The Cavaliers have to bounce back Sunday night in Oakland in Game 2 of the NBA playoffs and Sports Director Tony Zarrella says he know how they can.
Go for the “Beats” down: LeBron has been motivating this team in different ways all season. On Saturday night, at a team dinner, he took it up a level, giving his teammates gold-plated Beats headphones with the inscription “You’ve worked, dreamed and trained for this. Our time is now.” The Cavaliers just need to get back to what worked for them so tremendously well in the first three rounds, and they’ll be okay.
Making it Rain Again: Of course, I’m talking about J.R. Smith and Channing Frye, who were invisible in Game 1. I hate to keep targeting two players, but those two combined for about 20 points per game when the Cavs were rolling in the first few rounds, and it’s not just how many “3’s” they drain, it’s when they drain them. Their treys were daggers that stopped opponents’ runs and demoralized them. We know what we’re going to get from the Big 3. Against a team as deep as the Warriors, the Cavs need significant contributions from at least two other players.
Stopping Steph: Okay, we may not see what we saw in Game 1 again, when Curry and Klay Thompson combined for only 20 points. One of them is going to go off, and it could be tonight. The key is to keep both from going off, and even if they have a big night, not allow those ageless wonders off the bench (Iguodala and Barbosa) to kill us.
Perfect 10: We all know the stat: After losing Game 1 of a playoff series, LeBron is 9-for-9 in Game 2’s. He obviously knows how to help his teams adjust as well as any player in the the league. The Cavs need to trust in his message and experience, and follow his lead.
Finish: The Cavaliers said they missed 28 layups in Game 1. I didn’t count them all, but it sure felt like it. Layups, putbacks…they just weren’t falling. But that means the Cavs were in position to score, they just didn’t knock ‘em down. It’s hard to see them struggling in the paint like that again.
Meantime, the Golden State can tie two NBA records Sunday night.
The Warriors enter Game 2 of the NBA Finals against Cleveland with 49 home wins and 86 wins overall this season, factoring in regular season and playoffs.
That puts Golden State one shy of matching the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' full-season record of 87 wins. The Warriors toppled their regular-season mark of 72 wins this year, going 73-9.
Also, Golden State could become the third team to win 50 home games. That would match the record set by the 1985-86 and 1986-87 Boston Celtics.
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