Game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals is in the books, and the story is the same as its been 46 out 49 times this season, prior to tonight. The Golden State Warriors win at home. The outcome looked doubtful early as Cleveland jumped out to an early 13 point lead. But, as the Warriors have done so many times in this postseason, their bench saved the day until Steph Curry and the rest of the starters were able to get their feet under them.
Sure, Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 47 points, which was just three more than LeBron James scored. But, let’s get back to the two benches which was ultimately the difference in this game. Andre Iguodala outscored the Cavs bench 15-9 by himself. That tells you all you need to know. The Warriors 34-9 edge tells you even more if you weren’t convinced enough, and how about 8 points from Marreese Speights, who didn’t play at all in the Houston series. Need more convincing? J.R. Smith scored all nine of the points off the bench. No one else made the scoring column. Part of that was due to extended minutes (43) for Irving. Too many minutes if you ask me, coming off the injuries to his knee. Plus, you have to wonder just how dialed in those Cavs were off the bench after really not being involved in the offense early in the game. Nine points simply won’t get it done. The Cavs have no shot winning this series if those numbers persist.
It’s a shame too, if you’re a Cavs fan. James, had a personal NBA Finals high of 44 points, and Kyrie Irving was spectacular scoring 23 points, dishing out 6 assists, 7 rebounds, and 2 scintillating blocks of Curry at the rim. Marvelous play by Kyrie, but his injury and what lies ahead for him as this series goes on will get more headlines. The extent of the injury is still unclear. What’s also unclear is if the Cavs can count on the caliber of performances they received tonight from their stars. Irving, and James were a terror at times to an excellent Golden State defense. But, the Cavs still come away with the loss.
Can LeBron produce numbers like this the rest of the series. Absolutely. But, it’s more likely his numbers will drop some. Can the Cavs expect 16 points from Timofey Mozgov? Maybe, but again not likely. The Warriors were far from perfect, especially early in the game. But, as they’ve done the entire playoffs, they got the job done in front of the raucous crowd at Oracle. Game 2 is Sunday. Should be another good one.
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