These 3 Game 1 highlights perfectly explain why the Warriors are so unstoppable
I’m not even mad, Cleveland. That’s amazing.
You were doing the right thing all along, even when it really, really seemed like you weren’t.
We all learned this together — the hard way — on Thursday night. Three plays I’m thinking of from Game 1 of the NBA Finals perfectly illustrate why the Golden State Warriors are the most unstoppable force in sports right now.
First, look at this clip shared on Twitter by the Warriors.
In the first half of their blowout over the Cavs, Kevin Durant started a fast break. He got a wide open dunk because Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and LeBron James got out of Durant’s way to make sure he couldn’t pass the ball to Steph Curry for a three-pointer.
Now, anyone who knows anything about basketball realizes Irving and James broke a cardinal rule of defense: Stop the ball! You always, always stop the ball first.
But, a couple minutes later, the EXACT same thing happened. Here’s Durant running the floor — only to get another wide open dunk because Cleveland’s J.R. Smith gets out of his way to check Curry instead. Here’s another clip via the Warriors.
Again: WHAT ARE YOU GUYS DOING? STOP THE BALL! THIS IS BASKETBALL 101 AND KEVIN DURANT IS ONE OF THE BEST PLAYERS IN THE WORLD. SO: STOP THE BALL!
Welp. Here comes the plot twist.
Those two plays happened in the first half. In the second half, Durant drove to the basket again. Again, it was during a fast break. This time, however, the Cavs stepped up to stop the ball.
Good job! Durant didn’t get a wide-open dunk for two points this time. But he passed the ball to Curry — who hit a three-pointer. @RealGM captured the moment and shared video on Twitter.
Turns out the Cavs were right all along to give Durant wide-open fast break dunks just to stop the risk of Curry hitting a three in transition.
That is completely absurd. To recap: The Warriors are so good, so offensively dangerous, that breaking one of basketball’s simplest defensive rules is actually the best way to try to contain them.
That’s why Golden State looks unstoppable right now. That’s why Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue called Golden State “the best I’ve ever seen” after Thursday’s Game 1 whooping.
When your coach is calling the other team the best he’s ever seen — after the first game of a best-of-seven series, no less —you know it’s bad.
Of course, this ain’t over yet. We all know what happened last year. But with Durant on the Warriors now — and with the three plays above showing bright-as-day why he and Curry together are essentially impossible to guard — a Golden State title sure looks likely.
Even Cleveland’s coach admitted that on Thursday night.