June 23, 2017

Klay Thompson makes up for shooting slump on defensive end

05 June 2017, 08:24 | Jackie Morgan

Beyond The Mic: NBA Finals Game 1 Reaction, What Were You Expecting, Friends? [Opinion]

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant dunks against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland Calif. Thursday

It is what it is. We have to come out and be even more physical than we were in game one. They've lost Game 1 of the Finals to the Warriors three times in a row. Instead, this game felt like the start of a coronation for this reloaded superteam in Oakland.

"You can not simulate what they bring to the table", James, whose Cavaliers committed 20 turnovers in the loss, said after the game.

"Just getting a chance to see how they play, the style of play, how fast they play, you can't really simulate that in practices", said Lue. The simple fact is this: The Warriors have home-court advantage, so if the Cavaliers are to successfully defend their title they will have to win at least once in Oakland.

And after a team has been blown out in the playoffs, history shows that team typically tries to make a statement in Game 2 that things will be different.

Durant had six dunks, all in the first half. He also added eight rebounds, eight assists and no turnovers.

"As long as we continue to play our brand of basketball, continue to lock up on the defensive end, we should be just fine", said Green, who has been known to engage in some less than finesse play and noted, "I got [just] two techs and zero flagrants". But the rest of the team offered very little, combining for 7-for-31 shooting, 24 points and 20 rebounds.

The Warriors won 4-2 in 2015 for the franchise's first championship in 40 years.

What also remains uncertain is how the Cavaliers will fix the multitude of problems that ailed them in Game 1. It was the first team to ever recover from a 3-1 deficit in the finals.

And this year, it was Cleveland's turn to lose Bogut.

This year, the showdown seemed inevitable.

Acting coach Mike Brown has gone 11-0 in Kerr's place as the Warriors have swept the first three rounds of the playoffs and taken a 1-0 series lead in the NBA Finals.

The Cavaliers dusted their opponents as well.

Much remains uncertain about Game 2, starting with what Brown's role will be. "He was wonderful (in Game 1), and I expect nothing less in the rest of the games". James played well offensively, but struggled defensively, especially against Durant as did his team. In 14 games he has reached double-digit scoring just twice, and his high in shot attempts is nine.

"He's one of the best offensive rebounders in the league, so they're doing a good job of making sure they get two guys on him, two guys hitting his body to keep him off the glass", Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue said of Thompson's impact. The shoe was sold out near the midway point of the second quarter.

LeBron James had a simple explanation for what stood out in Game 1 of the NBA Finals: KD. "We would win. We just gotta worry about us, understand that no matter what they do, if we do what we're supposed to do, they can't beat us".

The Warriors guard scored only six points, and went a measly three of 16 overall in 36 minutes while missing all five from behind the arc.

If I had a nickel for every time the phrase, "there's just too much" was uttered by my CBS Sports colleagues during Game 2, I'd be able to afford the chains that Von Miller was wearing at Oracle.

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