Golden State leads series 1-0.
The Warriors, meanwhile tied the record for least turnovers in an NBA Finals game with four and made Cleveland pay for it, as Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry went to work against an nearly non-existent defensive effort. And while there were plenty of outside factors at play that aided in Golden State's collapse, it still required a pair of virtuoso performances from James (along with Kyrie Irving) in Games 5 and 7 to snap Cleveland's half-century championship drought. The result was Durant walking through the defense for wide open dunks.
Forget all the things Cleveland did wrong offensively in Game 1 - the poor shooting, the 20 turnovers and how the bench basically contributed nothing. Having to settle in, whether it's after the first quarter or first half, first game, whatever it is.
It may sound like simple common sense, but it's a good point-Golden State doesn't have to adjust to what Cleveland is doing at this point. Curry has picked things up from Durant. "That's about it. Just play hard and I'll be fine". "Whether it comes from KD, whether it comes from Steve Nash, other great shooters, any of my teammates, all that input is very valuable for me as I go forward".
"So if we limit them to one shot per possession, we can control the pace a lot better and honestly still play at a high tempo", Cleveland's Kyrie Irving said. If nothing presented itself Durant could always find a way to get a bucket on his own. The best way to understand it is to look at his shot chart from the last five games.
"Defensively our schemes were there". Kerr hasn't coached the team since Game 2 of Golden State's opening round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Durant is arguably the best scorer in the National Basketball Association today (maybe even in the league's history).
And the victory came against his former side Cleveland Cavaliers, who are still giving him regular paychecks until 2020. But James had problems containing Durant outside of transition as well.
Now, parting like the Red Sea in the paint on fastbreaks is not what I'm advocating.
Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue noted afterward it's been a while since his team had seen the Warriors, and that experience is bound to help. Durant can make tough shots. "So when you're playing against a risky team like we are playing in the Warriors, and they have great pieces, just got to stay disciplined, understand that every possession is all out, and we'll be fine". But was that a preview of more to come, or can they make it worth our while? But it's the wide open ones that can finish the obliteration of a defense. When the Cavs left him unguarded on the perimeter, Durant hit 3-pointers. Yet, for all his accolades Durant taking over a game can be withstood.
There were a lot of highlights in the Warriors' 113-91 Game 1 win. As a senior at Michigan State, he was named the Big Ten Player of the Year and is one of three Spartans to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds with the program.
For the Cavs, the No. 1 key in Game 2 will be staying aggressive, but limiting their turnovers. You want to know their approach to the game.