Kevin Love thought he had found an easy basket for the Cleveland Cavaliers when he saw LeBron James racing down the floor for an easy layup. When James went up to catch the long pass, the Golden State Warriors gave him no space to land. So when the ball went out of bounds, James was right to expect a foul. One didn’t come, and Ty Lue drew a technical foul because of it.
I’m not a Cavs fans but the refs are really killing them…HOW IS THIS IS NOT A FOUL? pic.twitter.com/vIVpdgr0JD
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) June 4, 2018
The Cavaliers were already not thrilled with the officiating after the controversial review at the end of Game 1 of this series, and a blatant missed call like this won’t help matters. Officiating has been roundly criticized throughout the playoffs, particularly when it comes to the Warriors, so the league can’t afford referees missing obvious fouls like this.
After a Game 1 which featured spectacular individual performances from both sides, as well as a good amount of chippiness as the game moved into crunch time, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors entered Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals knowing that they would have to put their best foot forward if they wanted to come away with a victory before the best-of-seven series shifts its setting from the Bay Area to Northeast Ohio.
With the Cavaliers blowing their chance to steal Game 1 and home-court advantage away from the Warriors, it will be imperative that LeBron James and company do everything in their power to replicate their performance from Thursday night as they had the defending champions on the ropes with just seconds to go in regulation before an unfortunate gaffe allowed for Golden State to reach overtime and, ultimately, right the ship in time to walk away from Oracle Arena with a victory.
While another 50-point outburst from James is not something that Cleveland should feel comfortable depending on, no matter how dominant he has been during the postseason, the Cavaliers can expect for a similar performance out of Kevin Love and if they can get that, coupled with contributions from players like Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith and George Hill, then the Wine and Gold should have another chance at a win.
However, if Golden State comes out firing and is able to build an early lead over Cleveland that James and his teammates would be forced to dig themselves out of over the course of the game then it could be the Warriors who come out on top in as comfortable of a manner as they did during the extra five-minute session at the end of Game 1.
For the Warriors to enjoy that sort of success, they need to play the style of basketball that has helped turn them into a juggernaut and not just rely on their All-Stars to try and do everything by themselves as that is not what makes them such a dynamic offensive attack.
Whichever side comes out and executes their respective game plan on both ends of the floor the best should have a great opportunity to come out on top in this game and ride that momentum all the way to Cleveland for Game 3 later this week.