I’ve decided to switch things up for the NBA Finals and try something new. Instead of waiting till after a game or two, I’ll be doing a “Running Diary” for each game for this NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. How it works is simple, throughout the game I will reacting to things going on, what I see and what to look for, among many other things. So buckle up, this is probably the Finals I would want to see most if the Bulls weren’t in it. Alas.
You can break this down as much as possible, but you can work your way around it. It’s Steph vs. LeBron. The Shooter vs. The King. Will Steph drown the world with his incredibly wet jumper? Or will LeBron unleash the “LeBron Top-5 greatest player ever” LeBron these Finals? That’s what it will ultimately come down to, as it rightfully should. Two fan bases who have suffered for a Championship for a record amount of years, tip-off can’t come soon enough.
Prediction for Game 1: GSW 103 Cleveland 98
BY THE WAY…
1st Quarter 12:00: ORACLE ARENA IS REALLY LOUD.
9:36. GSW 4 CLE 3:
The Warriors faithful has yet to sit down, this crowd is incredible.
6:44. GSW 8 CLE 9:
Both teams have forgotten how to shoot after a week-long break between games. Everyone but LeBron James looks to be trying to shake some rust off, but we all expected this because LeBron is a different bread of human that came from the same foreign galaxy also home to Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and the rest of the all-time greats.
4:53. GSW 11 CLE 13:
Tristan Thompson is a human pogo-stick right now. Dominating the boards on both ends, not letting anybody get anything easy in the paint. He has the potential to be Dennis Rodman with a better offensive game. GSW 3-15 from the field and Kyrie is outplaying Curry so far, as well as guarding Curry more than I thought he would, something to keep an eye on.
2:54. GSW 13 CLE 19:
Kyrie has come to play tonight, and my guess is for the rest of the series. These two are incredibly similar point guards and Irving is out to prove that he is MVP material as well.
End of the 1st Quarter: GSW 19 CLE 29
The Splash Brothers change their name to the Brick Bros after that 1st quarter performance. The Warriors shoot an ugly 29% from the floor. Meanwhile the Cleveland LeBron’s are not missing like their playing in Chicago right now, LBJ has 12 and J.R. Smith can’t stop thinking about the Cleveland parade/party that would ensue if they win a championship, while keeps knocking down 3’s. Warriors are relying on the energy of Barnes, Iguodala and Leandro Barbosa to keep them at bay…
My pun game is in Championship form tonight.
2nd Quarter 7:46. GSW 27 CLE 31:
Mo Speights has ignited the Warriors, although this should not come to be a surprise to just about anyone who has watched the Warriors all year long. He is one of the best instant low-post offense off the bench there is in the NBA. For Cleveland, LeBron has complete control of this game like it’s a February road game in Charlotte. Someone remind him it’s the Finals and he shouldn’t be making it look this easy.
4:36. GSW 36 CLE 36:
Mo Speights is running the show in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, let that sink in. The Roaracle Arena is in full gear then Steph Curry buried a three ball from the corner he has missed something like a total of one shot in the playoffs (13-14). Timeout Cleveland, but that Curry is in the microwave and it’s heating up.
End of the 2nd Quarter. GSW 48 CLE 51:
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have set the Bay area into oblivion in the last 5 minutes. Steph doing Steph things, Klay not missing and Draymond Green dunking on the entire Cleveland roster. Meanwhile LeBron is still scoring like he is being guarded by anyone on the Lakers roster. And of course J.R. Smith knocks down a catch-and-shoot 3 with a hand in his face to end the 2nd quarter. This Finals has me all hot and bothered and only 24 minutes have been played. A few things for the second half:
- Steph Curry continuing to not miss. (4-4 from the field, 10 points in the 2nd)
- J.R. Smith continuing to not miss. (3 3-pointers)
- LeBron continuing to do everything and as well, not miss. (19 [easy] points) No one on the Warriors can guard him.
- Golden State’s bench really weathered the storm well with Iguodala and Speights when Cleveland looked to be in complete control before the ‘Bros came in. That’s huge for them, even when Cleveland is winning big (were up 14) they were never going to break away.
- Mozgov has outplayed Bogut on both ends, defending the paint and grabbing rebounds and stuffing them back in.
