Cavaliers vs. Warriors Game 2 TV Schedule, Live-Stream Guide for 2018 NBA Finals

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJune 2, 2018

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) reacts during the second half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, May 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

It's going to be hard to top the dramatics from Game 1 of the NBA Finals, especially the unpredictable ending in which Cleveland's J.R. Smith ran out the clock instead of going for the win in regulation. 

Game 1 may have been the best opportunity for the Cavaliers to find a chip in the Golden State Warriors' armor, and there's no doubt Steve Kerr's team will come out motivated to produce a better performance in Sunday's Game 2. 

While the Warriors possess multiple scoring options on offense, the Cavaliers continued to struggle with finding a support system for LeBron James and Kevin Love in Game 1. 

Although Golden State should take care of business on its home court again, the Cavaliers proved in Game 1 they can compete with the defending champion.


Game 2 Information

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Start Time: 8 p.m. ET 


Live Stream: Watch ESPN or ESPN app 


How Do Cavaliers Bounce Back After Deflating Game 1 Loss? 

Smith's inexcusable play at the end of regulation in Game 1 could come back to haunt the Cavaliers. 

Not only did Cleveland lose Game 1, but it lost all of the momentum heading into Game 2, where the Warriors could take full advantage of their home-court advantage. 

Smith's late-game error also wasted LeBron James' 51-point performance, which might be hard to replicate if the Warriors make defensive adjustments.

James received some help from Love and Smith, who both reached double digits, but he needs more out of his supporting cast than Smith's 10 points as a tertiary scorer. 

Ben Margot/Associated Press

Cleveland received 23 points off the bench, which was two more than Love's Game 1 total, but an ideal number would be over 30 in order to counter the production from the stars in the Golden State lineup.

Larry Nance Jr. could be the player who steps up for the Cavaliers, as he produced nine points and 11 rebounds off the bench. 

If Nance is able to make a similar impact on the game, and help out a little more on the offensive side of the hardwood, the Cavaliers stand a chance of pulling out a win at Oracle Arena. 

Another X-factor candidate is Jeff Green, but he struggled from the field in Game 1, as he made three of his nine field-goal attempts. 


Warriors Need To Find Defensive Answer To LeBron James 

With Andre Iguodala sidelined, the Warriors are struggling a bit on the defensive end of the court, especially when it comes to limiting James' production.

There are two ways the Warriors can approach Game 2 when it comes to stopping one of the best players in NBA history. 

The Warriors could focus on silencing the role players, who haven't exactly proved their worth on a consistent basis. That strategy would force James and Love to score the majority of the points, just like they did in Game 1.

Ben Margot/Associated Press

The other approach to stopping James would be to put multiple defenders on him and force the other Cavaliers to beat Golden State. 

Both defensive mindsets have their downfalls, as the former allows James to take over the game, while the latter opens up the possibility for someone like Nance, Green or Kyle Korver to shine off the bench and provide the Cavaliers with an extra boost. 

The alternative to both options would be to shoot better than the Cavs, which has a high probability of happening given the accurate three-point shooters in the Warriors lineup. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from Basketball Reference