June 23, 2017

Former Buckeye Star Getting Crushed For His NBA Finals Prediction

03 June 2017, 02:54 | Jackie Morgan

Playing in his first Finals games since 2012, Durant wasted little time making a major impact. In a dominant performance, Golden State cruised to a 113-91 victory over Cleveland to take the opening game of these best-of-seven Finals and did so while leaving plenty of room for improvement. "But then what? Unless somebody gets hurt in Cleveland or Golden State, there's no changing it".

But the Cavs are down by just eight at the break, 60-52. Klay Thompson's shooting struggles continued (3-for-16), but his perimeter defense was vicious all game. And the Warriors, as a team, are 3 for 13 on 3s. On defense, he couldn't handle Green's quickness, forcing Ty Lue to put LeBron James or Tristan Thompson on Green, which limited his minutes as well. Golden State has only turned those 12 giveaways into 10 points, however. In addition to Durant, Curry, Iguodala and Livingston, the list of Warriors free agents-to-be includes JaVale McGee, Ian Clark, James Michael McAdoo, Matt Barnes, Zaza Pachulia and David West.

Durant has been showcasing much of his offensive weaponry - dunks, 3-pointers, and backing Kyrie Irving down the lane easily while being fouled.

James is also the favorite to lead the series in assists (-150), points (+125), and steals (+180). The Warriors are led by guard Stephen Curry, who averaged 25.3 ppg.

Cleveland gave up 56 points in the paint.

Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving shoots during an NBA basketball practice, Wednesday, May 31, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. And he is doing it often.

There were a handful of times Cleveland was more focused on Curry and the 3-point shooters, but Durant made them pay with six first-half dunks.

The Golden State Warriors can take a comfortable 2-0 series lead before heading to OH for game three. The Cavaliers were the second-worst defensive team in the National Basketball Association after the all-star break, and they looked to be about the same quality in this one.

This is what fans wanted.

If Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr feels well over the next few days without any setbacks, there remains some optimism he could coach Sunday in Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, sources told ESPN.

Many of Durant's biggest naysayers said he would fold under the pressure of going up against LeBron and defer to Stephen Curry on offense. Cleveland's front office brought him in for one reason: make three pointers.

Like the Warriors, the Cavaliers enter this year's Finals healthy. Golden State will try to keep him in check with Draymond Green, one of the league's best and most versatile defenders.

Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals had the kind of sloppy start one would expect given that both teams hadn't played an important game since Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. True, Curry has got a long way to go before donning face fur the likes of James Harden, but at least now he's able to sport a look that comes without pity.

Cheer up, Cleveland. It's just one game.

It was probably some point between Durant going coast to coast for an uncontested dunk and Steph Curry using an inside-out escape dribble and knocking down a pull-up 3-pointer from the wing that it dawned on us: Woah, the Warriors have Curry AND Durant. But it could be argued that was the only truly clutch shot even taken by a Warrior in the playoffs. The Cavaliers covered in the match as a -9.5-point favorite, while 237 combined points moved the game OVER for totals bettors. Cleveland's bench scored 20 points, but that figure was inflated by garbage time.

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