Friday, June 3, 2016

Warriors pull away in game one

The Golden State Warriors used a huge kick from their bench early in the fourth quarter to blow by the Cleveland Cavaliers and win game one of the NBA Finals 104-89 in Oakland.
Kyrie Irving led Cleveland in scoring with 26 points,while LeBron James (23 and 12) and Kevin Love (17 and 13) each notched triple doubles in defeat.
Game two is back in Oakland Sunday night...


1) The Cavaliers made a big run in the third quarter to come back from nine down to take the lead for a few minutes,but it always felt to me that it was temporary.
Sometimes teams use up their gas to get back into the game and that is exactly how I felt when that run was going on...

2) The Warriors bench carried the day on a night that the Cavaliers shut down Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson,as the Golden State bench outscored Cleveland's 45-10.
Shaun Livingston was the star with 20 points.
Cleveland doesn't have to win that battle,but the margin has to be closer.

3) I remember when Shaun Livingston came out of college as a super talented player and began suffering knee injuries that turned him from a franchise level player to a role player.
Livingston showed last night how injuries had robbed him as he was the best player on the floor.
Every generation has a few players like Livingston,but even fewer make the transition to not being the focus of the team..

4) Kyrie Irving did score 26 points ,but did so on 7 of  22 shooting.
All too often,Irving would take the defender to the hoop on borderline out of control rushes and then be forced into a awkward position against the Warrior big men.
Irving is going to have to mix his offensive tactics or this could be a long series.

5) You have to look at this as a mixed opportunity.
Yes,you would like to think the Cavaliers could win when Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 20 points,but is it possible that the Cavaliers have seen a flaw and the defense could have discovered a way to slow them down?
If so,perhaps the Cavaliers can win this after all...

6) J.R.Smith disappeared three points and three shots in 36 minutes of play.
Going to have to get more than that from the mercurial Smith...

7) I was disappointed in the lack of ball movement by Cleveland.
Cleveland has to keep the ball moving or the Cavaliers are going to be caught in the trap of James and Irving in isolation,which results in a very one dimensional team...

8) Finally,the Cavaliers win game two.
If they don't they are in big trouble,but I think they will.
The media scrutiny of game one will certainly be pro-Warriors and I think LeBron James will feed off that and lift Cleveland to a win.
At least I hope....

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