Prior to the NBA Finals, the one thing many experts thought the Cleveland Cavaliers needed to avoid was getting sucked into high-paced games with the Golden State Warriors. And yet, after two games, that is exactly what has happened and the Cavs now find themselves down 2-0 and seemingly in danger of being swept out of the Finals.
During the regular season, the Cavs games averaged 98.4 possessions per game. That pace actually dipped to 97.7 in the first three rounds of the playoffs. But in the Finals, the Cavs are running like gangbusters, with the first two games averaging 105.5 possessions.
Interestingly, the Warriors’ pace has also increased in the Finals, albeit by a lesser degree since they were already a high-paced team. It is almost as if the Warriors suckered the Cavs into playing at a higher pace by pushing their own pace to a new level.
After Game 2, Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue said he was not concerned with the pace, noting that the Cavs “have to play fast, that’s our game.” But while that may be the case, it is clear that the pace the Finals is being played at so far is even beyond that.
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