We are at the outset of the most anticipated and potentially greatest NBA Finals of all time with the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers meeting for an unprecedented third consecutive final (the Warriors took Game 1, 113-91 over the Cavs; Game 2 is Sunday, June 4). They are both at the top of their respective games, and have the rosters to keep up their historic performances. Eastern time on Thursday night, presumably because Durant will be in the starting lineup when Game 1 tips off 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. We got to figure out how to combat that, which is going to be a tough challenge for us. Then our ball movement and our flow allows everyone else to get baskets as well. "But we just got to play our game and the way we know how to play, and that's what's been successful for us".
With the addition this season of another potent scorer alongside Stephen Curry in Kevin Durant has made Thompson's offensive production a little less important than it has been in past years. "They're tipping out basketballs and they're getting it to their shooters on the 3-point line".
"We feel like we can play much better, especially offensively", Curry said. "He's grown and stepped up and been a better player off the ball, not turning his back on the ball". At one point Lue characterized thusly: "They're the best I ever seen". "But one game did allow Durant to not only show the Warriors how to beat the Cavaliers in these 2017 NBA Finals, but also shows the Dubs how they should have beat the Cavs a year ago".
"When we get stops, we have to get out", Lue said.
"It's not about me", Durant said.
Meanwhile, Cleveland, after finishing second-to-last in the National Basketball Association in defense after the all-star break, made mistakes a junior-varsity team would defensively in Game 1, allowing multiple uncontested dunks for Durant and often looking hopelessly lost at that end of the floor.
Thompson already seems to know he wasn't quite himself in Game 1.
Golden State's biggest undoing on the way to blowing a 3-1 lead in last season's NBA Finals is often credited to Draymond Green's Game 5 suspension for connecting with LeBron James' midsection, but the Warriors also lost Bogut - their best rim protector - in Game 5 to injury.
"It's awesome", Klay Thompson said.
The Cavs, likewise, had a 1.099 points per possession mark on transition plays in last year's Finals, the Warriors had just a 0.90 mark.
Thompson still puts fear in opponents, who still believe he could break out of this slump any time. I don't believe that. Kevin Durant had a lot of open dunks and the Cavs had no good option to defend him. "As players we do a pretty good job of being able to tune out noise and distractions and stuff on the fly when we need to be able to do what we do on the floor, but still enjoy the atmosphere of the stage that we're on". They're a great team in the half court, as far as loading up and taking away what they want to take away.