After Game One of the NBA Finals, Cavs nation still has their magic number at four wins. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-89 to take a 1-0 series lead.
In my estimation, the Cavs looked average at best in comparison to what I have seen out of them in these 2016 NBA Playoffs. While 4 out of 5 starters scored in double digits (including exactly what we need out of Tristan Thompson who had 10 pts and 12 reb), our bench was not even worthy of being in the playoffs based on their performance.
A total of 8 players were only able to net 10 points combined which is almost an insult to the starters that did their part. Lebron James was only 1 assist shy of a triple double while Kyrie Irving scored 26 pts while Kevin Love put up a respectable 17 pts, 13 rebs in his first ever Finals game. The lone Cleveland starter that failed to produce was JR Smith.
JR dove for a ball in the first quarter and came up shaking his shooting hand which may have contributed to the low output of just 3 pts in 36 minutes played. The bench play however is very obviously what sank the Cavs chances of a win.
Previous savior and talented floor stretcher Channing Frye, only took one shot from the field (a 3 pointer) and missed it. He had 2 free throws later on for his only 2 points of the game. I’m baffled that he was not utilized more but perhaps that had to do with Golden State’s defense more than our lack of effort.
The Cavaliers did not play the level of defense that they are capable of either. There were WAY too many open shots for the Warriors due to a combination of good screens set by Golden State and mental errors on our part.
The Warriors bench supplied 45 points to our 10 and it doesn’t matter what level of game you are playing in when that happens. You lose. The difference was the largest in the NBA Finals in the last 35 years.
To the Cavs credit they held Curry and Klay to 11 and 9 point respectively but at what cost? They allowed 20 to Livingston. 12 to Iguodala 12 and 11 to Leandro Barbosa. If the Cavs want to compete in this series several adjustments will need to be made ahead of Sunday’s Game 2 in Oracle. If not, the only thing Cleveland will be left holding at the end of this series is our identity.
Be sure to also check out the 2 Deep in the Q NBA Finals Preview Podcast!