What We Learned: Cavs vs Warriors
The Cavs took care of business in what could be an NBA Finals preview against the Warriors. The Warriors have the best record in the league, but the Cavs were clearly the better team on the court. Here’s what we learned from Cleveland’s statement win:
• The Cavs can play defense against a good team! Cleveland has slowly turned a negative into a positive. If I would’ve told you a little over a month ago the Cavs would hold the Warriors to under a 100 points and to 42% from the field you would’ve thought I was crazy, but that’s exactly what the Cavs defense did on Thursday night. The Warriors came into this one first in the league in points, assists, field goal percentage and 3 pointers. But they didn’t look that way against Cleveland.
• The Warriors can’t make free throws. Golden State was 10-19 from the line on Thursday night. That’s awful for any team let alone the team that boasts of having the best offense in the league.
• The Cavs have too many weapons. We saw at the end of the game when the entire defense collapsed on LeBron. LBJ made an unbelievable pass to a wide open Kevin Love who knocked down a three to ice the game. There are just too many weapons for teams to defend them all. Someone inevitably is going to be left open. Tonight Love was the one that knocked down the big shot. Who knows who it will be next game? That’s the best part about this team.
• Kyrie Irving can have 24 points, and it’s not even a big deal. He’s having a terrific season and is making games like this look routine.
• The Cavs can win in their navy blue uniforms. I was a little skeptical after we lost our first game against the Knicks while wearing them.
• The Cavs can score 110 points, and only get 14 of those points from the bench. It wasn’t a good day from the bench. They weren’t able to provide anything offensively. But at the end of the day does it really matter how many points your bench scores when the starters score 96 points? I don’t think it does. Also Coach Blatt went with a short bench. He wanted this one badly, and you could tell. I expect the bench to have a bigger impact on the game Friday against the Pacers.
• Kendrick Perkins averages a foul a minute. Just give him time to adjust. Don’t overreact yet Cavs Nation.
• LeBron is the best scorer from Akron. Last summer, Steph Curry told the Dan Patrick Show that he was a better scorer than LeBron. Curry was brought back to reality on Thursday night. The Akron native finished with a pedestrian 18 points on 5 of 17 shooting. Curry couldn’t get it going all game. He fittingly ended the game for the Warriors with an air ball. LeBron, on the other hand, went for a season high 42 points and was unstoppable. He showed us why he still is the best player in the league. You can’t convince me that Curry is a better scorer or player than LeBron. I have nothing against Curry. He is having an amazing season. He has taken the Warriors to heights they have never been before, but he’s not LeBron. We do know that the league’s best two scorers are from Akron, but as it stands Curry is a distant 2nd.
• Games like this are why LeBron came home. This game had a playoff atmosphere to it from the start. This is what we hoped would happen when LBJ announced his decision to come back home. If you didn’t believe the Cavs were going to win it all before Thursday’s game, you should reconsider. The Cavs have had statement wins this season, but I believe they took it to a new level on Thursday night against the Warriors. They showed that they can outscore the best offense in the league while playing solid defense. Think back a year ago when the Q was usually half empty and nobody cared about the Cavs. Now just a year later we could be the favorites to win it all. This is why the King returned to reclaim his throne.
Player of the Game – LeBron James: The King was unstoppable. He finished with 42/5/11.
The Cavs will be back in action Friday night against the Pacers. Let’s keep the good times going.
– Jackson Flickinger
pic credit Cleveland.com