo Speights blew a tire on that one!

***

For the love of Nellie someone make a shot! Cavs up 62-59 after a combined 29 points in the third quarter.

***

A Thompson 3-pointer is followed by Delly Time!

***

This is Game 1s evil twin for LeBron … let’s see how he finishes this one.

***

Better be soon, or it might be too late!

***

Draymond Green with a good hard foul on LeBron. Being reviewed but I’m not sure why. Just a good playoff foul.

***

We are now witnessing the MVP’s worst shooting night of the season (3-for-16) and counting …

***

Here we go with the memes … even though LeBron and the Cavs are up 10.

***

LeBron playing the role of giant killer, if that’s possible, with yet another dagger. The deep 3 for the 83-72 lead with 3:13 to play. Dagger!

***

***

We’re in Hack-a-Tristan Thompson mode here, and the young fella is not shy at the line. Well, that was until JR Smith decided to hack the MVP (scratches head) after he just drilled a 3-pointer with LeBron in his face.

***

Cavs better hold on here for the sake of JR!

***

@wardell30 ties it up! #phantomcam #NBAFinals

A video posted by NBA (@nba) on

***

We’re getting extra time, again. LeBron at the rim at the buzzer but couldn’t get it to fall. Too many Warriors in the neighborhood.

***

Had to get a Thrones Tweet in here somewhere …

***

Agreed!

***

Good JR is getting whipped right now by bad JR

***

***

Dellavedova’s two free throws with 10.1 seconds to play gives the Cavaliers a 94-93 lead. They can still steal one here at Oracle and flip this series heading back to Cleveland.

***

Dellavedova forces the air ball from Steph, LeBron makes one of two free throws and Steph turns it over again down 95-93 and Cleveland gets their split. Unbelievable game … again!

***

We’ll get at least five of these!

***