Golden State more than ready
LEBRON James blamed himself, his limited passing and poor floor control, but there were two main culprits that hindered him and Cleveland in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
James finished with 44 points, his highest in a Finals match, but his usual effectivity, mainly in passing the ball to open wingmen from the point, was greatly hampered by Andre Iguodola, who sacrificed his body trying to hold and slow down LeBron.
Not to say James was not ready for the tough one-on-one defense. Iguodola, however, got covering support from teammates in pushing James far from the goal, while preventing their mighty main foe from making his usual nifty assists.
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James also allowed a major distraction when he tried to check Curry, who shifted swiftly and was seen scoring twice on a layup against a baffled LeBron.
James, breathing hard, visibly lost his rhythm after those failed chases against Curry.
There were several other factors, like the concussed Klay Thompson stepping up for timely baskets.
On the whole though, it was a clear case of Golden State showing up more composed and organized, mainly in defense.
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The Warriors also showed up more than ready for the worst.
If Warrior defense was excellent in regulation, it was unforgiving in the extra period of the Finals’ Game 1.
Golden State came up with an unexpected total choke, thus limiting Cleveland to a lone conceded goal in the closing seconds of the five-minute extra time.
James also committed two costly turnovers during the extension.
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“We haven’t have much luck, and we haven’t been healthy,” James explained after it got confirmed yesterday that the newly returned Kyrie Irving suffered a fractured knee cap and will not be able to rejoin Cleveland for the rest of the Finals.
Saying they’ve not lost their rhythm, James has refused to be discouraged.
However, if Cleveland hopes to spring back and even up, it must stop playing a reactionary role.
It must reorganize and spring its own surprises before it’s too late.