Game 1 of the NBA finals had an epic build up, with the juggernaut that was the Cavaliers destroying teams throughout the playoff’s, going up against the mighty Warriors led by two of the greatest shooters the NBA has ever seen. But what was expected to be a end to end battled soon became a one sided affair. Cleveland had done everything right against the Splash Brothers. And yet everything still went so wrong as this highly anticipated NBA finals rematch kicked off.
The Cavs shot an appalling 38%, and had no way of stopping the Warriors supporting cast as they cruised to a 104-89 victory. I suppose everyone’s expectation of these finals was that Curry would go on a shooting rampage but instead Curry and Thompson combined for just 20 points on 8-for-27 shooting. The Warriors bench outscored Cleveland’s reserves 45-10 and the Cavaliers coughed up 17 turnovers that led to 25 points for the defending champions.
“Don’t matter what you do with Steph and Klay, don’t matter what you do with Draymond (Green),” Lebron James said. “Give up 45 points off the bench and 25 points off turnovers on the road, it’s not a good ingredient to win.” Playing in his sixth straight NBA finals, James delivered with 23 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, one short of a triple double. Kevin Love was strong as well in his finals debut with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were 4 for 13 from 3-point range and the two-time MVP turned the ball over five times, but somehow the Cavs still succumbed to a determined Warrior team they didn’t expect to show up. Watching the game at no time did Cleveland seem like they we’re as thirsty for this as they showcased throughout the rest of the post season. Lebron tried but trying didn’t seem like it was good enough. I guess the question remains where was the remaining members of the Cavs? JR Smith is a starting shooting guard, a shooting guard who can’t deliver shots.
Shaun Livingston stole the spotlight in game 1, delivering a massive 20points off the bench, not to mention the defensively ability of Andre Iguodala that stole this show whilst he contributed 12points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
Kyrie Irving scored 26 points, but shot just 7 of 22. Tristan Thompson had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Cavs, who are trying to end a pro sports championship drought in Cleveland that extends back five decades. If they can’t beat the Warriors when their biggest stars aren’t raining 3-pointers, the finals rematch that everyone wanted could be over a lot sooner than most predicted.
Game 1 MVP Predictor: Andre Iguodala
Game 2 of the NBA finals went from a beat down to and embarrassment for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors rode Draymond Green’s hot shooting and Klay Thompson’s resurgence for a 110-77 victory, taking a commanding 2-0 lead in this series. What’s scary about this whole ordeal is two time MVP Steph Curry is still yet to make his presence felt in these finals.
Behind 28 points, seven rebounds, five assists and 5-of-11 three-point shooting from Green, along with 17 points and 4-of-8 long range shooting in a concentrated third quarter burst from Thompson, the Warriors blew out the Cavs to a 33 point win. Curry faced foul trouble for most of the night but still managed to finish with 18 points on 7-11 shooting and nine rebounds. The game was pretty much put away in the second half all with Curry mostly on the sidelines.
Lebron James was once again the front runner for Clevelands stat lines scoring 19 points, gaining nine assists, eight rebounds and four steals. Irving struggled with a measly 10 points, and Kevin Love with only five points, although he did leave the game in the third quarter due to concussion. Cleveland’s big three became the little three in this game, and I feel trying to use Kevin Love as an excuse as to why you lost, won’t cut it. With the roster the Cavs have, they should be able to pull a victory off without him.
The Warriors made 15 of their 33 three-point attempts, out-rebounded the Cavaliers by 12 and held Cleveland to 35.4 percent shooting. It was Golden State’s defense that came to the party in this game shutting the Cavs down dramatically. Andrew Bogut’s defensive effort was strong recording four blocks in just the first 7 minutes of play. Once again the Warriors second unit outscored Cleveland’s bench 37-30.
If Cleveland are to win game 3, they will have to make different game plan’s and rotations. Re-insert Mozgov, and block up the paint to prevent you from getting out rebounded by a smaller Warrior team. Continuing to run JR Smith as your starting shooting guard when he’s a terrible shooter is beyond me. He hits 2 three’s in a game and all of a sudden he’s a great shooter? And as for Cleveland’s big three? Well as they say one man can’t win a game.
Game 2 MVP Predictor: Draymond Green
*Image Source: thehoopdoctors.com