Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, June 5, 2017 at 10:46 AM
THE NBA FINALS UPDATE: THERE'S NO STOPPIN' THE WARRIORS AS 132-113 WIN IN GAME 2 KEEPS GOLDEN STATE PERFECTO THIS POST-SEASON ...
THE BASEBALL REPORT: ALL HAIL MR. PUJOLS (AND HIS 600 HOME RUNS) BUT WHERE DOES HE RANK AMONG ALL-TIME GREATS?
Okay, so what struck you the most about the Golden State Warriors' emphatic 132-113 win in Game 2 of Sunday night's NBA Finals?
Was it the dribble-circles-'round LeBron James move by two-time league MVP Stephen Curry - maybe the single-most played highlight of this post-season, we might add - that occurred some five-plus minutes into the game-changing third quarter? ...
Or perhaps it was those off-balance made jumpers by Warriors' superstar Kevin Durant (see 33 points, 13 rebounds 6 assists and 5 blocked shots) who entered the game priced at - 125 to cop the Finals MVP and likely exited that winning tilt as a true odds-on favorite to win the award? ...
Maybe you prefer to believe Game 2 was a "feel-good" story in other ways since Golden State welcomed back head coach Steve Kerr to the bench after a seven-week-or-so absence?
Go ahead and say "all of the above" if you'd like, but we prefer to get a little negative here and put major blame on Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue - everyone (including yours truly) said the only way the Cavs were gonna get a split in the first two games of these NBA Finals was to slow things down and change the pace/tempo of Sunday's game following on the heels of the Warriors' easy-as-pie 113-91 win in Game 1.
Instead, Lue - believe it or not - encouraged his club to play the racehorse style game plus we all noticed that the Cavs didn't cover a soul for most of that 40-point opening quarter for G-State and were pick-n-rolled to death by a smarter/quicker/more determined Warriors' team.
End result: The Warriors - now 14-0 SU (straight-up) in this year's post-season -- will enter Wednesday's Game 3 with yet another two games-to-none lead (just as they did a year ago) but you get the sense that Cleveland probably can't beat Golden State four times in the next 50 games if the style stays the same - so, forget beating 'em four times in the next five games unless major changes take place!
Remember that Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will continue to rake in the profits in this year's NBA Finals as we roll on big-time this post-season! Go online right here or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 each/every day of these NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers (Game 3 is Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET) and cash in big-time. Plus get all the Major-League Baseball winners every day when you check with us ... America's #1 Handicapper is gonna stay hot all month long!
THE NBA FINALS - GAME 2 RE-CAP
GOLDEN STATE 132, CLEVELAND 113 - Warriors lead series 2-0, Game 3 is Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET, ABC
Funny how things work: After Golden State's 22-point win in Game 1 of these NBA Finals, folks were hootin' and hollerin' about the fact the Warriors put up 20 more field-goal attempts than the Cavaliers - but check out the Game 2 box score and you notice James and Company attempted 100 FGs (shot 45-of-100) while G-State made good on 46-of-89 floor shots ... so much for volume of shots being the main reason the Warriors prevailed in this series opener!
The truth is Golden State bombed away with 18 triples in 43 trifecta attempts and got all three main scorers in the flow as Durant, Curry (32 points in 36 minutes) and the previously-chilly Klay Thompson (22 points on 8-of-12 FGs) put on a show and there were plenty of pretty passes to folks driving to the hoop (34 assists in all). Sure, Kerr's club was uber-sloppy with those 20 turnovers - after committing an NBA Finals-tying low of four turnovers in Game 1 -- and James made 'em pay plenty with his triple-double stat line of 29 points, 14 assists and 11 rebs but save for a few scoreboard runs, the Warriors keep inflating their second-half leads and really percolated while gaining more and more confidence.
He pretty much called timeout-after-timeout to try and stop the bleeding but he's a major reason why the Cavs were overrun in the first place - would have liked to hear the all-knowing media pound 'em a bit but we didn't hear any of that for an hour-plus of post-game viewing. What, you're surprised?
Here's the Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals series in game chart form (all home teams are in CAPS below):
THE BASEBALL REPORT
Love when guys bang out records in style:
One-time New York Yankees' icon Derek Jeter homered for his 3,000th hit a few years back and now we just watched Los Angeles Angels star Albert Pujols crush a grand slam last Saturday night for his career 600th home run.
Pujols - who got Sunday off save for a pinch-hitting role (he grounded out in the eighth inning in the 3-2 loss) - became the ninth player in big-league history to swat 600-or-more home runs thus joining Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey, Jr., Jim Thome and Sammy Sosa and its quite conceivable Pujols can jump two spots in the HR standings this year (Thome has 612, Griffey, Jr. further out at 630 dingers).
Still, where do you think Pujols ranks all-time when it comes to great hitter/great power hitters?
If you ask us, Pujols - a three-time National League MVP - gets into the "top 10" of greatest all-around hitters of the past 50 years along with the steroid-stained Bonds, Aaron, Mays and Griffey, Jr. from this above-mentioned 600-home-runs-or-more list (a list that would omit Jeter, BTW!) but when it comes to all-around hitters the past 50 years we'd have to include George Brett, Rod Carew, Tony Gwynn, tainted Manny Ramirez and Wade Boggs ... none of whom had Pujols' power.
So, maybe he is a top 10 all-time hitter when you think about it and we have 'em in the top 6 of all-time righthanded hitters along with (and in no particular order) the likes of Joe DiMaggio, Aaron, Rogers Hornsby, Jimmie Foxx and Honus Wagner.
Check out all their stats and chew on that!
NOTE: There's more NBA Finals coverage in the next edition of Jim Sez as we preview Game 3.