Two games in, and the much-awaited tiebreaker between the NBA champions of the last two years—the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers—has been all about the team from the Bay. Here are three takeaways from the NBA Finals, so far:
10 It’s been an old-school beatdown.
If you think that there could be a repeat of the 3-1 collapse of the Warriors last year, then you are what we call delusional. This Warriors team is entirely different from last year: they added Kevin Durant this offseason, which was like equipping a bazooka to a fire-breathing dragon.
Durant, the bazooka added to a fire-breathing dragon. Photo credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP
They also have a healthy Stephen Curry, and two polarizing centers in Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee—one has a nasty “ankle-breaker” who can’t dunk while the other just dunks everything.
With LeBron James already doing LeBron James things and they’re still losing by at least 20 points in both games, it seems we’re looking at a sweep. It’s a stretch to have the Cavs win one game, and it should be considered a miracle for them to win two games.
LeBron drives against the entire Warriors squad. Photo credit: Ben Margot, AP
2)It’s been less than entertaining.
The most entertaining storyline in Game 1 was Rihanna vs Kevin Durant, which was unsettling because a) it turns out there wasn’t even a Rihanna vs Kevin Durant storyline (the woman sitting beside the pop star was the one who shouted “briiick”) and b) the promised storyline was Curry vs Kyrie Irving; Kevin Love vs Draymond Green; LeBron vs KD; and Zaza vs Tristan Thompson.
Rihanna proves her loyalty, loyalty, loyalty to The King in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Photo credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP
In Game 2, what was talked about was LeBron’s postgame comments, which, again, was unsettling because we’re talking about postgame comments. Where’s the promised WWE match in the paint? Where’s the LeBron vs Dray trash talk? Where’s the Kyrie vs Steph showdown? Where is JR Smith? Seriously, where is JR Smith? Is he even playing? Where’s Matthew Dellavedova when you need him?
3) It’s LeBron or nothing for the Cavs.
You know that feeling when a big movie is hyped up and it gets you all excited? You circle the date of its release and you can’t wait to watch it. But it turns out to be a dud. Yeah, well, that’s what is happening for this year’s NBA Finals. It's not that it’s boring, it's just that the protagonist (or antagonist depending on your allegiance) is not putting up much of a fight. LeBron is definitely swinging away and doing everything he can to keep the Cavs close, but it just isn't enough.
You know that scene in Rocky 3 where Clubber Lang destroys incumbent champ Rocky? Yeah, well, the Dubs are Clubber Lang and unfortunately for the Cavs, no training montage can bring them back from this beating. In our best Lang voice: I pity the fool who thinks the Cavs can come back.
Klay Thompson tries to stand in front of a streamroller. Photo credit: Scott Strazzante, The Chronicle
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It is great