The highly anticipated regular season rematch between the Warriors and the Cavaliers took place last night in Oracle Arena. The first matchup of the season between these rivals took place on Christmas day, a game in which the Warriors blew a 4th quarter lead, and watched as Kyrie Irving hit the game winning shot once again. A loss like that had to leave a sour taste in the mouth's of the Golden State players. It certainly looked that way last night with the passion and heart that Golden State played with. Cavaliers on the other hand looked like they were geared up to play just another regular season game, that's where I think they went wrong. The Warriors had lost 4 straight to the Cavs going back to last year's NBA Finals matchup, so the Warriors absolutely needed to win this one at home against the Cavs to restore some confidence. I'm not saying the Cavs needed to win this game because obviously no matter what they have the upper hand since Golden State blew a 3-1 lead, but they really could've kicked the Warriors in the nuts if they were to beat them for a 5th straight time. Unfortunately, that was not the case, what's even more unfortunate, the way the game actually played out.
From the opening tip to the final buzzer the Warriors absolutely dominated the Cavaliers. I mean it was never close, even when the score was 0-0 the Warriors had the intensity advantage from the start, and it showed. The Warriors offensively in the first half of this game were dominate, so dominate I've never been so awe-inspired by a group of 5 guys playing basketball. That is extremely high praise from someone that hates everything about the Warriors with a burning passion. The passing was crisp, the movement without the ball was outstanding, and the Warriors ability to find and hit open shots was impeccable. Truly amazed watching them absolutely dismantle the Cavaliers attempt at playing defense. Lebron James usually know for being the best transition player in the game was bested by Kevin Durant last night as he led the charge for the Warriors in transition most of the night. Warriors were playing great basketball, building a huge lead, and that's when things began to get a little chippy.
Midway through the second quarter Lebron was dribbling up the court on a fastbreak, Kevin Durant was sliding to step in front, and as Lebron went to change direction he caught a clothesline from hell from Draymond Green. Lebron added a little bit of his acting flair to it, making it look far more dramatic, but nonetheless it was still a flagrant foul by definition, and I think Draymond knew exactly what he was doing. I don't think he cared that he was going to get a flagrant against him, I think he just wanted to hit Lebron with a tough foul to send a message, and ultimately I believe it worked. He wanted to show the Warriors ain't soft, I don't even know if that was necessary with the suffocating defense KD and Draymond were playing last night, along with the 15 point lead after just one quarter, but this is Draymond we're talking about, he's not the brightest light in the chandelier. All around I believe last night was the best I ever seen the Warriors play, it also might've been the worst I've ever seen the Cavs play, so ultimately I don't know what to take away from this game. Did the Cavs play awful simply because the Warriors were that good, or was it just one of those nights where the other team doesn't miss, your team gets discouraged, and it all falls apart. That very well could've been the case, all I know is I wouldn't cling to this game as a look ahead to what's in store for the future. For one, we all know playoff basketball is a different animal and brings a different intensity level out of everyone. Secondly, it's not very often that the team you're playing against will shoot 15% higher than you from the field, just so happened it was one of those nights where the Warriors couldn't miss. Cavs still have the edge in this rivalry, even after an embarrassing blowout loss like this. I mean how embarrassing is this in comparison to blowing a 3-1 lead in the finals. Exactly, Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers will bounce back from this ugly loss no problem.