What question haven’t the Golden State Warriors answered?
They’re 14-0 in the playoffs. They’re up 2-0 in the best-of-seven NBA Finals over the league’s second-best team. They’ve outscored the Cleveland Cavaliers by 35 points in those two games and have had only one playoff game decided by less than 10 points (and that was in April, Game 3 of the opening-round matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers). They could become the first team to zip through the playoffs unbeaten.
So the question left is: Do they have what it takes to close out the Cavs? A year ago, they led the NBA Finals 3-1 and lost, including a Game 7 defeat at home.
And the answer is yes, because they have Kevin Durant. The free-agent who venue-shopped for the best place to win a title has excelled on both ends of the court and has been the Warriors’ high scorer in both wins over the Cavs and in three of their last four playoff games.
The addition of one more explosive force makes the Warriors’ ability to assemble game-deciding runs as debilitating mentally as it is physically.
“Teams have great nights in this league, and it’s the NBA, so that can happen a lot,” Durant said, speaking mostly in general but with an eye on the Cavs. “But when you’re the one making the run, you could definitely feel the other team looking for answers and being deflated as the game goes on.”
The series is now in Cleveland, and that has to help the Cavs. The crowd will pump them up.
As Durant noted, a couple of runs involving those rainbow 3-pointers could easily deflate them. The Cavaliers have no choice but to win on Wednesday night, to at least rekindle the hope of last year. The Warriors have much more margin for error, though they surely don’t want to fall back on it.
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman