Austin Carr, who knows the inner workings of the Cavaliers as well as anybody, says they have to change their strategy against the Warriors by dictating a slower pace, starting with Game 3 on June 7 in Quicken Loans Arena. The interest in championship series usually increase if they are evenly-matched, so if the Cavs can take a few games ABC would be in great shape.
The Warriors can't blow it again ... can they?
Green said former players wanting to compare their teams to the Warriors did so out of a feeling of insecurity over their own accomplishments.
Or as Zaza Pachulia, channeling his inner Yogi Berra, put it: "We're not thinking we are very close even though we are".
But that Warriors team, which posted a record 73 wins in the 2015-16 season, were not as risky as the current squad due to the addition of four-times scoring champion Kevin Durant to an already formidable lineup.
"I have the same confidence level I've had since I started playing this game", Smith said. "And it was probably the key to the whole game". Curry recorded his first career postseason triple-double with 32 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, while Durant contributed 33 points, 13 rebounds and six assists while moving two wins from his first ring.
The Cavaliers are not taking Carr's advice if LeBron James and Coach Tyronn Lue are telling the truth. Durant has been a marvel, whether dashing end-to-end for a dunk or hitting a 3-pointer or blocking a shot.
An overlooked aspect of Curry's game is his movement away from the ball. For three years now, there has been absolutely no evidence that the Warriors can keep him down in a Finals game if he come out intent on scoring from the jump.
The reigning coach of the year had been absent since Game 3 of the Warriors first round series against the Portland Trail Blazers due to pain and discomfort caused by complications from a back surgery he underwent two years ago. They are running up and down the court, forcing the Cavaliers to make mistakes and making them pay on the offensive end. "What did we score last game?"
This year, it's 4.0 points and 4.0 rebounds.
Golden State leads the series, 2-0.
Cleveland coach Tyron Lue did demand some physicality from his men after the terrible drubbing suffered by the Cavs in the opening match of the NBA Finals. The Warriors only scored 89 points.
"This is an important test for us, and we need to be as prepared as we can be", he said.
But so far, it's not.
"You guys asked me what was the difference, and I told you", James said.
And the Warriors point to Game 3 as the initial turning point. James sounded grimly determined after Game 2. Golden State won, 112-99.
Hearing that, Warriors forward Draymond Green began a long period of laughter before saying, "That's my thoughts". He sounds like a grown-up. "And you are talking two of the greatest players that we got in this world locked in the way they are, that's why we're up 2-0".
Kerr joked Sunday night that the Warriors have a foolproof defensive plan awaiting James in Cleveland. "So we've got to be much better, too". Hopefully we get to hear the song one day. "There is a lot of work for us left to do". But while the entire team was on a mission to get back to the league's championship round and exact revenge for the title it let slip through its fingers, two men, above all, had everything on the line this season: Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. "Playing with a lot of energy".