With ABC airing the highest rated Game 1 of a NBA finals ever, the event defiantly lived up to all the hype. It was an exciting and well fought game with the Warriors coming out on top in overtime 108-100.
One of the bigger stories was the injury to Kyrie Irving. With two minutes remaining in the game, Irving was driving to the basket and collapsed to the floor holding his left knee which has been bothering him. He eventually was brought to the locker room and looked visibly upset as he hobbled towards the back. It was later confirmed that Irving suffered a fractured left knee cap that would require surgery causing him to miss 3-4 months. This will be a huge blow for the Cavs’ as Irving is their primary ball handler and second leading scorer.
Who will be the next man up?
Now that Kyrie will be out for the finals, the question is who will fill the void as the Cavs’ second option? J.R. Smith played well in the first half with 9 points, but went on to go 0-6 in the second half. Smith is a very confident player that can take over a game and can put up points in a hurry. If the Cavs’ are going to make this a series, they need J.R. to be more consistent.
Who will take over the point guard duties?
Matthew Dellavedova is expected to start at point guard with Lebron James assuming the role of power forward. Iman Shumpert, who played point guard at Georgia Tech, will also be called upon to run some point. The Cavs’ bench isn’t as deep as the Warriors so players like Mike Miller, James Jones and Shawn Marion are going to have to play quality minutes.
Can the Cavaliers pull it off?
- Lebron James is the best player in the world, but even the best player needs some help. He scored a finals career high of 44 points and they still lost in overtime. The Warriors are deeper, faster and have plenty of options to make guarding them very difficult. The Warriors also play tenacious defense and create a lot of turnovers. James is going to have take over each game and play at a higher level if the Cavs’ want to win the finals. Cleveland is facing a uphill battle, even tho only one game has been played, I think the Warriors are going to come out strong behind the loud and enthusiastic crowd at Oracle Arena. I wouldn’t count out King James quite yet.