The first two games of the 2015 NBA Finals have been wild in their own rights. Game 1 was wildly entertaining, while Game 2 was wildly bizarre. It was clunky, sloppy, poorly played (by both teams), and a grind – basically everything the Cleveland Cavaliers wanted. That all worked to Cleveland’s advantage for most of the night, as they had near-complete control of the game right up until the last 2 minutes. Then Steph Curry momentarily came alive, LeBron James momentarily faltered, and we went to overtime.
The game ended as one might expect such a bizarre game to end: not with a buzzer-beater, but free throws. Matthew Dellavedova flew for the rebound after Draymond Green blocked this LeBron James shot, hoisted the ball back at the rim and was fouled in the process.
Dellavedova sank the go-ahead free throws, and LeBron sank another moments later. Perhaps the one clip that summed it all up was Delly’s defense forcing Curry into an air ball.
Though LeBron missed what could have been the game-winning layup, he was nonetheless terrific in this game. In a match marred by odd fouls, non-calls and only brief bouts of momentum for both teams, LeBron’s 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists powered the Cavaliers to victory.
The role players did their part, but they were only able to do so because of LeBron. Without Kyrie Irving, the Cavs were going to have to lean on LeBron to carry them even more than they already were. While he didn’t have the best shooting night, hitting just 11 of 34 shots, he nonetheless turned in a historic, heroic effort.
The Warriors are the still the favorite, but at least the King and the Cavs can return to Cleveland with more momentum and confidence than anyone expected them to have at this juncture.