Tag: Golden State Warriors

LeBron James, J.R. Smith, Ben Taylor

League says referees missed four calls in overtime during Game 2 of NBA Finals


The Cavaliers won Game 2 of the NBA Finals in overtime, and did so despite the fact that referees missed two calls in the extra session that cost Cleveland to lose two possessions.

Draymond Green was essentially caught cheating after the fact on two separate jump ball plays that were labeled as incorrect no-calls on the league’s Last Two Minute report — the first came on overtime’s opening tip against Tristan Thompson, while the second came with 45.4 seconds remaining on a jump ball against LeBron James.

LeBron ended up catching the ball after the toss from the official, which isn’t allowed so the Warriors gained possession. But you could see him flip out while trying to explain that Green had grabbed him, or had held him by the shoulder.

The league says officials missed two other calls, both of which came on a single possession where Andre Iguodala was defending James.

Iguodala hacked James across the arm with 1:37 to play, but not before James traveled by moving his pivot foot. The violations were ignored at the time, and both were ruled as incorrect no-calls after the league completed its review process.

Golden State vs. Cleveland NBA Finals Game 3 Preview: Five Things to watch

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 07:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates their 95 to 93 win over the Golden State Warriors in overtime  during Game Two of the 2015 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 7, 2015 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Two games, two overtimes. Two games that could have gone either way. As a fan, you can’t ask for a more entertaining NBA Finals.

Game 3 Tuesday night is when the real chess match begins. After Game 1 the Warriors didn’t make many adjustments, they thought they had an off night in the opener and would simply hit more shots and play better in Game 2. Didn’t work out that way. With Matthew Dellavedova tracking Stephen Curry, the Cavaliers played better defense, the Warriors got out of rhythm and for a second game in a row everything was played at the Cavaliers pace and style. Now it’s on the Warriors to make adjustments.

Here are five things to look for in Game 5 from Cleveland.

1) Warriors will attack the rim and use that to create space. The Warriors have been here before these playoffs — they were down 2-1 to a physical, grinding Memphis team that had Mike Conley living in the jersey of Curry and taking the team out of its flow. I went back and watched Game 4 from that series and what you saw was Curry and the Warriors start to attack the rim — the were not hunting threes, they went to get their points at the bucket. Didn’t matter if Marc Gasol was there, they went at it, then used that to create space for threes off kick-outs. It worked, the Warriors won and didn’t lose again that series. Expect some of the same here, we already started to see it in late in Game 2 including the game-tying scoop shot.

“I was able to get to the paint a little bit more in the second half,” Curry said. “I didn’t finish many of them, but I was able to get in there and either make a play or try to  especially that last shot down the stretch in overtime  I mean of regulation.”

The Warriors are going to come off the picks and go right at the rim, even if Timofey Mozgov is there. How the Cavaliers handle that and how the Warriors finish around the Cavs bigs will be at the heart of deciding Game 3.

2) Can LeBron continue to control the tempo? Of all the monster numbers LeBron James has put up these Finals — the triple-double in Game 2, the 41.4 usage rate through two games — it has been his controlling of the pace of that been maybe the biggest key. This has been a slow, grinding series because he is comfortable at that pace and his patience with the ball is part of what has taken the Warriors out of their flow. The Cavaliers defense is getting the credit, but LeBron’s offensive tempo combined with the aggressive offensive rebounding of the Cavaliers has stymied the Warriors transition game. It has taken away the easy points. For the Cavaliers to keep winning, this cannot change.

3) Matthew Dellavedova vs. Stephen Curry. This is the matchup that got all the hype — and no doubt Dellavedova did a good job in Game 2.

“I don’t expect to shoot like this.  I’ve got to play better, find better shots and be more in a rhythm throughout the course of the game for us to really assert ourselves as a team,” Curry said after Game 2.

“It had everything to do with Delly,” LeBron said of Game 2. “He just kept a body on Steph.  He made Steph work.  He was spectacular, man, defensively.  We needed everything from him.”

As noted above, expect to see Curry start to attack the paint more off the bounce in Game 3, he’s not going to settle, he’s not going to hesitate. Dellavedova has played great defense all playoffs, that’s not about to change, but the Warriors will put a lot more pressure on him starting Tuesday night.

4) Would somebody knock down a shot. Please. I know both teams are playing good defense, but come on — the Cavaliers won Game 2 shooting 32 percent. J.R. Smith was 5-of-13, Iman Shumpert was 2-of-11, and Tristan Thompson was 0-of-5 and all at pretty close range. It wasn’t just the Cavs end of the court, Curry was 1-of-9 on uncontested looks. At some point during this series one of these teams is going to start knocking down their good looks, right? Right? Both of these games have been griding and ugly. Hopefully, a few more shots fall on Tuesday.

