Last nights game was surprisingly interesting, even though I didn’t watch much of it. However, twitter did blow up so now my interest levels have peaked a bit. These teams have met for four years in a row now, which in all honesty is kind of worst case scenario for the NBA. The first year it was of course interesting with the Splash Brothers taking on LeBron in his return to Cleveland. The second year had the 73 win Warriors, and LeBron trying to get his revenge. By the third time it might get a little boring, but that year was KD’s first year with the Warriors, so that was a cool storyline. This year? There’s not much going on. Maybe the fact that these team’s had some adversity trying to make it to the Finals; the Warriors proving they’re still the team to beat in the West and the Cavs did the same in the East. However, now that the matchup is set, there is not any big story that drives people to have to see how it turns out. The Warriors are favored heavily, and people are predicting a quick series. To be fair, the Cavs made it a close fight in Game 1. They were a free throw or a JR away from actually winning it in the closing seconds. There were also skirmishes, weird call reversals in the closing seconds, and Draymond getting under people’s skin constantly. Does that make this series a must watch now?
The way I see it, there are two ways that these NBA Finals go down. One is that now that the Cavs are in the Finals, they are able to step up their level of play. LeBron and the Cavaliers have been the only team in the past four years to win a series against the Warriors, so maybe they know the formula. Perhaps Cleveland will be a hostile enough environment for the Warriors and the Cavs can steal a close game or two at home. LeBron has been playing crazy enough all postseason to win games, and did it again in Game 1 by scoring or assisting on 70 points. Usually, though, if the team wants to him the rest of the guys need to provide the rest of points as 70 would never be enough to beat any team (just ask the Celtics). To their credit, they did show up a bit in this game to keep it close throughout, and they never let the Warriors get away with the lead, in regulation at least. So maybe they figure it out heading forward and make the Warriors sweat it out in each game, and maybe this series is at least as entertaining as the previous three.
The other way this can head, though, is that Game 1 was simply a “feel it out” game for Golden State. Yes, they won. However, we’ve seen them murder the powerhouse Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals, so we know that they can win in dominant fashion. This was not a dominant performance whatsoever. They grabbed this by the skin of their teeth. So perhaps, now that they got the jitters out or whatever prevented them by going full Warriors, they know to just handle their business quickly in these coming games. Now that Steph has the taste of 38 foot jumpers, he’ll hit them more and more. Now that KD has a taste of “The King’s” blood, he’ll want to go for the kill. Now that Draymond has made fun of a couple of Cavs players, he’ll want to piss everyone off. Now that Steve “Sack-of-Potatoes” Kerr knows that he’s superior to Tyron “Even-More-Useless-Sack-of-Potatoes” Lue, he’ll want to out coach him harder. If the Warriors weren’t playing their best, and still came out on top, if they come out harder in Games 2, 3, and 4 then this series will be a quick one.
In my opinion (and hopefully), the outcome will be the latter. No way is that how the Warriors play moving forward. They never let Houston stick around in games like that, and I think most will agree that the Rockets are a better overall team than the Cavs. If I was a Golden State high off that Game 1 victory, I’d be carrying a broom with me everywhere I go. But since I just hate LeBron, I’ll only talk about it being a sweep on this blog.
P.S. LeBron walking out of his post game press conference is laugh out loud funny. What a bum. Also I had a dream that he took of his jersey after this game much like he did after losing to the Celtics in 2012, so it’s confirmed that he’s leaving Cleveland.