‘Warriors WrapUp’: Cavs rally from 14 down to stun Golden State; Irving’s big shot; Curry’s struggles; Cleveland’s defense

It was a Christmas Day classic between the Warriors and Cavaliers on Sunday. The game was intense, had a playoff feeling and it very well could have been a preview of the 2017 NBA Finals.

The Cavaliers rallied from a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit and got a tough fadeaway jumper from Kyrie Irving with three seconds remaining to give Cleveland a 109-108 win at Quicken Loans Arena.

Here’s a link to “Warriors WrapUp,” the postgame show on 95.7-FM The Game.

If these teams play again in June it will be the first time in NBA history when the same two teams played in three consecutive NBA Finals.

Here are some of the topics that came up on the show:

–Many Warriors fans felt Golden State received a “bad whistle” as they say. There were complaints about the non-technical foul on LeBron James for hanging on the rim, for no call being made on the final possession when Kevin Durant tripped after contact with Richard Jefferson and other “phantom” calls here and there.

Maybe. Maybe not. That’s not the kind of thing I like to focus on when there are plenty of other things to pay attention to.

–The Warriors were up 94-80 with 9 1/2 minutes remaining and let it slip away. They also committed two turnovers in the game’s final 42 seconds — after they had a three-point lead. Whether the officials were bad or not, it wasn’t them who blew a double-digit, fourth-quarter lead.

The Warriors committed 20 turnovers, and Draymond Green had six of them.

–Is something going on with Stephen Curry? There seems to be a sense out there that Curry is not playing particularly well. Is he deferring too much to Durant? Is he looking to fit in rather than take charge? Is he being aggressive enough? These are all legitimate questions as it pertains to the two-time MVP.

–Kyrie Irving is very similar to Curry, in a way. He can be relatively quiet for three quarters, then make big shot after big shot in the final 12 minutes. Irving wasn’t playing particularly well against the Warriors — until the fourth quarter. And don’t sleep on Irving’s seven steals. The guy made plays.

–Let’s face it, the Warriors are mostly a finesse team. They like to operate in space and create separation — on a shot or off-ball cut. Most likely the one thing you’re going to have to do against them is play them tightly — and that’s what the Cavaliers do. They just don’t give the Warriors’ ¬†perimeter players a lot of time and space to do things.

The Warriors’ three best scorers — Curry, Klay Thompson and Durant — are all relatively slight weight-wise. So, yes, it makes sense to be as physical as you can be. The Cavs did a nice job of getting the Warriors to play a little faster than they wanted to.

 

 

 

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About Steinmetz

Matt Steinmetz is a veteran San Francisco Bay Area sports journalist. He covered the Golden State Warriors for Bay Area News Group for more than a decade before becoming a television analyst with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Steinmetz currently co-hosts the "Warriors WrapUp" show and "NBA This Week" on 95.7-FM The Game, the franchise's flagship station, in San Francisco. He also co-hosts the Sal and Steiny podcast.
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6 Responses to ‘Warriors WrapUp’: Cavs rally from 14 down to stun Golden State; Irving’s big shot; Curry’s struggles; Cleveland’s defense

  1. Richard L Katz says:

    I listened to your broadcast after the game and agree mainly but disagree with your unwillingness to confront what was clearly bad officiating. Yes, I agree, the Warriors blew this one, not the refs, but they sure didn’t help. The worst call was the non-call at the end. I played the tape in slow motion and you can clearly see Jefferson stepping on Durant’s foot while he pushed him in the bakc (the foot step is clear, the push is less clear from the angle I had but the combo of the two is the only way to explain why Durant fell. Earlier in the game, that’s a non brainer foul call). The c
    all against Jefferson for taunting was BS as was the non-call for James hanging on the rim.
    The call against Green 3 mins into the game was awful, but Greens’ response was worse (more on that later).
    Now on to the game. The take away is the Warriors are the better team. Sure, they had a brain fart at the end of the game, Iguodala’s stupid pass to Durant with 43 secs remaining and the Warriors up 3, Curry’s behind the back pass and the 24 sec violation, all caused the melt down.
    But the look of the game was the Warriors would win,,,,until they didn’t.
    Other observations.
    Ian Clark has to stop deferring when he has an open shot. He passed up at least 2 with no one near him and either passed the ball or drove into trouble. He a very good shooter and should start believing in himself.

    Pachulia. He’s a serviceable center but awkward. He never seems ready to catch the ball and even when he does, he doesn’t seem to have a plan or go to move to make something happen. Also, he has brick hands. He drops more easy passes than Donald Trump.

    Curry. Somethings amiss. He has stop worrying about Durant and take over games like he can. Durant will still be fine. Curry seemed almost distracted in the Cavs game. Weird. Having said that, Wiggins and Shumpert did a masterful; job staying with Curry and making life tough to get open shots.

    Green. Stop already. I’m tired of his act. Grow up. S… happens. Deal with it. He claims to have “gotten it” over in the summer. I don’t know what he got over but it wasn’t “it.” I put part of the blame on Kerr and Green’s teammates. At this point I think he has more technicals than last year and if he keeps it up, he’ll be out of the playoffs. At this same point last year I was watching a game and told some friends that Green’s antics would cost the Warriors an important game sometime that season. Little did I know it would be in the finals. What he’s doing is stupid because it only draws more attention to himself and no ref wants to be shown up. So, not only do the refs not pay attention to “correcting” whatever call they made, they now are on the alert to call another one. Kerr needs to fine him or sit him until he stops and he teammates need to support this move. An intervention is called for here and the sooner the better.

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  2. Nabeel Berbawy says:

    Fun game to Watch, too many phantom calls on the DUBS, the self Proclaimed king hangs on the Rim forever, No tech, Dray does less Hanging Automatic call, Steff is held contestantly, like a kid holding on to their favorite toy, No Call, The Mighty NBA ( Where’s KIKI VANDERWHAT the HELL is going going in the wild wild world of sports is going on? ( to quote the great SLIM PICKENS in Blazing Saddles ) with all this rambling, I can’t help myself, let us see what Happens in June, I’m Betting my Humble Abode, Google Solaria Tower Mazatlan Mexico, MY BELOVED DUBS will PREVAIL, the chosen one will play for the Browns or if he is real lucky the 9ers, HAPPY & PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR TO ALL, except the cavs OF COURSE

    Like

  3. Kevin Daniel says:

    I’m a lifelong Warriors fan. Too many cooks on The Warriors. Steph, KD and KT can’t get hot when looking to share shots among all three. That’s what happens when you get greedy and I respect the Cav’s for trying to punch them in the mouth whenever they can. #Lacob’sFolly

    Like

  4. Kwabena says:

    Why did warriors not use their timeouts to stem the cavaliers rally? Bad coaching. The coach could have inserted McGee for physical presence. The coaching is bad.

    Like

  5. David says:

    GSW does not have the physicality to complete with the Cavilers. Steph and company is too small and are not use to the rough play of the eastern conference. It’s obvious that Cleveland is living rent free in the heads of the entire GSW team. If LBJ and company beat them in Oakland then GSW may be stuck with the Cavs in their head for years to come.

    Like

  6. Bobby986 says:

    Curry gets beat up setting too many screens. They need to minimize this because it affects his overall game.

    Like

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