The Cleveland Cavaliers sit in the same spot as they were last year after 2 games, down in the series 2 to games to 0. They got blown out in both of the first two games last year and have done the same thing this year. Game 2 was much like game 1, relatively close until halftime, with the Warriors pulling away in the 3rd. So, what was the difference in the game? Rebounding and stars not being stars.
The Cavaliers have been out rebounded by the Warriors 103-100 in the 2 games. For a portion of the game the Cavaliers should have an advantage, they are getting beaten pretty easily at it. Part of that is because rebounding machine, Tristan Thompson has basically disappeared. For a man who averaged a double-double last year in the finals, he has had 2 unacceptable games to start the finals, averaging just 4 points and 4 rebounds. If this continues, the Cavaliers will have virtually no shot at making this series competitive.
On top of getting out rebounded, Kyrie Irving has not played as well as they need him to. He is only averaging 21.5 point, but his average needs to be over 30 for them to have a shot at taking down this historically good team. On top of Irving not scoring, J.R. Smith has been virtually invisible on the offensive end of the floor. The Cavaliers have gotten a whole 3 points from Smith, which came on the very first made basket of game 1, and he has not scored since. They need him to start scoring or this series will cease to exist much longer. What adjustments can they make going into game 3?
I thought going into game 2 they needed to move J.R. Smith to the bench and start Iman Shumpert. They should most definitely do this fgor game 3. This will do a couple of things for the Cavaliers. First off, this allows Shumpert to match-up with Kevin Durant instead of Lebron. The Cavaliers seem to have played their best when James can roam around and play a center field/safety role in the back end of their defense. This also allows James to focus more on the offensive end of the floor. Shumpert has seemed to have some success against Durant, which is easier said than done. Second, this would give the chance for Smith to come off the bench and matchup against lesser talent, possibly making it easier for him to score and give the bench a scoring punch they desperately need.
If Tristan Thompson is going to be as ineffective as he has been, they need to go with someone else. He is giving them virtually no rebounding and he does not offer anything of substance offensively. They went with Channing Frye for some minutes in game 2 and he at least gave them come spacing on offense. They cannot stay with Thompson long in game 3. If he does not come out and make an impact, they need to go elsewhere.
Myself and many others would say that game 3&4 are must wins. If they lose either of the two games at home, the series is over. If they can find a way to get both games at home, they would need to split games 5&6, to give themselves a shot in a 1 game scenario in game 7, and as we saw last year, anything can happen. I personally feel their only chance of winning this series is forcing it to go 7 games, because there is no way they are winning 4 straight games after getting smacked around the first two games. Give yourself a shot at a 1 game playoff and hope James, Irving and Love are special once again. It is hard to be optimistic after watching the first two games, but I will leave you with this, the Cavaliers lost last years games 1&2 by worse margins than this year. They lost game 1 by 15 points and game 2 by 33 points, before returning home and winning game 3 by 30 points. They are playing a much different team, but hopefully they can slow down the game and find a way to win both home games for Cavaliers fans sake. Either way Cavalier fans you can look at it this way, the Warriors had to add the second best player in the game today to attempt to beat the defending champs.