LeBron Not Enough As Warriors Take Game 1
The 2015 NBA Finals got underway last night as the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers tipped off. The game got off too a sluggish start as the usually sharp Warriors were anything but — scoring only 19 points in the first quarter as the Cavs jumped out an early double digit lead. However, they were able to weather the storm until their offense got on track.
LeBron James was the best player on the court by a mile. He lead all scorers with 44 points and simply was the Cavs offense in the second half. Kyrie Irving also turned in 23 points and 7 assists.
As the second half wore on the distinctions between these teams became more apparent. While the Warriors offense began to click and their inside out offense began to generate open looks, the Cavs went to a stagnant and predominantly isolation offense, often just spacing the floor and letting LeBron attack off the dribble to either score or draw a second defender and passing. It almost shades of Mike Brown’s Cavs teams in 2008 2009 where eveyone simply stayed out of LeBron’s way.
The coaching upper hand clearly goes to Golden State’s Steve Kerr for his overtime maneuvers. Kerr went to a small lineup in the start of overtime, with 6’ 8” Harrison Barnes at the center, and the Cavs couldn’t counter, not scoring in OT until the game was out of reach.
While it was a tough loss for the Cavs, the bigger loss will be Kyrie Irving if he is unable to play. He left the game late in the fourth quarter, when he tripped and fell awkwardly twisting his left knee which he has been suffering with tendinitis this postseason. He is set to have an MRI today, but he did miss games 2 and 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals with the same injury. If he is not able to play, the weight of the Cavs offense will fall even more on James’s shoulders in the upcoming games
Game 2 is set for Sunday night.