5) Fatigue. LeBron is averaging 48.1 minutes per game while carrying an insane load (41.4 percent usage rate). He admitted after Game 2 it’s getting to him a little.

“Did you see how I walked in (to the press conference)?  I’m feeling it.  I’m feeling it right now for sure,” LeBron said after Game 2. He also said he’ll have a couple days to recover and that he is built for this.

Still, at the end of games he lacks lift, he’s not been quite the same. Other players on the Cavaliers are logging heavy minutes, too, while the Warriors have a little more depth. The games now move to every other day for a few games, after having a week off, then a game, then a couple more days off. Will the fatigue and drain start to catch up to the Cavaliers? Or can they continue to put up these kinds of physical, grinding performances?

Watch Cleveland weatherman rant about no-call on LeBron James in OT

LeBron James, Andre Iguodala

As my Twitter timeline Sunday night would attest, fans in Cleveland were up in arms over this call:

The NBA’s report on the officiating in the final two minutes of Game 2 says that LeBron James was fouled by Andre Iguodala on that play, and the referees missed it.

The report also says the referees had missed LeBron’s travel before he went up for that shot. So I guess two wrongs make a right?

The real point we’re trying to get to is this video of a Cleveland weatherman who is far more into that no-call than the little storms coming to Northeast Ohio. (Hat tip to NBA Reddit)

Charles Barkley on Matthew Dellavedova: “Curry will kill that kid in the overall scheme of things”


Stephen Curry was 0-of-8 shooting when covered by Matthew Dellavedova in Game 2.

Was that about Dellavedova’s defense, or was Stephen Curry just having an off night?

TNT analyst Charles Barkley in the latter group. He was on SiriusXM Bleacher Report Radio channel today with Nicole Zaloumis and Ric Bucher.

“I don’t think he’s a dirty player.  I think he’s a hard-working player.  And I think people need to slow down giving him so much credit because Steph Curry will kill that kid in the overall scheme of things.  He just didn’t make shots last night, and I think that everybody needs to slow their roll.  Steph Curry just missed some shots…This notion that he stopped him is just ridiculous.  You know, when you are a jump shooter you have good days [and] you have bad days.  And Steph had a bad day last night but, listen, Dellavedova wasn’t the reason he was missing shots.”

I’d swear I just read Charles Barkley defending the jump shooting team, but that can’t be true.

Like most things in life, the reality is somewhere in the middle.

Dellavedova did a superb job sticking with Stephen Curry, denying the ball at times, being physical with him and never letting Curry get comfortable and in a rhythm. That said, Curry was 1-of-9 on uncontested looks in Game 2, and we know he is fully capable of draining contested looks. He’s done it all season against the opponent’s best defender.

At some point his shots will fall more often, but if the Cavaliers defense can keep the Warriors team from getting an offensive flow they have a good chance to take the series.

Stephen Curry hasn’t been the same since his fall against Houston

2015 NBA Finals - Game Two

OAKLAND — Stephen Curry denies there is anything to it. After his 5-of-23 shooting performance (1-of-9 on uncontested looks) in Game 2 — the worst by a reigning MVP in a quarter century — he said he was off, but denied there was anything physical or that this had lasted a while

“No, just tonight,” Curry said of feeling his shot was off. “Shots I normally make I knew as soon as they left my hand that they were off.  That doesn’t usually happen. I mean, mechanically I don’t know if there is an explanation for it, just didn’t have a rhythm and didn’t find one the whole game.”

But it hasn’t been just one game.

Ever since his nasty fall in Game 4 against the Rockets, Curry has not been quite the same. The Big lead crunched the numbers since the tumble:

Field goal shooting: 26-of-73, 35.6%
3-Point shooting: 10-of-36, 27%

For the record, he shot 48 percent overall and 44 percent from three in the regular season.

Now come the list of qualifiers: We are talking a very small sample size, he could just be cold shooting. These games have come against good defensive teams in Houston and Cleveland (Matthew Dellavedova played him well in Game 2), and teams that have focused on slowing him. And he not only was cleared by doctors to return to that game, Curry had an interminably long break between the close out over Houston and the start of the Finals, a lot of time in there to get healthy.

Maybe it’s a coincidence. But it is interesting.

We will see how Curry is shooting come Game 3 in Cleveland, especially after coach Steve Kerr makes some tweaks to get him better looks.