Cavs Have Been Here Before, but Discipline Is More Vital Than Ever vs. Warriors
OAKLAND, Calif. — How appropriate that an NBA Finals with all the gritted teeth and bad blood of a heavyweight prize fight would begin with announcer Michael Buffer commanding us to get ready to rumble. And rumble these teams did, at least for two quarters.
By the middle of the third quarter of an eventual 113-91 beatdown, the Cleveland Cavaliers were less Rocky and more the chicken he has to chase during those interminable training montages—running just for the sake of it. If you require a more contemporary reference, the Golden State Warriors were Mickey Gall and the Cavaliers were CM Punk’s face.
On a night when Cleveland surrendered 20 inexcusable turnovers, gave up six first-half dunks to Kevin Durant alone and failed to close lanes from start to finish, we must ask how a team this good can (yet again) seem this outmatched. We’ve been here before. In fact, we’ve been here twice. The Cavs have now gone 0-3 in NBA Finals Game 1s against Golden State. Yes, one of those went to overtime, but they’ve now dropped all three by an average margin of 15 points.