- LeBron guarding Steph is coming, stay tuned.
- Also, food for thought: The Warriors passed up a dunk for a three. Welcome to the 21st Century NBA Finals.
For the record, Klay got another chance this possession and drained it.
I need a shower, but am I ready for the 2nd half. What say you Steph?
3rd Quarter 8:57 GSW 52 CLE 59:
Kyrie Irving is not backing down. Steph has the crowd in his pocket and is making shot after shot but so is Irving and none of them have been easy shots so far. Meanwhile, Klay cannot guard him which is a serious issue for Golden State moving forward. Also a problem: Mozgov is beasting Bogut down low and I’m going to continue to bring that up because it is a big issue.
6:03 GSW 59 CLE 63:
LeBron is very athletic.
MOZGOV and THOMPSON (11 rebounds so far) have destroyed the Warriors on the offensive glass right now, second chances galore. Timofey has 10 points, 5 rebounds and Bogut’s stat line is nowhere to be found. LeBron has 25 points in 27 minutes, living in the post, mid-range and free throw line. His 3-point shot is still non-existent.
End of the 3rd Quarter. GSW 73 CLE 73:
So LeBron has a Bay’s worth of points right now. 31 points on 12/25 shooting, while Curry has 18 and Klay 14. But the story is still LBJ who has brought the entire repertoire to the Oracle tonight. Jump shot, attacking the rim, back to the basket etc. etc. It’s beautiful basketball. The stars are shining, the benches are coming up big. Both teams are maximizing their strengths (Cleveland on the glass and Golden State depth/3-point shooting.
On to the 4th we go, take a quick breath if you can.
4th Quarter 8:47. GSW 78 CLE 77:
Steve Kerr calls Andre Iguodala his “security blanket” off the bench and the U of A alum is happy that his U of A alum is bringing his game tonight with a crucial 11 points off the bench. Meanwhile Irving has 19/7/5 so far and has looked eons better after 8 days of rest.
6:29. GSW 82 CLE 86:
LeBron has 37 points, tying his career high in a playoff game (Game 7, 2013 Finals) and there is still more than 6 minutes left. We are all witnesses.
2:53. GSW 94 CLE 93:
Wow. LeBron has 39 and Kyrie 23 vs. Curry’s 20 and Klay 19. This is basketball at it’s finest. LeBron is the ultimate equalizer in any game they’re “underdogs” but most of all, Steph Curry has arrived to the 4th quarter:
1:50. 96 All.
LeBron hits a 3, he’s been shooting 19% from deep this postseason.
“I’m from the Bay Area.”
He has 42.
31 seconds left. GSW 98 CLE 98:
STEPH WITH THE GO AHEAD JUMPER. MOZGOV GOES FOR THE POSTER, FAILS AT IT. HE HEADS TO THE LINE AND NAILS BOTH. SO MANY EMOTIONS RIGHT NOW.
24 seconds left. 98 All:
Curry drives to the hoop and Irving denies him from behind. Kryie!!! I’m telling you this Finals is beyond personal to him, he feels he is just as good. LeBron’s ball now, here we go.
OVERTIME OVERTIME OVERTIME LET’S GO.
OT 5:00. 98 All:
Curry vs. LeBron all the way home.
OT 2:02 GSW 105 CLE 98:
Curry has all 4 points from the free throw line after two straight possessions where he has gotten Thompson and Irving to bite on pump fakes. Cleveland can’t find the hoop if it was in front of them, Harrison Barnes nails a corner pocket trey and the Roaracle has officially taken the crown from the Seattle 12’s. Meanwhile, Irving limps off the court and headed to the locker room. Awful break for him and the Cavs.
BALL GAME GSW 108 CLE 100:
Warriors take Game 1 behind Curry’s 26 and Klay’s 21 which powers Golden State through overtime. LeBron was absolutely incredible with 44/8/6 and Irving dropped 26 points and 8 assists, but left overtime limping off the court which is a huge storyline moving forward. Harrison Barnes and Andre Igoudala were big time for GSW as well. Best Game 1 in Finals history? I don’t know, but I need to change my pants and rest up for Game 2, so should you.