by Yusuf Gadlin
The Golden State Warriors prevailed in Game 1 of the NBA Finals 108-100 over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Golden state superstar Stephen Curry had a stellar game with 26 points and 8 assist. His Splash Brother, Klay Thompso, had a smooth 21 points, including some perfect technique three pointers that surely made wanna be three point specialist jealous.
But the hero on this day belonged to Golden state’s key bench player Andre Igoudala who had 15 points and at times made LeBron James night difficult. Igoudala veteran presence was on full display as he was all over the court with energy, even hitting a three pointer with a shoe missing. Golden State’s bench was the key reason they won this game. They embarrassed Cleveland’s bench with a 34 -9 scoring edge and clearly made a statement ; that this bench is ready to deliver the goods when called upon.
On the other side. LeBron James lost his sidekick Kyrie Irving to a fractured Knee cap. OUCH. Irving has been the true definition of a soldier battling through injuries the entire playoffs, But in the end playing a now scrutinize 43 minutes only assured a possibility of Kyrie sustaining devastating injury. Before the injury that now has Irving out of these NBA finals, Irving was simply sensational scoring 23 points and looked to be in full control of this game from the point guard position. There is no way Cleveland can replace Kyrie Irving production, So there championship hopes have now taken a major hit. Cleveland must now rely on its leader King James more than ever before. LeBron, who had 44 points on 38 shots looked unstoppable most of this game. But the fact is with his bench producing a measly 9 points, there is only so much that LeBron can do.
What to look for in Game 2.
Golden state has a chance to put Cleveland away mentally. If Golden state comes out with intensity and focus as if they never played game one, then this series will be over in no time. I would like to see the MVP of the NBA Stephen Curry step on Cleveland’s neck with a MVP performance, something along the lines of 40 points and 10 assist will assure that Golden state will win the NBA championship. As for Cleveland, all eyes will be on Lebron James but his eyes will be on his teammates. I’m looking for the Cleveland’s fiery J.R. Smith to rebound from a disastrous performance. Smith scored all of Cleveland’s nine bench points, and if that happens again this series is over. I’m looking for 25 points from J.R. as he is more than capable of surpassing that total. If Cleveland wants to win game 2, it will take a team effort in every since of the word. If the Cleveland players think that Lebron James can carry them to the title against these Warriors without showing up, they are sadly mistaken. A NBA title is on the line, Cleveland’s bench must show up in Game 2 or watch the the Warrior’s bench celebrate with the Championship in a couple of days.