The Cavs came out in Game 1 and obviously struggled. One of the most glaring problems besides the turnovers was not being able to defend Kevin Durant. Nobody can shut down a superstar like KD, but he is containable. Here is how the Cavs might go about guarding him for the rest of the series.
Looking at KD and you can tell he is very skinny and clearly doesn’t have the bulk other players at his position have. The Cavs really need to exploit this and get physical with him off the ball which he clearly hates. Iman Shumpert is one of the Cavs’ scrappiest defenders and he should guard KD off the ball for multiple reasons. If Lebron does it he gets tired and can’t do as much on offense. Honestly, Iman is better for the job because he plays harder on the defensive end and is not needed as much on offense.
Even this will not be enough to stop Durant.
Say that Shumpert is denying and getting physical and Durant still gets the ball. They can’t leave him on an island and try to guard him which they did a lot with Richard Jefferson in Game 1. He simply doesn’t have the foot speed and even if he did he would not be able to stop him, it’s impossible 1 v 1. Whoever is guarding Zaza Pachulia and Draymond Green need to be farther in help side than they would normally be to help stop the drive. But whoever is guarding Steph Curry and Klay Thompson need to still be up on them because they will kill you from the outside all game long. But if Zaza and Draymond beat you from the outside, the Cavs will live with that.
You should expect the Cavs to come out with intensity on defense and try to make someone else besides KD and Curry beat them. If they can contain KD and limit the turnovers, we should be in for a competitive Game 2 and hopefully a series equalized going back to The Land.
Follow the author: @connorkelley0
Purchase our CST shirts by clicking this link!!! We now have three different colors available for your choosing as shown below!