NBA Finals 2022: Golden State Warriors use patented second

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NBA Finals 2022: Golden State Warriors 

use patented second

Coming off a 34-point outing in Game 1, Curry once again showcased his devastating combination of long-range marksmanship and constant motion, tallying 29 points on 9-for-21 shooting from the field, 6-for-7 from the foul stripe and 5-for-12 from behind the 3-point line. While it wasn't his most efficient game, Curry eluded a typically strong Boston Celtics defense in the half court. 

His handle and step-back off the dribble were well-tuned, and he initiated an unusual number of the conventional pick-and-rolls the Warriors generally forgo. Curry's dance partner, Raymond Green, kept the Warriors' dribble-handoff game humming. As has been tradition in their eight-season run, the Warriors staged their most vigorous rally in the third quarter, outscoring the Celtics 35-14, their best point differential in any Finals quarter in franchise history. Unlike their prolific spurt in Game 1, Golden State didn't squander it on Sunday. 

Though turnovers have long been an Achilles' heel of the Warriors, it was Boston that was infected in Game 2 by the turnover bug. Careless half-court passes plagued the Celtics, particularly in the first half, all but canceling out their continued scintillating shooting from beyond the arc. Overall, they finished with 18 turnovers in 96 possessions Sunday night. Game 2 will not be placed in the Warriors' time capsule beneath one of the 32 private wine cellars at Chase Center. Their patented elegant offense appeared at times ordinary. 

Kay Thompson struggled for the second consecutive game from the field, and the Warriors desperately need more scoring outside of Curry. Golden State calibrated its defensive rotations, but there were a handful of noticeable breakdowns in its pick-and-roll coverage.

Regression is a harsh mistress

When Boston shot 21-of-45 from behind the arc in Game 1, Raymond Green was less than impressed. "They hit 21 3s and Marcus Smart, Al Harford and Derrick White combined for 15," Green said. "Those guys are good shooters, but they combined for what.... 15-for-23 from those guys? Eh. We'll be fine." Turns out, he had a point. Green had spent much of Game 1 sagging off of Harford to focus on help-defense, but in Game 2, he set a new tone on the very first possession. Green played Harford so aggressively that he forced a jump-ball.

Boston still managed a hot 10-of-19 start from behind the arc, but finished 3-of-14 in the second half. Harford and Smart combined for 44 points in Game 1. They scored just four in Game 2. In fact, even with garbage time factored in, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown still managed to combine for more than half of Boston's points (45 of 88). The role players that shot Boston into a Game 1 victory went ice cold in Game 2. The problem with extended Payton minutes is that Boston has little interest in guarding him on the perimeter. Payton makes up for that in other ways. 

He's a brilliant cutter and nuclear athlete, but Golden State still needed to inject spacing in other ways, especially considering Green's limitations as a shooter, so they tried Netanya Jerica, whose defensive weaknesses seem to have been greatly overstated. He held his own against Luka Deontic last round and he did just fine against Boston in Game 2. As it tends to go in the Finals, after two games against one another, the Warriors and Celtics seem to now have a good idea of which players can survive in this series and which ones can't. Boston seems to have landed on eight: 

Tatum, Brown, Smart, Harford, White, Pritchard and the two Williams’s. Golden State has eight of its own: Curry, Green, Payton, Kay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney, Otto Porter Jr. and Jordan Poole. Jerica made a compelling argument for slot No. 9 tonight. Iguodala's track record might give him the edge. But the days of Golden State punishing Theism appear to be over. From this point forward, we're likely to see only the best players these teams have to offer. The Golden State Warriors answered their Game 1 collapse with a convincing blowout win in Game 2, accomplishing their urgent goal of sending this series to Boston tied at one win a piece. 

It was mostly Staph Curry for the first half of this game, with both Kay Thompson and Jordan Poole struggling; however, a flurry from Poole to end the third quarter helped give Golden State a comfortable lead entering the final frame. After the buzzer sounded, superstar point guard Staph Curry said, "Jayson and Jaylen got off to a decent start, but we made them take tough shots. And then offensively, we were a little more organized with what we were trying to do from the jump, so we said we needed to play with desperation and that's what we did. Good feeling to get back on track, now we got to take it on the road."


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