Two games of the NBA Finals are in the books and so far it has been nothing more than an embarrassment for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They look outmatched and slow against the very talented Golden State Warriors. The team is undefeated (14-0), sharp on offense and defense and literally sucking the life out of these Cavalier players with their pace. The addition of Kevin Durant and his presence on the court is demoralizing Cleveland in so many ways, putting the NBA on notice.
Durant, who is 28 years old and averaging 35.5 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists in the NBA Finals, is playing at the highest level of any superstar on the biggest stage. Fans were upset and disgusted on Durant leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the superteam. People thought it would a hard adjustment of playing within their system, but in reality it’s really easy for him due to his skill set. Durant having four shooters to drive and kick out to is just too much for any team to handle, including Cleveland.
Having a 7 foot player being able to handle the ball like a point guard and playing better defense than ever shows how smart Golden State was in acquiring Durant from free agency. They understand the importance of structuring the right culture with players that fit their schemes. Durant is making Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green better overall. No team in NBA history had two former MVPs together on one team and a stack bench. This formula itself is destroying Cleveland mentally and physically.
LeBron James is averaging a triple-double and attacking the basket many times against elite defenders. James clearly doing whatever it takes despite Kevin Love scoring efficiently and Kyrie Irving struggling offensively. In spite of all that, it still isn’t enough. In fact, even these great performances resulted to blowouts by the end of the 3rd quarter. The cheat code of Golden State is Durant and his abilities to match James’ stats. He’s embracing the challenge of guarding him and other Cleveland players as well, blocked Love in game two and scored on the other end.
Is there any Cleveland player capable of stopping Durant other than James? The answer is no. Last year Cleveland worried about Curry or Thompson going off. Now this year it is a totally different animal because of Durant and the system. Golden State moves so much on every possession in every situation that making Cleveland gassed out by the 4th quarter. It’s gonna take a god-like performance by James, Irving and Love to make it competitive. And even that might not be enough to win a game when Durant is just unbelievable and arguably the most unguardable player on the court.