While it sounds daunting that 70 percent of teams that win Game 1 of the NBA Finals win the NBA title, that leaves ample elbow room for the greatest player on the planet and the defending world champions to redeem themselves.
The Cavs gave the Warriors running opportunities by turning the ball over and by missing a lot of shots, which can ignite a fast break the other way.
Oh and while they're at it, maybe figure out what to do about Kevin Durant.
His teammate Steph Curry, up on the podium alongside him, leaned back and said, "don't get into that trap". While that number isn't the sexiest, when you consider some of the teams James has taken to the championship round, it becomes a little easier to stomach. That Golden State, of all teams, would keep the turnover column so clean is an especially cruel twist. No team in National Basketball Association history posted a higher effective field goal percentage than Golden State did this season, meaning they have literally wrung more value from every shot than any team the league has ever seen. J.R. Smith, perhaps the most unpredictable player in the series, must do better than four shots, three points, and two turnovers.
And it works both ways. In the first round of the 2016 playoffs against the Houston Rockets, Curry suffered a sprained MCL, and he didn't look like himself in the NBA Finals.
Golden State knows never to get complacent. Very true. But, let's remember a few things beyond last year's historic comeback.
"The goal is to lock in", he said, "every 48 minutes".
"They're the best I ever seen", Lue said, flatly, during his postgame rema.
Kerr missed Game 3 of the Warriors' first round series against the Portland Trail Blazers, and revealed that he would be unable to coach in the postseason until his back was feeling better.
Golden State's four turnovers tied an NBA Finals low.
Warriors: Coach Steve Kerr had hoped to feel well enough to return to the bench but stayed behind the scenes in the locker room as he continues to deal with complications from back surgery almost two years ago. We, the under-stimulated fans, care, even if Durant says he doesn't.
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