Durant, Curry Too Much for Cavaliers in Game 1 of Finals
I am very curious to know if Coach Ty Lue still really thinks that it’s more difficult to game plan for the Boston Celtics.
Who knows, right?
Round three of Cavaliers vs. Warriors got going on Thursday night, and Golden State was able to draw first blood, blowing the Cavs off their home from 113-91. Improving to 13-0 in this year’s playoffs, the Warriors are still searching for competition.
Although the Warriors only got significant offensive output from just two of their four All-Stars, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry proved to be far too much for the Cleveland Cavaliers to handle. As was the case during the regular season, Kevin Durant continued being the best player on the floor dropping a game high 38-points, picking up eight rebounds and eight assists in the process. Curry chipped in with 28-points of his own, along with 10-assists and six-boards. Meanwhile the other two stars, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson shot a combined 6-for-28 from the field, including 1-for-10 from beyond the arc.
“KD,” Said LeBron James after the Game 1 contest when asked what stood out about the Golden State Warriors this time around. “I mean you take one of the best teams ever assembled last year, that we saw in the regular season and in the postseason, and then in the offseason you add a high-powered offensive talent like that and a great basketball IQ like that. That’s what stands out.”
LeBron James had an up and down night for his standards. The Cavaliers’ superstar poured in 28-points, 15-boards, and eight assists, but also turned the ball over eight crucial times. Kyrie Irving added 24-points, while Kevin Love had a 15-point, 21-rebound night, which pretty much summed up everything going for the Cavs offensively.
Outside of the Cavaliers ‘Big-3’, 24-points were scored on a shameful 7-for-31 from the floor from the supporting cast.
Now, this series is by no means over despite yet another blow out win by the Warriors. This marks the third largest defeat margin in a Finals Game 1 for LeBron James. Ironically enough, James has won the other two Finals series despite the dismantling his squad experienced in the first bout.
So no need to panic, but it’s back to the drawing board for the Cavaliers as they are facing quite possibly the greatest basketball team ever assembled.
“They’re the best I’ve ever seen,” Lue said following the defeat. “No other team has done this. They constantly break records every year – last year being 73-9, this year starting the playoffs 13-0. So they’re playing good basketball. But we can play better.”
In terms of how the Cavaliers can play better, it will have to start, surprising on the offensive side of the floor.
The Warriors love to run. They are a high-powered, fast paced offensive team that clearly doesn’t need much help scoring. In Game 1, the Cavaliers turned the ball over 20-times, which was 16-more turnovers than the amount committed by the Warriors.
That is a recipe for disaster.
Down by only eight-points heading into the half, the Cavs turned the ball over four times in the first four minutes of the second half, aiding in the Warriors 13-0 run. The Cavaliers cannot help the Warriors score more points than they already can. When going up against a team like the Warriors, every possession is vital, wasting opportunities, simply put, leads to losses.
Taking advantage of opportunities also means making the shots that should be made. Outside of James, the Cavs shot 8-for-28 (28.5%) on uncontested shots for the game. Sharpshooter Kyle Korver and Deron Williams contributed to seven of those bricks.
To beat the Warriors, the Cavaliers will have to match them tick for tack. If the Cavaliers cannot take advantage of good looks, it will be a rather short series, filled with three more long nights.
Losing Game 1 is of course tough, but from here on out, it will be important for the Cavaliers to make adjustments. If the Cavs can do that, take care of the ball and make open shots, this will most definitely be a series!