The Cleveland Cavaliers took Game 2 at Oracle Arena to tie the series up at 1-1 going into Cleveland. Game 3 is tonight at the Q, where Cavs fans have been anxiously awaiting their Cavaliers return home. With Stephen Curry having probably the worst game of his life, a lot of people are already predicting the Cavs to lose Game 3. Here are five keys to Game 3 for the Cavs:
5) Attack The Bucket
With Bogut protecting the paint for the golden state warriors, Cavaliers should constantly look to attack the bucket. With Thompson and Mozgov, Cavs have a clear advantage in the post. Mozgov averaged 16.5 points in the first 2 games, most of which came inside the paint. Mozgov needs to keep this going and put pressure on the Golden State defense. On the other hand, Thompson has scored a total of 4 points in the first two games and needs to pick up on his scoring. If both of them can get going along with Lebron who is attacking the paint constantly, it puts a lot of pressure on golden state and they look to double team which leaves the shooters open for the shots. Although JR Smith seems to struggle right now, with game 3 at the Q, he could come up big if he finds the open looks. So, Cavaliers need to attack the bucket early in the game and create opportunities for JR, Shumpert, James Jones, and maybe even Miller who got a few minutes in Game 2.
The number four thing the Cavs need to do to win Game 3 is on the next page!
4) Lebron To Keep Distributing
Throughout the season, both Cavaliers and Lebron have been at their best when Lebron scores while putting up a passing display. In game 1, Cavs came up short when Lebron accounted for 6 assists and only 6 players scoring, Smith being the only one off the bench. However, when Lebron puts on a passing show like one in game 2 where he got 11 dimes, everyone was involved and the offense was flowing even though the Cavs shot 32.2% from the field. When he is passing the ball, it creates tremendous pressure on golden state as they not only have to stop Lebron from scoring but have to guard the perimeter shooters. Lebron is exceptional at finding the open man at the perimeter and if he does that like he did in Game 2, the offense will be flowing and Golden State defense will look lost out there in the Q.
The number three thing the Cavs need to do to win Game 3 is on the next page!
3) Keep Rebounding Work
Cavaliers are undefeated (12-0) in the playoffs when they have out-rebounded the opponent. In game 1 Cavs came up short on the rebound battle, and lost the game. However, they out-rebounded the Golden State Warriors in Game 2, 55-45 with Lebron leading the Cavs with 16 rebounds followed by Mozgov and Thompson who combined for 25 rebounds. Thompson is doing an excellent job rebounding and averaged 6.5 offensive rebounds in the first 2 games of the Finals, giving Cavs a lot of second chance points. When Cavs rebound, they get a lot more possessions and create pressure which troubles the game of warriors. Game 1 and 2 have both been close and went into overtime, and how often do we see in close matchups that the team who wins the rebound battle wins the game and that’s exactly the case here. With a possibility of a close game 3, Cavaliers should definitely look to win the rebound battle in order to gain the upper hand in this intense Finals series.
The number two thing the Cavs need to do to win Game 3 is on the next page!
2) Keep Delly on Curry
In game 1, Shumpert and Irving were guarding Curry who dropped 26 points while shooting 50% from the field. Game 2 however was drastically different. Curry accounted for 19 points while shooting only at 22% from the field. He went on to missing 12 3-pointers which is the most in a finals game. Some say, it was just an off night however, Dellavedova has to get a lot of credit for his defense as he stayed close on Curry, put his hand up and contested. His defensive presence could be felt all throughout the game. In game 3, Curry will definitely look to get going after a bad shooting performance in game 2 and keeping Delly on Curry for the most part would be the best choice for Cavs. While Shumpert does pose a lot of difficulties with his good defense, Delly simply does a much better job guarding Curry and should be looking to step up his game offensively while being a force defensively again in Game 3. If Curry can again be shut down to a certain extent, Cavs could be getting their first finals home victory in NBA history.
The number one thing the Cavs need to do to win Game 3 is on the next page!
1) Be More Efficient In Crunch Time
Everyone following NBA is anticipating another close game in the Finals with both Game 1 and Game 2 already going into overtime. Cavs missed the game winner in Game 1 and hardly scored while giving up a lot of points in overtime. In game 2 they missed the game winner again, however they turned it around in overtime and got away with a 2 point win while JR Smith picking up bad fouls and some bad calls from the refs. Cavs simply need to be much more efficient in crunch time. First, they need to play smart and not pick up fouls in the 4th quarter. In Game 2, golden state got a lot of bonus points as Cavaliers were fouling and cut down Cavs lead to even the scores. Cavs need to pump up their game defensively in 4th quarter while looking to not foul, esp. in the closing minutes. Secondly, they need to move the ball. Towards the end of game 1, their ball movement was bad and ended up constantly missing shots. In Game 2, they did improve but they need to do an even better job if they want to get a lead in this series. Lastly, they should shoot a better percentage. Game 1 was lost because of poor scoring in crunch time and Game 2 witnessed a low shooting percentage by Cavs even though they managed to pull out the victory. In order to win Game 3, Cavs need to be much more efficient in crunch time, both defensively and offensively and hopefully they will get their 2nd Finals victory in 40 years.