Even before Game 1 of the Finals, everyone already had the Cavs written off, stating there is no chance they can take one game from the heavily-favored Warriors, let alone win a series.
That was before LeBron put together a 51-point performance. That was before Kevin Love showed he can be the All-Star he is supposed to be. That was before the Cavs were a George Hill free throw (or JR Smith lay up) from stealing Game 1 from the Warriors in Oracle Arena.
Now, people are talking. Can the Warriors be beaten? Will LeBron be able to continue performances like those? Does this Cavs team have a chance to win the Finals?
Now, we have a series on our hands.
The answer is yes. I know it is only one game, but that game proved a lot about both the Cavs and the Warriors. LeBron wasn’t just playing at LeBron status last night, he went above and beyond it. He scored his 51 points while shooting 60% from the floor and 40% from 3, and also tacked on 8 rebound and 8 assists. We are witnessing LeBron in (potentially) his best form ever and if he can play close to that level every game this series, the Cavs will have some kind of chance to beat the Warriors.
Kevin Love also showed up and showed out in Game 1, being the sidekick LeBron desperately needs. His 21 point, 13 rebound performance was exactly what the Cavs needed to take the pressure off LeBron.
All the Cavs players played halfway decent in Game 1, all the way up until the final seconds of regulation. George Hill hit his first free throw to tie the game up at 107, but it went downhill from their. JR Smith got an offensive rebound but seemingly forgot the score, leading him to dribble the clock out instead of shooting a contested layup over Kevin Durant. Overtime was owned by the Warriors. They couldn’t miss a shot and the Cavs must have forgotten how to score, leading to the Warriors winning Game 1.
Still, the Cavs are in a good position. When LeBron is incredible (which is often) and has a productive supporting cast (which is less often), the Cavs are dangerous. They will play on the road again Sunday and if they can take Game 2 before heading back to Cleveland, they just might be able to make this a series they can win.