The Warriors escaped Houston with a 1-1 series tie headed back to Oakland for game three on Sunday. Between game one and game two the results couldn’t have been more different as the Rockets adjusted their game plan. The one key constant in both games was Kevin Durant as he poured in 37 points in game one and another 38 points in game two.
With the missed defensive assignments and the numerous turnovers, the Warriors kept digging themselves into a bigger hole. Although it was a poor overall effort by the team, Kevin Durant was forced to play hero ball and get buckets where buckets were scarce.
With a 38 point performance on an efficient 13-22 FGs, Kevin Durant was the game 2 Warrior Wonder.
Why hello my old friend
Sometimes it is strange to look back and remember that Kevin Durant and James Harden both started their career on the same Oklahoma City Thunder squad together. They are both prolific scorers and two of the most unguardable players in the NBA.
Time and time again we see Harden cross opposing players into oblivion. Here we see Harden get a little taste of his own medicine. Durant crosses Harden over so bad that it looks like there was glitch in the video as Harden bites hard left. Durant then takes it to the rim for layup over the outstretched arms of Clint Capela.
A little help would be nice
While game one was a collective team effort, game two was a bit of the opposite. The Rockets basically allowed Durant to go ahead and try to wield his team back in the game singlehandedly. To the Warriors discredit, no one was able to put together a good game to help him out. Durant collectively outscored all other starters.
Kevin Durant outscored the other four Warriors starters 38-35 in Game 2 vs the Rockets pic.twitter.com/zJCZUWAGRu— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 17, 2018
There was a clip after the game one press conference where Harden was asked how the team plans to stop Durant to which he had no way to answer that question as he stared in befuddlement. Well the funny thing is, it seems as though the Rockets said let’s let Durant get his and just scheme around the other guys.
Though Durant’s game was impressive on the surface, it may have just been empty calories as the team ended up losing by 22. Durant posted an ugly -28 while on the floor which happened to be his worst plus minus during his Warriors tenure.
Looking towards game 3
The Warriors will have a few days to rest and get ready for game 3 on Sunday. Steve Kerr and staff will have some time to scheme and make adjustments after looking at the game 2 tape. The keys to the game will be turnovers and pace.
Defensive intensity also sticks out as there were some missed assignments as Rockets had some wide open lanes to the rim.
Potential candidates Warrior Wonder standouts for game 3 bounce back game:
Andre Iguodala - Kerr is gonna keep sticking with the death lineup and Iguodala can really step up on perimeter defense on Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker.
Stephen Curry - Awake from your slumber, sleeping giant. It is time to unleash the flamethrower.
Kevon Looney - He’s been fairly good defensively this postseason. He could potentially spark the defense and force some key turnovers. Sneaky sleeper for game three Warrior Wonder.
Klay Thompson - Thompson has been great for most of the postseason, especially in games Curry had missed. A few games he has had a clunker but those have been more of the anomaly. I expect Thompson to have big bounce back game at home.
Draymond Green - Would like to see a similar defensive effort to game one. If Green brings the defensive intensity, the rest of the team will follow.
Who was your Warrior Wonder in Game 2 vs. the Rockets?
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