Before Game 2 of the NBA Finals, I spoke with Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau about the Warriors' ability to play so well even when their star player, Steph Curry, is having a limited amount of impact.
That scenario played out again on Sunday night as Curry had a great stat line, shooting 7-for-11 from the field and hitting four three pointers. He finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists, but he only played 25 minutes because of fouls. He’s averaged a mere 14.5 points per game so far in the series.
Still the Warriors destroyed the Cavaliers 110-77 and Thibodeau said that Golden State’s depth is going to continue to be a big problem in the Finals.
“Cleveland has a very good, all-around team, but I don’t know if they have the same depth that Golden State does,” Thibodeau said. “That’s what I think makes Golden State so dangerous. You have Curry and Klay Thompson not shooting the ball well but [Andre] Igoudala is a terrific all-around player and probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Shaun Livingston is the type of player that makes everyone else better. [Leandro] Barbosa played very well in short minutes, as well.”
Barbosa had a great game, finishing with eight points, on perfect 4-for-4 shooting. Igoudala had seven points, five rebounds, three assists and a block.
The biggest star for the Warriors though was former Michigan State standout Draymond Green, who had 28 points, seven rebounds, five assists and one steal, to lead all scorers.
A big concern for the Cavaliers is that former Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love left the game with a concussion. Cleveland already looks doomed in the series, but if Love can’t play they may lose in four games.
For Thibodeau though, what he sees in the Warriors is great balance, and that’s what led them to a history 73-9 season and now standing just two wins away from a second-consecutive NBA championship.
“Curry and Thompson command so much attention, I think it opens up the game for the other players,” Thibodeau said. “They all move so well without the ball that the one thing that I think tends to be overlooked is the passing ability of Draymond, Andre Igoudala, Shaun Livingston, that’s what makes them so good.
“They’ll pass up good shots for great shots. Then because of the way Curry moves without the ball they get a lot of great shots off of his screening. He’s a great screener and people tend to want to stay attached to him at all times and they get layups off of his screening or they end up getting open jump shots. But when he’s not shooting well, which is rarely, he creates so many easy scoring opportunities for his teammates because of the attention you have to pay to him, and Klay does as well.”