Through two games of the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors have produced a plus-48 point differential, LeBron James has 11 turnovers and 22 misses for the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers and no player has more points than Draymond Green’s 44.
But what is the most incredible stat from the first two games of the NBA Finals?
What about this little factoid from ESPN Stats and Information: Shaun Livingston and Leandro Barbosa—two bench guards for the Warriors—have made as many field goals (21) as Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving combined.
Granted, Love played only 21 minutes in Game 2 after leaving the game with concussion-like symptoms. But the ruthless efficiency of Livingston and Barbosa—especially stacked against the struggles of Love and Irving—is as striking in appearance as it is indicative of the first two games.
The two Golden State subs have made a staggering 21-of-26 shots. In Game 1, the pair hit 13-of-15 field goals, accounting for 31 points in a game in which Steph Curry and Klay Thompson produced only 20. This past Sunday, they connected on 8-of-11 shots, giving the Warriors 17 more precious bench points.
Overall, Golden State holds an 85-40 advantage in points from the bench.
Irving and Love have also made 21 shots in the series, but the two have taken 60 shots. Irving was 12-for-36 in Games 1 and 2, while Love hit 9-of-24 attempts. The two are shooting only 35 percent in the series.
Amazingly, the two stars expected to help James combat the Warriors in this NBA Finals rematch have been outplayed by bench players from Golden State.
It seems unlikely Livingston and Barbosa will continue their hot shooting; 81 percent on field goals just isn’t sustainable, especially with the Warriors going on the road for Games 3 and 4. But the bigger story here is about Love and Irving, who both need to play significantly better for the Cavs to get back into the series.
Game 3 tips off Wednesday night from Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
Alert Captain Obvious, but if Livingston and Barbosa continue to outproduce Love and Irving at the levels of Games 1 and 2, the NBA Finals isn’t going to last more than four games.