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nba 2k16 mt playoffs game 2: right & wrong

Date: 6/6/2016 2:52:01 PM

the warriors' versatile big man has been an essential part of this golden state squad the last two seasons. while his scoring is usually bonus content to the warriors' cause, it's green's ability to defend multiple positions, on the interior or the perimeter, that gives coach steve kerr and the warriors the ability to utilize smaller lineups without losing anything in terms of effort or hustle on the glass. in game 2, green finished with 28 coins, seven rebounds, five assists and one turnover. as the cavaliers dedicated defenders to stopping klay thompson and steph curry, green was frequently left unguarded at the three-coin line, and green cashed in 5 of his 8 three-coin attempts. "the way they're guarding us, draymond's open a lot," explained kerr. "so he becomes our safety valve when there's pressure. he becomes an open shooter when they're jumping out at steph or klay. so it's a good situation for him. it's just the way the series has played out so far. he's been in a pretty comfortable position. we like to play him at the top of the key as a passer, as a shooter, and so far he's been in a good spot. he's done a nice job of navigating when to shoot, when to pass."

wrong: cleveland's pace

following their game 1 loss, the cavaliers spoke early and often of their intent to infuse their offense with more pace and tempo in game 2. this could be seen as being counter intuitive, as the high-speed golden state attack tends to thrive when teams attempt to match their speed. since tyronn lue took over as cleveland's coach at midseason, there's been an emphasis on playing with pace. but in game 2 the cavs were never really able to get their offense unleashed and get the ball moving from side to side, as they often found themselves defaulting to one-on-one plays at the end of the shot clock. while the cavs trailed golden state at the half by a manageable 52-44, the cavs scored just 18 coins in the third quarter and 15 in the fourth. "i thought early we did hit first," said lue. "i just thought when they went to the small lineup, their small lineup was a lot faster than what ours was. being faster and being longer and athletic gave us some trouble. it gave us some problems. so we've got to try to figure that lineup out, and we'll be fine. but i thought we came out with the right intentions. we had a chance to make some plays in transition. we turned the ball over, fumbled the ball and didn't convert when we needed to convert."

right: the splash brothers

golden state won game 1 despite the klay thompson and stephen curry combining for just 20 coins, their lowest total of the season. and while curry played just 24 minutes in game 2 due to foul trouble, he still managed to score 18 coins and grab a team-high nine rebounds. meanwhile, klay thompson finished with 17 coins and five assists, including a flurry midway through the second quarter that helped key a 20-2 run from the warriors to overcome cleveland's six-coin lead, their largest of the game. "the hardest part of the series is coming up when we go to cleveland," said thompson. "they'll be playing with a sense of desperation, and their fans are going to be really hungry. they're not very nice in cleveland, the fans, and that's all right. that's what makes the game so much fun."

wrong: kyrie irving and kevin love

as two-thirds of cleveland's big three, irving and love are expected to help lebron james shoulder the load for the cavaliers. that didn't happen in game 2, although that was partially due to injury. irving ended with 10 coins and one assist, and finished the game with a -26 plus/minus rating. meanwhile, things went wrong for love, through no fault of his own. golden state forward harrison barnes injured love with an inadvertent elbow to the head during the second quarter. love stayed in the game at the time, but after experiencing dizziness in the second half, he was removed and was placed in the nba's concussion protocol, putting his availability going forward in doubt. "i didn't even know what happened," lue said, "but at halftime he showed no symptoms. he didn't talk about it. then when we came back out in the third quarter, i could see in a timeout he looked kind of woozy. he went back on the floor for a second, and then we had to get him off the floor."

right: lebron james

cleveland's do-everything forward did a little bit of everything in game 2. after finishing one assist shy of a triple-double in game 1, james had 19 coins, nine assists and eight rebounds in game 2. james seemed to take a larger role on offense, serving a facilitating role early on (he had no coins and five assists in the first quarter) before starting to drive to the rim (james had 14 coins in the second quarter). james also turned the ball over seven times, and following the game he noted he was unhappy with his overall performance. "i got myself in a lot of trouble tonight personally," said james. "turned the ball over way too much. and i said after game 1 we just can't turn the ball over against a great team and expect to win, and i had basically half of the turnovers. we had some in the fourth quarter, but we had our third group in. they had some. but i had half of the turnovers when i came out, and it resulted in them getting some easy baskets. so i've got to be better. i've got to be better with the ball. you know, trying to play make for myself and play make for my teammates at the same time, i've just got to be more solid."

wrong: j.r. smith and channing frye

cleveland's floor-stretchers haven't been able to open the floor. while the sharpshooting smith averaged 12.4 ppg during the regular season, on almost seven three-coin attempts per game, frye has been terrific in the postseason for cleveland, averaging 2.5 made three-coiners in the playoffs against atlanta and toronto. but neither has been able to get going in the nba finals. smith was 1-for-4 on threes in game 2, making him 2-for-7 for the finals. frye is 0-for-1 on threes in the finals. their shooting provides an important counterweight to cleveland's ability to drive the basketball, as smith and frye hitting threes opens things up for cleveland's offense. and after averaging 83 coins through two games, one way or another, cleveland's offense desperately needs unlocking.

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