Posted on June 5, 2017, by Travis Pulver
Professional athletes have been asked to sign all kinds of things over the years. So when Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson was asked to sign a toaster on March 13—well, yeah, it was odd. But signing it was just part of being a celebrity. Little did Thompson or anyone else know at the time what it would end up signifying. Since that fateful day, the Warriors have lost just one game. It just so happened to be one in which Thompson did not play.
The toaster has gone from being an odd thing he autographed to one heck of a good luck charm. It’s become enough of a good luck charm, that if the Warriors go on to sweep the Cavaliers, Thompson has said he will buy the team a toaster.
Thompson made $16.66 million this season, and he’s buying a toaster if the team completes the sweep.
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Not one for everyone, but a team toaster (it better be a heck of a toaster). With how the Warriors dominated the Cavaliers in Games One and Two of the NBA Finals, he may need to start shopping for one.
That is unless the Cavaliers ca figure out some way to stop the Warriors.
They went into Game Two planning on playing a more physical game than they did in Game One. They certainly tried to, but with questionable results. Yes, Steph Curry did have eight turnovers on the night, but he also hit all 14 of his free throws—and he had a triple-double (32 points, 11 assists, ten rebounds).
So apparently getting physical with Steph didn’t do much more than motivate him to play a more well-rounded game. In the process, Kevin Durant was able to have another 30+ point night, and Klay Thompson had a decent night (22 points; his third 20+ point night of the postseason).
If the Cavs were still trying to take away the three-pointer, that didn’t work. The Warriors hit a record 18 shots from behind the arc.
Whatever defensive plan the Cavs used, may need to be scrapped. They failed to slow the Warriors down in the least. Golden State’s 132 total at the end of the night was the highest in an NBA Finals game since the Lakers put up 141 on the Celtics back in 1987.
So—does Thompson need to go ahead and buy that toaster or do the Cavaliers have a shot to win at least one game with the series heading to Cleveland for Games Three and Four. After all, the Cavaliers crushed the Warriors in Game Three last year. What’s to say they can’t do the same this year?
For one, the Cavs need more guys making plays. LeBron James has been the only consistent playmaker through the first two games. Kevin Love had a good night in Game Two, but a lackluster one in Game One. Tristan Thompson isn’t doing much. Kyrie Irving is struggling with his shot. JR Smith has only scored three points over the last two games.
Golden State may very well have too many weapons for a team like Cleveland—a team that is not known for its defense–to handle. So, if the Cavaliers want to win, they will have to figure out how to outscore the Warriors.
With the production they have had so far, it isn’t going to happen. But last year they woke up on offense once the series moved to Cleveland. Just about everyone played poorly in Games One and Two in Oakland, but once the series went home, everyone stepped it up a notch.
So—is that all it takes? Do the Cavaliers just need to play at home?
Of course not. They need to figure out how to play defense. Last year it was a lot easier to defend the Warriors with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson struggling with their shots. Curry isn’t necessarily on fire this year (18-39 through Game Two), but he doesn’t need to be with Kevin Durant playing well.
Returning home will probably give the Cavaliers a boost on both ends of the court, but enough of one to slow down the offensive machine of the Warriors? Probably not.
Go ahead and get that toaster picked out Klay. But just to be on the safe side, wait until after Game Three before you buy it.