The Golden State Warriors are officially your 2018 NBA champions.
OK, that's probably too much of an overreaction even for this article. Still, you can't blame anyone who feels like the next five NBA championships have been decided already. The Warriors look borderline unstoppable through two games of the 2017 NBA Finals, with Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and the rest of the Dubs poised to dominate the Association for the foreseeable future.
After Golden State's Game 2 thrashing of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night, we rounded up our favorite overreactions, then explored just how true they might be. Enjoy.
Kyle TeradaKyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Overreaction No. 1: Kyrie Irving isn't an elite point guard
The Warriors have gone out of their way to take Irving out of Games 1 and 2, limiting him to 43 points on a combined 18-for-45 shooting.
The numbers don't really indicate how bad Irving has looked at times, however. He's dribbling the ball incessantly, stopping the Cavs' offense and giving Golden State time to load up its defense, while struggling to finish at the rim.
In sum, he's looked a lot more like regular-season Kyrie than the clutch assassin who sealed the Cavaliers' 2016 title win.
Therein lies the rub. Irving's real value only shines in the clutch. When defenses tighten and you need one guy to go get you one bucket, Irving is among the best players in the NBA.
For the other 46 minutes, he can get you into trouble with his isolation tendencies, but you'll take the good with the bad with such a young, talented player.
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Overreaction No. 2: Tristan Thompson is the most overpaid player in the NBA
While Irving remains an elite player no matter how much he struggles in this series, the perception of Thompson is set to take a significant blow.
Most NBA fans already scoff at paying a guy who averages eight points and nine rebounds more than $16 million, even though Thompson does all the little things that help a team win basketball games. He earns his salary with his rebounding and defense — two skills that are completely missing so far in the Finals.
At the end of the day, Thompson is a role player, and role players perform better at home. Maybe heading back to Cleveland for Game 3 will shake something loose for the Cavaliers big man. If not, the Cavs are headed for a sweep.
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Overreaction No. 3: The Cavs need to get dirty against the Warriors
We're not encouraging Cleveland to do anything reckless. We don't need any injuries in these NBA Finals. Basketball is just a game, after all.
With that said, the Cavs need to implement a modern version of the "Jordan Rules" ASAP. They certainly can't get caught in a track meet against Golden State, as they did in Game 2 and for large parts of Game 1, and they can't allow Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant to run free as they light up the scoreboard.
Cleveland has to slow the game way down, get physical with the Warriors — as it did in last year's Finals — and dare the officials to call fouls on every play.
It's not pretty, and it's not honorable, but it's the only way the Cavaliers stand a chance.
Oh, and they'll need one more adjustment, too ...
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Overreaction No. 4: LeBron has to play all 48 minutes
The Golden State Warriors outscored the Cleveland Cavaliers by six points in the two-and-a-half minutes during the first half when LeBron rested. They took a three-point lead into halftime.
You can probably do the math on what that means for Cleveland.
Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving are fine basketball players, but the fact remains: When LeBron sits, the Cavs are doomed.
And isn't this why he played deep into games this regular-season — to prepare to play all 48 minutes if necessary in the Finals? From our vantage point, the Cavs can't afford to have LeBron sit for more than a minute at a time here or there. There's the risk he'll run out of gas, sure, but what does Cleveland have to lose?
They're already tasked with beating this superteam four times in the next five games, so good luck. The only way that's happening is if LeBron controls every minute of this series from this point forward.