Warriors Stare Down Their Old Nemesis: Game 3


These are questions people are asking themselves right now as the behemoth from the Bay Area barrels over the Cavs in the 2017 NBA Finals.

Kevin Durant (35) of the Golden State Warriors celebrates during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Two of the 2017 NBA Finals on June 4, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California.

A 13-0 getaway in Game 1 and the 13-2 response by the Warriors that James previously mentioned in Game 2 took the wind out of the sails. Kerr's decision was about him, about wanting to fully fulfill his vocation, about wanting to fully to lead the team he shepherded. No team trailing 0-3 in the NBA Playoffs has ever come back to win a playoff series. "There's freedom offensively, and we have some freedom defensively, and we're good at it". And that selflessness is reflected in the coaching staff as well.

What are the notable differences between when Mike Brown is coaching and when Steve Kerr is on the bench? "They won their first two games like they're supposed to. I'm more of a present guy so we just got to figure out how we can be better in game three". Still, he's making the most of this experience.

Sure, you can say that maybe the refs don't want to hear it from the crowd, but when it comes down to it, they need to keep the integrity of the game.

In Game 1, Richard Jefferson gave Zaza Pachulia trouble by flipping his on-ball screen for James at the last second, opening a lane for James to take Pachulia one-on-one.

Before Livingston could even finish the dunk, Steph turned around and threw Vision Goggles over his eyes; Livingston returned the favor.

But as much as they may look like they've done it, I still don't believe basketball is "solvable", not by the Warriors or any other team, simply because basketball is not a problem.

But the Rockets have James Harden and an offense that would theoretically run with the Warriors over a seven-game series.

Outside of a nice showing by Kevin Love, the Cavs' supporting cast has been completely absent so far in the Finals.

The Warriors are up 2-0 in this NBA Finals trilogy, in large part due to Durant's excellence.

Pluto says that Durant's inclusion among the Warriors' stars is nearly seamless, citing Durant's passing skills, his ability to work as a teammate and his success in guarding LeBron James. "I know that's kind of late on my career, but it's really when I started to focus on the importance of getting a stop and rebounding and taking care of the ball".

But for LeBron James, this is nothing new.

As the venue switches to Cleveland for Game 3, this series feels like a sweep or a Golden State win in five games. So far, they're relishing the long-awaited opportunity to impolitely tell their critics to hush.

"[There's] understanding that not just me and [Durant], but Klay, Draymond, we all can just be ourselves, and just play our game and not have to overthink or overcomplicate anything, really", Curry said.

It's hard to overstate how much easier things would be if the Cavs role players were hitting shots. While Irving is a devastating offensive player, he mostly thrives in isolation as a primary scorer. The Cavs went all-in with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, and they did capture a ring last season. It was a utopic fantasy, not a means to winning basketball games. This year, the Warriors have won by a combined 41-point margin.

Game 3 of the 2016 finals, also held in Cleveland, did see an uptick in physical play with 48 total personal fouls whistled. In that game, the Warriors blew a double-digit fourth quarter lead, and Curry - who finished with 15 points on just 4-for-11 shooting to go with three rebounds and three assists - took the brunt of the criticism for how Golden State fell apart. I wouldn't say I felt vindicated.