NBA Finals Diary- Game 1 Recap

Well, that pretty much sucked.

But I warned you guys yesterday that you couldn't afford to give Shaun Livingston any good, decent or bad looks at the basket without paying a steep price. I also told you yesterday how the Cavs would attempt to out-run and out-gun the Warriors. How they'd play at breakneck pace and hoist up threes in their newly designed up tempo offense. How these Finals would set all kinds of 3-point attempt and make records and how beautiful the game would be to watch as athleticism met precision in a Finals to end all Finals.

Nailed 'em all!!

What a depressing night. And not only because it's clear I'm an idiot.

I mean, the Cavaliers watched Klay Thompson and Steph Curry score a COMBINED 20 points on a combined 8-27 from the floor and still got beat by nearly 20 points in Thursday's Game 1 in Oakland. Not one Warriors starter scored more than 16 points and those starters were 6-21 from beyond the arc.

And yet: 104-89 Warriors.


How'd that happen, you ask? Well, while Curry and Thompson were struggling offensively, the Warriors were making life on the offensive end miserable for the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers starters were 29/74 themselves on the night. They couldn't break the 40% mark from the floor. Kyrie Irving went all Russell Westbrook Thursday figuring if his shot was rarely going in, then he needed to take a hell of a lot more shots to make up for it.

LeBron James had more turnovers than free throw attempts. That's typically not the best indicator that you're about to bounce the defending world champs. Do you know just how many layups and bunnies the Cavaliers blew Thursday night? Well, neither do I, because I've entered post season radio/internet silence and ain't looking at the shot chart.

But it was a lot.

So, suffice it to say that losing that game last night with the Splash Brothers looking more like the Splat Brothers, that's tough to take. You're not likely to get that same game from those two guys again, although I do think Thompson could be weighed down by foul trouble for much of the series (which now clearly means he'll play whistle-free the rest of the series if my predictive abilities are any indication).

As for Steph, the question I have is this: If Steph sucks in a Warriors win, is he still hurt? Just asking. Because on nights when he throws in 15 points in five minutes or scores 40 in a Warriors win, I don't hear the people telling me he's hobbled and still only 70%. That usually only happens when he blows chunks and isn't making shots and the Warriors lose.

So what's the ruling when he shoots like Dion Waiters but the Warriors get a win? Someone should check into this.

The other key factor Thursday was the Cavs bench being outscored 45-10 by the Warriors. Channing Frye scored two freaking points. Which means the Cavaliers got a total of five freaking points from Frye and J.R. Smith combined. Smith, in what was probably the weirdest game he's ever played for the Cavaliers (and you KNOW that's saying a lot) took only three shots all night.  In 37 minutes. Three shots. He's typically taking his third shot on most nights before his warm-up jacket hits the floor.

But it was a weird flipping night. And, as I mentioned, it led immediately to radio silence. No Sportscenter afterward. No SVP and analysis from Oracle Arena. I turned on Investigation ID on Discovery channel and happily drifted off to sleep listening to detectives investigate the deaths of some college co-eds at the hands of a disturbed serial killer. I just needed something that wasn't as depressing as Livingston looking like prime years Kobe from 15 feet and something less gruesome than watching Love and LeBron turn the ball over eight times.

The one good thing? It's done and over. That game is gone and it means nothing other than a 1-0 series lead for the Warriors. If the Cavs get the next one then suddenly the narrative swings 180 degrees as they head back to Cleveland next week. And no matter what you saw last night, it won't make a difference Sunday night when they tip it off again in Game 2.

We tend to read more into these things than the players do. Just like we did last year when we were convinced losing a winnable Game 1 in overtime was the death knell for that shorthanded team. Then they came out and won Game 2. And then Game 3. At which time we were then convinced that Delly was the answer for Curry and that the Cavs actually had a shot to muck up the Warriors so bad with defense that they could win the series with 7 healthy players. And right when we did that the Warriors won the next three games and ruined that theory too.

So, clearly what we know is pretty much nothing. Other than the Cavaliers lost a game on a night when all things indicated they should have won it. And we know I'm not listening to any national radio shows until at least Monday. Because those guys know as little as we do, but they scream louder and hate harder than most.

Relax. Enjoy the weekend. Spend some energy supporting the Tribe as they take on the Royals again tonight after getting a huge walk-off win last night. Sunday will get here soon enough. And what we saw and felt last night won't have anything at all to do with what transpires in Game 2.

Thank God.
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