June 08, 2015

#Cavs get lucky, tie #Warriors as Blatt still has iffy coaching

Needed: More Timofey Mozgov for the Cavs
First, while noting that I'm partial to European players at times, why was David Blatt keeping Tristan Thompson in late in the game instead of Timofey Mozgov? Yes, Thompson is a better help defender on the wing, but you're inviting Hack-a-Shaq with him in there. At a minimum, Blatt should have been doing situational switches on made baskets by the Warriors. Or, expand your rotation and bring in Shawn Marion, who both this year and his career has shot above 75 percent from the line.

Second, who's in charge of calling offensive plays, Blatt or LeBron? Although James attacked more out of it in Game 2 than in Game 1, there was about as much isolation play in the first half of Game 2 as in the end of Game 1.

Third, great defense by Matthew Dellavedova. But, what's he got in the tank for Game 3, on short rest after cross-country travel? And, Stephen Curry is unlikely to shoot cold for the next four or five games, to the degree some of this is on him. Otherwise, for the Cavs, J.R. Smith has already shown hints of reverting back to his Knicks days.

Of course, Draymond Green isn't a saint on the Warriors' side. He got into eventual double-technical yapping with Smith, then late in the game, pulled a high-school level foul on LeBron on a jump ball. Andre Iguodala wasn't that bad, but nonetheless.

On the other hand, both LeBron and MozGod had pretty clear traveling violations that weren't called. I know that reffing any NBA game isn't easy, let alone the Finals, but, these were some blatant misses last night.

Meanwhile, to Game 3. Per above on Dellavedova, two straight OT games have to hit the Cavs more than the Warriors. Plus, in an inverse of Game 2, they have to watch about coming out flat to start the night.

Steve Kerr, meanwhile, probably will devise some new screens, and overall motion, for his offense. Let's hope that includes Klay Thompson, who obviously didn't get the notice that the Warriors' last play was supposed to be a Curry clear-out, instead of him clogging up space in the same general area.

This Finals so far has been exciting for the competitiveness, and good overall on defense. But, the defense has been made to look better by ragged offense on the Cleveland side, and other things.

That said, per J.A. Adande, Kerr also needs to get the Warriors to be more ruthless. When the Cavs' thin bench outscores the Dubs, Oakland, we have a problem. If Kerr can do that, and have both the Splash Brothers on target at the same time, this series is still the Warriors to lose. I think he'll get the team calmed down over Finals awe and other things, and it's still Warriors in six in my book.

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