Warriors To Take Commanding Lead In Finals

The Golden State Warriors made a statement in game one of the NBA Finals, dominating the Cleveland Cavaliers on the court.

Kevin Durant, who signed for the Bay Area outfit in the aftermath of their defeat to Cleveland in the title game last season, proved to be a decisive figure scoring 38 points for Steve Kerr’s men.

The depth of quality offered by the Warriors overwhelmed the Cavaliers at crucial points in the tie, with their bench failing to ease the pressure on their main men.

LeBron James was not operating at the peak of his powers, which left the rest of the Cavaliers exposed, slipping to a 22-point defeat at Oracle Arena.

Cleveland need an immediate response in game two to wrestle back the initiative in the Finals. They overhauled a two-game deficit in the series last year, but this Golden State side are unlikely to rest on their laurels in their desperation to reclaim their crown.

James and Irving were not at their accurate best on offense – so there is plenty of room for improvement – although the raucous nature of the home crown did appear to knock the visitors off their stride.

Should the Bay Area outfit be allowed to run the rule on the court once again – they will be heading to Cleveland for game three of the series with a two-game lead.

As a result, the onus is well and truly on Tyronn Lue’s men to issue a response. We’ll now break down the contest using the latest betting odds.

Golden State Warriors

Durant dominated in game one

The contest could not have gone more to plan for the Warriors as they dominated from the off, putting the Cavaliers under immense pressure under their own rim.

Durant came out of the blocks like Usain Bolt, dominating his counterpart James at both ends of the court. He won their personal duel being clinical in the final third, while performing his defensive duties well enough to stifle the All-Star.

Should the 28-year-old maintain his high standard of play – the Warriors could well sweep the series, while Durant will claim the Finals MVP. His accuracy was spot on throughout the evening, while every decision he made seemed to be correct one.

There will be pressure on his to match his performance, but when the 2014 MVP is in this sort of form there are few players that can match his production.

By his lofty standards Steph Curry had a quite outing in game one, notching 28 points and 10 assists. His display was one of the reasons why Durant was able to dominate in such a way, along with Klay Thompson alongside him.

Their distribution was outstanding throughout the contest, picking out the forward in space with regularity. In the second half when the Cavaliers closed attempted to cut the service off to Durant – it opened up room for Curry to dispatch threes from the perimeter, hitting over 50% of his attempts.

The danger posed by the potent attacking trio means that the Cavaliers are limited in their defensive capabilities.

Thompson had an underwhelming outing from the perimeter, but with focus turning to Durant and Curry in game two – his time could well come and he will have thrive for the Warrior to take a 2-0 lead to Quicken Loans Arena.

Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron was not quite at his peak

Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The scenario where the Cavaliers could lose heavily played out in real time in game one. James was not quite at his best on the night, and although Irving and Love held up their end of the bargain, Lue’s men got little support from their bench to alleviate the pressure.

LeBron still managed to score 28 points, but his accuracy was not quite at the level it needed to be, hitting nine out of his 20 FG attempts. From deep he made only two out of his six three-pointers.

The 32-year-old’s distribution was not quite on form, allowing the Warriors to break with speed, with Durant allowed on more than one occasion a free run at the rim.

Due to the quality and depth possessed by the Warriors, he has so little margin for error and his side will need him to post scores in the 30s to match the production of Durant and Curry. James is known for rising to the occasion and the fact that his side are one down in the series will not deter him.

However, it is vital that the Cavaliers receive support from the bench. Kyle Korver struggled in his 19 minutes on the court, missing all of his six attempts at the basket, while Deron Williams also recorded a blank.

These players cannot afford to miss their chances to accumulate points to alleviate the strain on the big three as LeBron, Irving and Love cannot do everything against a star-studded team.

Love was excellent in his defensive duties, mopping up in and around the rim with 21 rebounds. If he continues to gain possession and his team-mates begin to fire then the series could turn back towards the Cavaliers, with the need for a big performance at Oracle Arena on Sunday.

Betting Options

The Warriors were imperious in the first match of the series even without a contribution from Thompson, while Curry was not quite at the peak of his powers – albeit he was still effective.

The home crowd had a big effect on the contest as Golden State and they were able to channel that support into a fine performance. The onus will be on them to back up their efforts to put the pressure well and truly on the Cavaliers ahead of their cross-country trip to Cleveland.

Kerr’s side benefitted from the depth of their talent and that shows no sign of stopping in the game three – therefore backing the Bay Area outfit at odds of -400   with Marathon Bet.

This contest should be closer than the first match – so taking the +5.5 at odds of +150   with Paddy Power would also be worthwhile, with the potential of a response from LeBron.

Thompson may also find his form in game two and backing him to score over 16.5 points at odds of -130   is a solid option with Bet365.

Tips Summary

Golden State Warriors To Beat Cleveland Cavaliers Game One
Sunday 4th June 2017 20:00 ET (Monday 5th June 2017 1:00 BST)
Odds: -400

Cleveland Cavaliers To Cover +5.5 Spread
Sunday 4th June 2017 20:00 ET (Monday 5th June 2017 1:00 BST)
Odds: +150

Klay Thompson To Score Over 16.5 Points
Sunday 4th June 2017 20:00 ET (Monday 5th June 2017 1:00 BST)
Odds: -130

Cleveland Cavaliers
Golden State Warriors
Kevin Durant
LeBron James
NBA Finals

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