For the third year in a row, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers are facing off in the NBA Finals. A battle of the greats - the greatest player, LeBron James vs. the greatest team, the Golden State Warriors. I know they're watching film, and something for them it's to keep me off the glass.
"I want to annihilate them (the Cavs)", said Green earlier in the playoffs.
"We're going to have to help him out as far as knocking shots down from the perimeter", Thompson said. But the Cavs also turned the ball over 20 times, up from 12.9 turnovers per game they averaged in the first three rounds of the playoffs.
They seemed to shrug their way through 82 games, just waiting to "flip the switch" in the playoffs. "They capitalized. And we get an opportunity to get a couple days to see what they did and see what we did wrong and how we can be better in Game 2".
With Green on the shelf, the Cavaliers coasted to a 15-point win in Oakland, and perhaps more importantly, Andrew Bogut got hurt, removing a critical component of Golden State's rotation for the final two games of the championship series. You have to bring a physicality to the game, one through five. With James in the game on Thursday night, the pace was 102.1.
Durant made precisely the difference Cleveland feared he might - not only performing at an elite level himself but making it hard for the Cavs to throw multiple players at Stephen Curry, who contributed 28 points and 10 assists. Never fear Cavs fans, there's a long way to go.
"He finished with 38 points, nine rebounds and eight assists and well and truly sliced the Cavs" defence open. They're going to be way more aggressive in the pick-and-roll on the offensive end and defensively.More news: Leo Varadkar: Ireland set to have first gay PM
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"I think Tristan will come out in Game 2 and be a lot more assertive and just use his will to get rebounds on both sides of the ball", Love said.
Alexa manages to keep it real classy, but also rubs the Warriors face in it for blowing a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals previous year.
Since Durant's move to Golden State, Thompson's offensive contribution has become less important but it's his defence that has made the team such an unbeatable machine.
As I wrote on Wednesday, Golden State's dominance will make for a lousy NBA Finals.
They combined for 66 points and 18 assists in a 113-91 Game 1 thumping Thursday night against LeBron James and the defending champion Cavaliers, who must find a way to defend the high-flying Durant when the best-of-seven series resumes Sunday at Oracle Arena.
"He's an assassin", coach Tyronn Lue told ESPN. Meanwhile, the Warriors' defense stepped up to slow down what had been a highly-efficient Cavs offense. But we all know that when the series starts, the commentary will nearly certainly take a chippier tone. See, the greatest thing about what happened on June 1st is that we still have yet to see both of these teams perform at their peak in the same game for our entertainment.