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GSW’s more versatile offense no match for Cavs

With Kevin Durant looking to get to the rim first, the Warriors offense is just so much more complete in this year’s finals.

This is where there will be reminders that the Cleveland Cavaliers were blown out in the first two games of last year’s NBA Finals before coming back to win the series in seven games. But that was last year, and after two routs, the Golden State Warriors look like they are going to completely run away with this series and their second Larry O’Brien Trophy in three years.

This Warriors team is just so much different than the team that won the last two years. There is a different reason why they hold the NBA playoffs all-time best points differential and have won 14-straight games, which ties the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins for most consecutive professional playoff victories.

Last year, the Warriors had their chances to win the games they lost to Cleveland, especially Game 7, but all that 3-point shooting made them a pretty one-dimensional team offensively. Okay, maybe not one-dimensional, but they were obvious with how they would attack. This year, with Kevin Durant as their new star player, the Warriors are just so much more versatile in their offense. They are still shooting a ton of 3-pointers, but they are attacking the rim so much more too.

Durant followed up his masterful 38-point Game 1 with 33 points in Game 2. He hit four 3-pointers but was 9-for-18 from 2-point range, mostly making those at the rim and many with dunks. But the telling stat that shows the Warriors willingness to get to the rim in this year’s series was Curry’s night. He did take 11 3-pointers out of his 17 total shots, but Curry also picked up numerous fouls and went a perfect 14-for-14 from the foul line. Curry even admitted that he sometimes settled for the long-range shots in last year’s finals. It was okay that he did because he was so good at making them, but by going inside, he just keeps the Cavaliers defense way more honest.

The Warriors ended up shooting 41.9-percent from 3-point land in Game 2, but were 28-for-46 (60.8-percent) from 2-point range and were 22-for-24 from the foul line.

Even with LeBron James posting a 29-point, 14-assist, 11-rebound triple-double and even with Kevin Love scoring 27 points and Kyrie Irving scoring 19 in Game 2, the Cavaliers just don’t have enough on their offense to combat that sort of all-around offensive game by the Warriors. The Cavs went just 8-for-29 from 3-point range, shot 45-percent from the floor overall and went 15-for-19 from the foul line.

Durant is the biggest difference. He is a megastar who has brought the fearlessness to go inside to the Warriors. Of course, that is his game to go inside as a seven-footer, but it’s made the Warriors so much more complete, and that has taken them to an entirely new level of dominant.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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