Not many people are giving LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers a chance to defeat the Golden State Warriors in this series due to injuries to 2/3 of their big 3. Many analyst aren’t giving the Cavs a shot at winning a game in the series, but the Cavaliers have been in this situation before and know what it’ll take to push through these injuries.
It all begins in Game 2. The Cavs had Game 1 in their grasp but let it slip away in overtime; they can’t let a similar opportunity escape them again.
Here are 3 keys to the Cavs upsetting GS in game 2:
- LeBron must play more like the LeBron of the past 3 seasons and less like the iso-hungry scorer that we’ve seen in these playoffs. LeBron’s best gift will always be his ability to elevate the level of the players around him and his teammates will need him to instill confidence in them early. LeBron will get his points through the course of the game but his teammates need to be fed the ball in the correct spots for them to make a serious contribution.
- JR Smith must be the difference maker. If Smith scores 15-18 points the Cavs will lose this game. They need him to shoot early and often so that he establishes a rhythm and opens up the driving lanes for LeBron, who will now be playing more at the top of the key as the defacto PG. If Smith is above the 20 pt mark for the night then the Cavs have a real shot at pulling the upset.
- LeBron James must get to the free throw line. The Cavs should have the rebounding advantage over the Warriors front line but and that will be even easier for the Cavs big men if LeBron gets Green & Bogut into early foul trouble. Hitting jump hooks from the paint is great but getting to the line and getting their bigs off of the court is even better.
If the Cavs execute these three things they can stay in the game against this very dangerous Warriors squad. It still may not be enough for them to win though.