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Around the NBA: Cavs find themselves in desperation mode

By Josh Liddick, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Through the first two games of the NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers are searching for a way to gain ground in their series with the Golden State Warriors, now trailing the series 2-0.

The first game was close down to overtime, when before that happened, JR Smith made a boo-boo with his clock management, ultimately costing the Cavs the victory, unable to close the gap against the Warriors in the overtime period at the Oracle Arena.

This time around on Sunday, the matchup wasn't even close. The Warriors had the edge all game long, blowing out the Cavs to see the light at the end of the tunnel just two games away from their second straight NBA title.

Every time the Cavaliers looked like they had a chance to pull closer, the Warriors answered back even harder, not provided any ounce of hope for a miracle comeback on the road.

It's really hard to compete with a team that hit 15 of their 36 3-point attempts, especially when nine of them are sunk by star point guard Stephen Curry, who broke the Finals record for 3-pointers made in a game. Curry ended up finishing the game with 33 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds.

The Cavs didn't nearly have as good of a game from deep as the Warriors did, shooting 33.3 percent (9-27) from long range. JR Smith didn't exactly have the bounce back game he was hoping for, going just 2-of-9 from the field, 1-of-4 from deep for five points with two assists, two steals, and a rebound in 31 minutes.

All 12 of the Cavaliers' possible players on Sunday night saw action, even Rodney Hood (four minutes), Jose Calderon (3), Cedi Osman (4), Ante Zizic (3), and Jordan Clarkson (8) saw the court at one point or another.

All in all, you just have to feel bad for LeBron James, considering the way he has played this series and throughout the playoffs should really be able to translate into giving the Cavs a realistic chance to compete against the Warriors for the title. On any other team, a statline of 29 points, 13 assists, and nine rebounds would do wonders of keeping a team in a closely contested ballgame, but for as weak as the Cleveland Cavaliers are this season, it just doesn't make a difference whatsoever. 

LeBron literally had one of the best single games of his career in Game 1 on Thursday night, regular season or playoffs, by scoring a playoff career-high 51 points and his team still wasn't able to figure out how to win.

You may be wondering by reading the initial headline: How can the Cavs really be in true desperation mode when they have the opportunity to go back to Cleveland and have a chance to take two games right back from the Warriors in front of their own fans?

At this point, with the Cavs down two games to none, it just seems extremely unlikely that the Cavs will be able to compete at all with a Warriors team that just trumps them in almost every possible category.

The Cavaliers may have the good fortune to have the services of LeBron James and his magic for the remainder of the series, but if there isn't another player on the team that has the ability to truly match wits with Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson, I just don't see the Cavs able to win any games for the rest of the series.

Yes, you heard me right, I'm predicting a sweep in this series.

The Warriors are clicking on all cylinders, while the Cavs are clearly having more issues than basketball issues right now. LeBron is starting to lose his patience as he knows just how hard it is to come back against this Golden State team, especially with how powerful they are as a team.

Obviously, the outlier in this whole series, which is the reason why you can't exactly full-on predict a Warriors sweep, is LeBron James. He is the greatest to ever play and one of the greatest NBA Playoff competitors the world has ever known. He's willed this particular Cavs team back from deficits before, he always has the appetite to do it again.

But if he does choose to do it again, he better act fast. This Warriors squad looks hungrier than ever to get their third championship in four years.

 

 

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