At times, this game looked more like a 3-point contest than an NBA Finals game.
LeBron James is attacking. I think tonight I was just in a good rhythm. “Sometimes it’s as simple as more effort”.
Through the first two games of the NBA Finals, the one consistent theme that has already emerged in the series is that Kevin Durant makes an already ridiculous Golden State Warriors team quite literally invincible. “Trust me, we know”. Obviously [Kevin] Durant and his impact on both sides of the floor. But very much under control.
But Durant’s offense was a sidebar to his terrific defensive night. He can really give him problems in the paint here he can dominate. “The last few days have been hard”. “And when you don’t get to them, they make you pay”. Before the game, the National Basketball Coaches Association presented its annual Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award to co-winners Al Attles, who led the Warriors to their first West Coast championship in 1975, and Hubie Brown, a Hall of Fame honoree in 2005. Particularly in the second half. “And we’re going to need to play better to win on the road”. Yeah, because they have so much star power and so much offensive firepower. Scoring from all over the court, Durant provided Cleveland with matchup nightmares. The quarter ended with Golden State leading 102-88. “But since that time, five or six weeks, I’ve gotten a lot better and I feel like I’m back to the baseline of where I was during the regular season, when I coached every game”.
“Steve’s a fighter and for him to be out there when he has a built-in excuse not to because of the incredible pain he’s under, it’s wonderful”, Klay Thompson said after the game. It will be interesting to see if they can remain hot in Cleveland. We used to call them “Bastard Screens”. The Cavaliers simply could not keep up with the energy of Golden State. Their defense maintained which is unsafe because they’re due to breakout.
Game 3 is Wednesday in Cleveland. It was clear that they wanted to have a high tempo game again. “But Golden State can play better”.
Thompson shot 3 for 16 in Game 1. Thompson played in his 78th postseason, most in franchise history.
– The Warriors’ 40-point first quarter was their most in a quarter in the Finals since scoring 41 in the first quarter of Game 6 in 1967. “He guards so many people out there and he has such a responsibility with Kyrie (Irving) and switching onto LeBron (James), and I thought he was fantastic”. Part of that is turnovers which lead to easy baskets. They were running and gunning and launched 43 three-pointers today, knocking down 18 of them.
From there, Golden State steadily pulled away, the Cavaliers having no answer for the Warriors speed and outside shooting. “I did that. I’m excited, and it’s good to be back”. “Playing the pick-and-roll. I just tried to do all the stuff the guards did to try to expand my game, and I went to Steve”.