LeBron says stopping Warriors' Durant will be tough

  • LeBron says stopping Warriors' Durant will be tough

LeBron says stopping Warriors' Durant will be tough

The teams are back at the Oracle Arena again on Sunday for the second match in the series, before the action heads to OH for two games. Coming into the series, they had the two highest effective field goal percentage marks in postseason history: 59.8 percent for Cleveland, 57.3 percent for Golden State. Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) defends a shot by Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) during the first half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, June 1, 2017.

Mike Brown planned to coach Game 1 of the NBA Finals as expected for the Golden State Warriors, with Steve Kerr likely watching again from behind the scenes as he deals with continued complications following back surgery almost two years ago.

Durant could sign a so-called "non-Bird" extension for up to four years, but a more likely scenario would have him sign another two-year deal, with a player option on the second year (similar to what LeBron James did in Cleveland for several years).

"I'm cool", he said. It is what it is. "We got to stop the ball first and then fan out to the 3-point line if those guys go there".

"But that's what stands out". The Warriors are back with a more formidable team after adding Kevin Durant, a healthier one after Stephen Curry was banged up last postseason, and not even LeBron James and the Cavs are given much chance of stopping them.

Durant was utterly dominant 11 months after leaving Oklahoma City last July to join the Warriors, while Curry found a groove once he removed the black sleeve from his shooting arm protecting his tender right elbow.

"Just getting a chance to see how they play, the style of play, how fast they play, you can't really simulate that in practices", said Lue. But if Game 1 proved anything, it's that Durant isn't along for the ride - he's the one who's going to take the Warriors to their second championship in three seasons. That's huge for us. Warriors players talk about gaining confidence in Brown - his game management, his substitution patterns. To have a game like that when he's playing that way, it's tough to beat.

Playing in his first Finals games since 2012, Durant wasted little time making a major impact.

KD has thrown down a handful of monster dunks during the outset of Game 1.

"K.D.", he said, referring to Durant. "That's what you dream about as a kid, is to play at the highest level". Players just aren't supposed to be doing that in their 14th season.

Durant provided a conundrum for Cleveland's defense.

Thanks to several wide-open dunks from Durant, the Warriors outpaced the Cavaliers, 56-30, in the paint. Golden State cruised through the playoffs and was in the driver's seat in the Finals.

The Warriors committed only one turnover in the half but failed to take full advantage of Cleveland's shortcomings, missing 35 shots (only eight fewer than the Cavaliers attempted), including 10 of their 13 3-point tries.

"The intensity level is off the charts, just in terms of the team competition and also the individual competitions on the court", said Thomas, now an analyst for NBATV who has recently started importing Cheurlin Thomas champagne from France. One year later, expect Green to use his frustration at last year's heartbreak to drive him to bring home the crown this year.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Stephen Curry spoke up, just in case his Golden State Warriors needed another reminder from their MVP and leader. "Like 'Bron said in his postgame presser, they've been right at the top, best team in the league three years straight now", Love said."They stepped it up a level in the playoffs defensively", Durant said of the Cavaliers. However Curry has failed to deliver memorable performances in his previous two Finals experiences, putting pressure on the star to deliver and redeem the teams failures a year ago. "You're not going to see insane celebrations".

So all of that recent history is the obligatory disclaimer as we look ahead after Game 1.