Stop the Warriors Talk: The Cavaliers Can Improve, Too
Since Stephen Curry's tough shooting night on Sunday -- where he went 5 for 23, including 2 for 15 from three-point range -- there have been a myriad of articles that have detailed how Curry has merely been getting unlucky, and how eventually these shots will drop.
Thereâ€™s probably some (OK, a lot of) truth to it, although I think it's gone too far in not giving the Cavs credit for their stifling defense. This interesting article on SB Nation says that Curry was 1 for 8 on uncontested shots in the game, a trend that likely wonâ€™t continue. There are numerous pictures that show Steph â€“- while probably rushed and out of rhythm â€“- indeed did have open shots that could very well go down in subsequent games.
Itâ€™s true: the Warriors could, and likely will, play better. But the thing that isnâ€™t being discussed is, so could the Cavs.
Letâ€™s look at the Cavsâ€™ and LeBron James' shooting in the regular season versus in the Finals:
All big drops. Now, the easiest thing to do here is credit the Warriorsâ€™ incredible defense. In fact, thatâ€™s what I personally believe. However, if weâ€™re going to discredit defense for missing shots, letâ€™s do the same for the Cavs. Sure, they donâ€™t have a shooter the caliber of Curry, but itâ€™s not like LeBron James is a slouch. Indeed, itâ€™s not likely for Curry to shoot 5 for 23 again, but itâ€™s probably equally unlikely for LeBron to go 4 for 22 in the second half again, as he did Sunday night.
Likewise, the Cavs have scored only 10.5 second-chance points per game in the Finals, despite rebounding the ball like crazy on the offensive end (OREB% of 27.3%). Although thereâ€™s some context to this â€“- Tristan Thompson has been very good at kicking back out to extend possessions and use up time -â€“ it could very well go up as the series continues.
The Warriors will likely improve. But the Cavs could, too.