Finals Game 1 Recap

Defense, Defense, Defense. Cleveland just couldn't match the defensive intensity that Golden State brought.



(Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages)


Well, one game down and Cleveland couldn't slow down the freight train which is this Golden State Warriors team. In my finals preview and prediction, I thought Golden State was going to get the sweep and have two easy blowouts. After one game we have seen already one of those predicted blowouts and I think I may have underestimated a number of blowouts we might see.

So what happened in game one that led to Cleveland sitting its three stars with a few minutes left in the game because the game was out of control? It's really simple to see what the difference was, Golden State's defense was just on a completely different level.

Klay Thompson had another horrible game offensively but man was it a beauty to watch him on the defensive end last night. He showed off his defensive prowess right at the start of the game. One possession he was switched onto Kevin Love 18ft from the basket and that possession ended up with Love forcing a shot up that ended up going over the backboard. Then only a couple possessions later Klay was glued to Kyrie Irving's hip and Kyrie tried everything to shake Klay but Klay went nowhere and forced Kyrie into a miss.

Draymond Green was always a defensive stud and it wasn't just Draymond and Klay who brought it on the defensive end. It seemed like no matter who stepped foot on the floor, Golden State's defense was swarming all night long. This is the difference on why Cleveland is a great team but Golden State is an all time great team. Cleveland just doesn't have the guys on the roster where they can have a five-man lineup that you know can get a defensive stop.



(Nathaniel S. Butler/GettyImages)


One of the terrifying thoughts for Cleveland is all three of their big three showed up and they still lost by 23 points. Lebron gave 28/15/8, Kyrie dropped 24 and Love chipped in 15 points and 21 rebounds. The difference in this game was these three stars showed up but got zero to no help from their bench. Now

Now it's not like Golden State's bench produced much more offensively, the overall bench scoring output was 24 points for Golden State compared to 21 points for Cleveland's bench. The big difference between the bench production was again the defense. Either than Iman Shumpert, no one else on Cleveland's bench is what you call a defensive stopper. Cleveland has plenty of firepower, they just don't have enough guys that can play defense where they have a chance of slowing down Golden State's offense.

I still think we are going to see at least one close game in these finals and that is going to probably come from Lebron or Kyrie just going berserk offensively. Even with one of those guys just going off offensively, that might get Cleveland to 115-120 points. That still might not be enough to beat this Golden State's offense and Cleveland just has no chance of slowing them down.

This series may end up in an easy sweep and there will be plenty of people saying this is ruining the sport. This Golden State team is probably going to go down as one of the greatest NBA team's ever assembled. We should all enjoy watching this high level of basketball as it lasts, this is very rare.


Jun 2, 2017

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David Graves