Man, does it feel good to be back behind the keyboard again, laying out my thoughts for all to read. Apologizes up front, due to school I have not been able to write AT ALL, since last September. But hey, I am a college grad now and therefore did something right during that time, right?…right?…
Well anyway, last night basketball fans saw Game One of the dream match up from this years NBA season, the Warriors vs. the Cavaliers, and by every stretch of the imagination, it lived up to the hype. LeBron showed everyone why he will be remembered as a top 10 player to grace this game, and the Warriors did what they have done all season, play like a team, and have fun doing it. For all intents and purposes, it was a fantastic game, one that we even got to see head into the OT, however, in OT is where this series may be wrapped up.
During the five minutes of extra play that followed the fourth quarters conclusion, the Cavs managed to score one basket (in garbage time I might add), and suffered a devastating blow. Kyrie Irving went down with about two minutes left in OT, aggravating his already unhealthy knee, and went to the locker room. He never returned to the game and after the games conclusion, he was seen leaving the arena on crutches. While the Cavs have ruled out an ACL/MCL injury, the injury is still bad, and Kyrie even said he was worried and this injury felt different (NBA.com).
So with everything that happened in OT last night, Kyrie going down for the foreseeable future, the Cavs looking gassed, and the Warriors looking more focused and gelled, the question begs, is this one over?
If I was a betting man, which I am not (remember college grad, so that equals I am poor), I would bet on this series being all but wrapped up for the Warriors. I do not want to jinx anything for you Warrior fans out there, but I cannot see them blowing this, and they will not. Assuming that the Cavs will lose Kyrie, I cannot see the Cavs coming back, even if Irving only sits for a game.
LeBron played like an absolute stud last night, and the Warriors started cold. In the first quarter the Warriors shot 27% from the field, with the Cavs shooting 44%. It was in the first quarter of this game that the Cavs needed to seize the opportunity and steal Game One from the Warriors. Both of their superstars were healthy and playing extremely well, and the Warriors started flat. However, the Cavs did not take advantage of the opportunity at hand, and it was because of the Warriors resilience that the final totals for the evening were close, and that regulation ended in a 98 all tie, eventually leading to the Warriors win in OT.
Regulation last night showed the world that this will be a great series to watch. OT showed this one is probably already over. The Cavs did not have enough in them to beat the Warriors in regulation, when they had more than enough chances to do so, with a healthy Kyrie and LeBron. Now, with Kyrie out until who knows when, and the Cavs being depleted of another star, or a decent bench thanks to the injury/trade acquisition of Kevin Love, the Cavs just will not have enough.
LeBron cannot do this alone, sure the Cavs were able to coast by the Bulls and Hawks with Dellavedova leading the team, but this is the Warriors. Unless Delly trips over his own feet, falls with a clenched fist and punches Curry in the face and takes him out of the series (now that is something I would put my money on, regardless of economic status, but do not worry, Delly is not a dirty player…), Delly will not stand a chance against Chef Curry.
With Thompson freed up from his defensive duties on Kyrie, one can expect a lot more double teams on LeBron, and I cannot see the rest of the Cavs stepping up to fill that void to keep the Warriors defensively honest. Then with Coach Blatt hating most of his bench, and rightly so, because only JR Smith can seem to score off it, LeBron will be struggling to find help from anywhere.
If the Warriors have learned anything from this first season under Coach Kerr, and have proved time and again, it is that when they smell blood, they finish the job. The Warriors are now smelling blood, and while the Cavs may steal a win away from the Warriors in either of their home games, I would be shocked to see this series go past five games without Kyrie Irving.
Thanks for reading and staying honest to The Post Up!
All stats and information courtesy of espn.com and nba.com