When the Golden State Warriors streaked past the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first game of the 2017 NBA Finals, it didn’t seem to come off as a harbinger of doom for LeBron James’ team as it might have once been in past years.

While admitting that the Cavs played poorly, the NBA star was confident that come the second encounter with the Warriors on their home turf Cleveland will be turning things around. This hopeful pronouncement died after Golden State walloped them again in Game 2 last Sunday, 132 to 113.

All of a sudden it’s back to talk of dire tidings, with analysts and pundits beginning to hypothesize that the Cavs winning any of the next five games may as well be impossible now.

'Very' different

The Golden State Warriors have milked the first two NBA Finals games on their home court extremely well. And having secured a 2-0 lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers, they are in a strong position to realize an epic upset this year. True, they were in a same high-ground position against the Cavs last year – we all know what happened then – but this time around even LeBron James is concerned. In post-game interviews, he remarked, “You guys asked me what the difference was, and I told you. They’re a different team.”

Hard evidence of these newer, tougher Warriors is on hand. LeBron’s Warriors counterpart Kevin Durant has bested him individually yet again. Back in Game 1 the Golden State small forward surged ahead 38-28 in points.

Last June 4 the difference was smaller at 33 to James’ 29, but more points are more. The painful fact for Cleveland this Game 2 was that they lost despite the Warriors committing 20 turnovers. LeBron promised a better game from the Cavs that Sunday and they gave it only to stumble still.

Rethinking the plan

Now Cleveland’s coaching staff will have to return to the drawing board for a new strategy against the rampaging Warriors.

One possibility being floated was a change in the starting lineup, with J.R. Smith being switched out for Iman Shumpert. Smith’s defensive play has been struggling in the two games, and Coach Ty Lue really needs greater defense strength to handle Golden State’s “constant movement” offense. Another factor brought up is the need to help Kyrie Irving get more opportunities to score, as well as upping the contributions on the court from the other non-big-name Cleveland players to support their Big Three.

Irving notes that he and his teammates now need to be even more unwavering to recover their losses, as the NBA Finals now move to Cleveland for Game 3 (Wednesday, June 7) and 4 (Friday, June 9).