NBA Finals: Dubs' Patented Third-Quarter Surge Keys Game 2 Victory

Published on 2-Jun-2019 by Biff BoJock

Basketball - NBA    NBA Daily Update

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NBA Finals: Dubs' Patented Third-Quarter Surge Keys Game 2 Victory

What balls he has.

Andre Iguodala, whose season stats confirm him as good for one bingo outta three tries from the arc, must've known it was his time when the game found him there with Toronto closing in on Golden State in the final seconds of Game 2.

Whether or not that was the case, dude calmly drilled a wide-open triple to seal the deal on a 109-104 victory that didn't look all that comfy before he launched.


After dropping Game 1 when Pascal Siakam put together the game of his life -- so far -- the Dubs almost consciously cast aside analysis as to why they lost.

  • Like turnovers. They totalled 17 in that loss; they amassed 16 in this win.
  • Like shot percentage. It was 38.7% in the loss, 38.2% in the win.
  • Like a 'thin' bench. The extras popped 36 points in the loss, 25 in the win.

As if it needs repeating: this is a club that knows what it is.


It'd be tempting to conclude that the difference was in the Dubs' defense, then, but that's only skirting the issue.

Simply put, Steve Kerr outmaneuvered Nick Nurse with every adjustment he made. For example:

  • Starting Boogie Cousins -- one of the league's best playmaking centers -- who responded with an outta-shape-but-heroic 11-10-6 performance and some serious space-eating on D;
  • Having Steph Curry open the offense even higher than the arc, forcing the Raps into their D earlier, and then passing and running the hell outta them; and
  • Giving Draymond Green off-ball defensive reign, where he effectively stifled many a TO opportunity and was in position to haul down 8 d-boards.


Maybe Kawhi Leonard registered 34 points -- 16-16 at the line helped -- but it was on an 8-20 night, and Siakam had come down to earth with a 5-18 performance,

So, in response to Kerr's moves, Nurse ultimately deployed a box-&-one, often a fixture in high school games but a novelty in the NBA.

Nurse drew up the assignments during a timeout, assigning Fred VanVleet -- dude, it's Dutch; go with van Vleet someday -- the task of chasing Curry all over Ontario.


It damn near worked.

The Dubs were held to only one score in their last eight possessions, with Toronto cutting the deficit to two on Danny Green's trey with 26.9 seconds remaining.

And that's when Igoudala went daggers.


Who'da thought it'd come to that after Golden State opened the third quarter with an 18-0 run?

Maybe those who noticed Kevon Looney had exited after a hard fall, never to return, and Klay Thompson apparently straining a hamstring after an awkward land from a jumper.


That kinda game.

It'll surely dictate more adjustments are on the way.