Everything that worked in Game 1...didn't in Game 2
By Suave Francisco
It was a tall order for Oklahoma City to go into Oracle Arena and steal two from the Warriors, and it was somewhat surprising when they stole one. Everything that worked for Oklahoma City in Game 1 didn't work at all tonight in Game 2 as Golden State recovered well with an 118-91 victory. Steph Curry had one of his scoring outbursts again, but that's not the main reason behind OKC losing.
The dominance in the paint went the Warriors way. Everyone has said it. For the Thunder to have a chance, they are going to have to dominate the paint. You just witnessed what happens when they don't do so. Golden State's big men accounted for 31 points when Oklahoma City's big men only scored 22...really just 18 if you don't count Nick Collison's garbage points in the last few minutes of the game. Serge Ibaka may have been the biggest disappointment tonight, scoring just three points, a three he scored in the beginning stages of the first quarter. He shot 1-6 from the field and had no blocks. The only positive stat was his eight rebounds, three of which were offensive. His court awareness and work ethic on the court seems to be bleak at this point. Not sure if this was a strategy or not, but Draymond Green did a great job getting to Steven Adams early in the game, talking trash and roughing him up a little bit with a blow to his family jewels. After that, Festus Ezeli went up for a rebound and landed on Adams' back. Things just weren't the same for Steven following those sequences. He did finish with 10 rebounds, but his nine points didn't do too much for the offense tonight. Same thing goes for Enes Kanter, playing almost 15 minutes you'd expect him to have somewhere around 10 points and eight or nine rebounds. He finished with six and two.
Kevin's ineffectiveness in the second half. At halftime things looked great for KD. Personally, I was excited about what was to come in the second half after a 23-point first half on 9-13 shooting. Considering last game's struggles for him, this was a very promising number to see. Well for some reason he only got five shots in the second half and finished with 29 points. He should've easily had 35, or more. Reflecting on this game, though, KD has to look at himself. He got the ball in the second half and had opportunities to create off the dribble but didn't. He decided to pass up the shot most of the time.
Russell Westbrook did a great job getting the ball to his teammates, with 12 assists but he didn't do a great job getting the ball into the basket. Now, I don't want to sound like everyone else, finding something to complain about when it comes to Westbrook but he has to shoot better than 35.7 percent. Point blank. In Game 1 he found a weak spot in Golden State's defense and attacked in the second half. That didn't really happen tonight.
With all that being said, the telling story of the game was the only person in the NBA that can score 15 points in 1:58, Stephen Curry. He just couldn't miss and OKC had no answer for it. Curry finished with 28 points which is really a modest night for him if you're looking at point totals. It was just his two minutes of glory that changed the entire tone of this game.
If I would've said the Thunder would leave Oakland, California after Game 2 with the series tied at one apiece, you'd probably be happy. Well, that's the situation at hand and although they lost by 27 points, the next two games are in Oklahoma City where they are (6-2) during the playoffs. Expect the crowd to show up big in Game 3, they will be the determining factor along with an improvement in the areas mentioned in this story.