Game 2 of the NBA Finals was played on Sunday night, and the Golden State Warriors absolutely destroyed the Boston Celtics. The Warriors knew they had to respond immediately after losing the series opener in front of their home fans due to a terrible fourth quarter effort, and they did so.
The first 24 minutes were a nail-biter, but the Warriors turned it up a level in the third quarter and pulled away. In the third period, Golden State blew past Boston with a 35-14 scoring advantage. They cruised to a 107-88 triumph and a 1-1 series tie.
For Golden State, Stephen Curry was the offensive catalyst with 29 points, six boards, and four assists, while Jordan Poole contributed 17 points in reserve. Warrior players were able to force 18 turnovers from the Celtics, which they converted into 33 points. That played a crucial role in the final result.
Despite Jayson Tatum’s 28 points and six boards leading the Celtics, just two other Celtics players scored in double figures. Games 3 and 4 of the series will be played in Boston. What I learned from Game 2 is as follows.
The Past May Be a Cruel Mistress.
Draymond Green was not impressed when Boston made 21 of 45 three-point attempts in Game 1. Green remarked, “They made 21 threes, while Marcus Smart, Al Horford, and Derrick White scored a combined total of 15.” “Those players are great from behind the arc, but they shot a combined 15-for-23. Eh. We’ll make it.”
It became apparent that he was onto something after all. For the majority of Game 1, Green sagged off of Horford to concentrate on help defence, but right from the tip-off of Game 2, he shifted the momentum in a new direction. Green took a too aggressive stance against Horford, resulting in a jump ball.
We are Beginning to identify the True identities of These Groups.
Tonight was a fantastic example of why teams tend to play with a smaller rotation as a postseason series goes. The Celtics’ ideal lineup would have four big players. Al Horford just turned 36, and Robert Williams III is nursing an injury. They’d be grateful for anything Daniel Theis could provide them. In the seven minutes of action he had, the Celtics were outscored 12 to zero. Ime Udoka should have benched him for the remainder of the series the second he tried to play drop-coverage against Stephen Curry.
Truth for Steve Kerr was compelled out of him. Because to knee discomfort, Andre Iguodala will not be able to play in Game 2. Because of this, he was able to offer Gary Payton II, who did not play in Game 1, 25 minutes of action. Unsurprisingly, the Celtics’ 18 turnovers in Game 2 were five more than in Game 1. Statistical analysis indicated that this outcome was likely. During Payton’s regular season minutes, the Warriors turned the ball over at a rate of 3.3 times more frequently than when he wasn’t on the court. It just so happens that’s the same difference between Boston’s playoff wins and defeats. In Game 2, the Warriors gained an advantage of 18 points over the Celtics by capitalising on their opponent’s mistakes. They were victorious by a score of 19 to 8.
Mr. Thompson and Dr. Jekyll
In Game 2, Klay Thompson made only four of nineteen shots. That’s not an easy night, but it’s not the worst one, either. Thompson shot sub 40 percent from the field in 15 of his 32 regular-season games. He’s tossing up a stinker or two each series this postseason, and even when full-game stat lines appear decent, he’ll frequently need to rescue a horrible first half with a stronger second one.
As a result of Boston’s outstanding defence, he has struggled to score in the Finals, shooting just 30.3% from the field so far. However, even if the Warriors’ defence had been good enough to stave off Boston today, they wouldn’t have won three straight games with Thompson shooting this poorly. They need him to be at his best more often than not if they want to win the championship, but the Warriors have no idea which version of him they’ll receive from game to game.