For the Cleveland Cavaliers Game 1 is something to forget. For the Warriors, it’s something to build on. Either way, both teams are looking to improve their play for Game 2 tonight.
The Warriors dominated the Cavs in every way during Game 1. They shot better, out-rebounded them, and they took better care of the ball. Very rarely are teams lucky enough to still win a game despite losing in all of those categories. The Cavs struggled on the defensive glass as they allowed 14 offensive rebounds to the Warriors.Those added opportunities combined with 20 turnovers also committed by the Cavs helped the Warriors conjure up 39 points on just those opportunities. If the Cavs can take more care of the ball by making less careless passes and protecting their dribble more during Game 2, it gives them the opportunity of at least being a part of a competitive game rather than a 22 point blowout. The Cavs committed too many turnovers against one of the best teams in NBA history to be able to stay within arms reach of a win. Meanwhile the Warriors only had 4 turnovers in which the Cavs could only capitalize to get 4 points out of. The Warriors swarmed on defense and showed why they have the best defense meanwhile the Cavs played like they did towards the end of the season when the Cavs went through their slump.
The Warriors will come out in Game 2 with less anxiousness and more urgency now that they got the first game jitters under their belt. And with that to happen after a great Game 1 performance it’s easy to expect them to go up 2-0 in this series.Although, the Cavs will be doing the same and Game 2 means more to them now so they can bring the series home with at least 1 win. If the Cavs cannot win a game in Oakland then it’s obvious they will lose the series but it’s basically now or never because a series against a team like the Warriors will only get more difficult each game. Cavs Center Tristian Thompson vowed to perform better and continue to wrestle in the paint to grab more rebounds to improve his team’s chances. It’s tough to put the entire rebounding load on Tristian when you have a top-tier rebounder in Kevin Love as well but with Love standing outside the perimeter often, it’s easy to blame Tristian for not getting it done there since he is the only player inside at all times. I expect the Cavs to make that adjustment to assist Tristian in effort to make it easier for him to fight in the paint on both ends of the floor and fulfill his vow of grabbing more rebounds for the team, makingit easier for them especially on the defensive end. It’s tough finding energy on offensive when you have to fight hard on defense for multiple shot clock resets at a time due to allowing offensive rebounds. Cutting down turnovers and overall defense with great defensive rebounding will be keys to the Cavs success in Game 2. Those keys will create easier offensive opportunities for them and will create a better fight for a close game victory.
For a couple of seasons now, the Warriors have made it vastly difficult for teams to play their own brand of basketball. Although when teams figure out a way to putthe Warriors brand of play to a halt, the Warriors have a difficult time bouncing back with their own adjustments to that. The Warriors could most definitely play isolation basketball, especially now with one of the best iso players in Kevin Durant, but that’s not their game as a team. Lebron and Kyrie can defeat any team that thinks they can playing isolation ball. Lebron’s basketball IQ is too high for him to allow that. Lebron struggles to defeat teams like the Warriors and Spurs because their brand is based on ball movement. But Lebron has defeated them both in the Finals before and he is absolutely capable of leading his team to take control over this series. The only way the Warriors will be able to stop the Cavs adjustments and stop them from taking Game 2 from them is by taking their level of play and raising the bar higher (within their brand of play) than ever before. But is that possible? Personally, I don’t think the Warriors can play better than they did in Game 1 against Lebron and this Cavs team. I do believe they will head to Cleveland in a tied series but we will have to see. Enjoy the game!