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NBA Finals averaging 15 more possessions per game than the Cavs saw prior in playoffs

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Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers have run into a buzzsaw the past two games unlike any of the teams they have previously faced on their way to the NBA Finals. A team that plays both sides of the ball equally well and constantly looks to run-and-gun, playing in a track meet for all four quarters of the game, a pace that has proved almost impossible to keep.

Between the Golden State Warriors and the Cavs, they have averaged 105.5 possessions, 15 more than LeBron James-led teams have been accustomed to, according to Micah Adams of ESPN Stats & Info.

From positions one-through-four, the Warriors have been consistently able to push the ball in transition without the need to slow down into a half-court set, generating fast break opportunities — resulting in 23.5 fast break points per game.

Whether it is a simple outlet pass or a quick kick-out for an open three, Golden State has found ways to consistently hurt Cleveland in transition, displaying a clear difference by shooting a sparkling 18-of-43 from deep in Game 2 — amounting to 48.3 percent of their shots.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing for James was having to take on the responsibility of doing it all in the first half, having to empty the tank early and often — resulting in a diminished version of himself in the second half, which has proved a faltering portion of the game for the Cavs.

This pace has especially proved difficult for veteran players like Deron Williams, Richard Jefferson, and Kyle Korver, who have just looked slow and sluggish keeping up with a well-conditioned team that has been in the top three in the league in pace.

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