Thursday, in game one of the NBA Finals the Cleveland Cavaliers looked like they just did not want the basketball. Golden State forced the Cavs to turn the ball over 12 times in the first half alone. Lebron James appears to have put his team on his shoulders dropping in 28 points, grabbing 15 rebounds and finding open teammates to finish with 8 assists. But King James (who had a double-double in the first half) committed 7 of the Cavaliers total of 20 turnovers. Kyrie Irving finished 24 points and Kevin Love scored 15 points while grabbing 21 rebounds.
The Cleveland big three (James, Irving, and Love) did not get much help from the bench as no one else scored more than nine points (Richard Jefferson). Tristan Thompson their chairman of the boards so to speak was held scoreless and limited to only 4 rebounds.
So, you see when I say Cleveland gave the game away. I say that with no disrespect toward Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors. KD playing in only his second NBA Finals (The first was with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012) was magnificent. The 6’9″ forward came out from the opening tip playing like a man that had something to prove. On his way to a game-high 38 points, Durant Had six dunks in the first half alone. The Warriors forward was not only scoring, he was grabbing rebounds (8 total) and getting the ball to his teammates as he finished with 8 assists.
The fact that I mentioned that Cleveland gave the game away would be one way of looking at it. But I really think that Durant and crew took it!
Steph Curry (Splash Brother number one) looked at ease as he dropped in six three-pointers and finished with 28 points. Draymond Green grabbed 11 boards while only finishing with 9 points, but that is Greens’ style. He gives the Warriors just what they need when they need it and he doesn’t have to be a big scorer. Klay Thompson (aka Splash Brother number two) could not buy a bucket as he finished with only six points. Thompson like Green adjusted to not scoring many points and contributed on defense getting the ball to open teammates.
The build to game one of the finals consisted of many people talking about Durant having much to prove since he decided to leave Oklahoma City and join Golden State in his quest for an NBA title. Fans are looking for KD to prove that he is a championship caliber player and that he makes a difference on the court. Well, Thursday night in game one if you saw the game, you saw Durant do just that as he dribbled the ball down the court on fast brakes, leaped through the air and finishing with thunderous dunks. The big man showed plenty of excitement slapping high fives with his teammates and he was fun to watch. I think he made the statement with his play that he is playing at the highest level and ready to perform. To me, it looked like KD was having fun and showed his love for the game; while at the same time he was giving critics, and fans the answer they were looking for and that is simply yes, he made the right decision.
Game two of the NBA Finals is Sunday in Oakland, can Durant and the Warriors repeat their game one performance? What do you think?
Trevin A Jones
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