So, if you have an NBA fan in your life, you may have heard a little something about the NBA Finals starting up last night. We here at Let’s Talk are here to give you a break down for some of the things your fan will be talking about today. But first, here’s a little background on this year’s championship series.
The Golden State Warriors are again playing the Cleveland Cavaliers for the NBA championship. This is the third straight year they have faced each other, marking the first time in NBA history that two teams have played three straight years in the finals. The Warriors won in 2015 and the Cavs won last year. In a bit of good news, both teams are fully healthy for the first time, meaning that the losing team’s fans won’t be able to rue a player’s injury when their team loses (assuming a key injury doesn’t occur during the series).
Also, different from last year, the Warriors now have Kevin Durant on their team. Kevin Durant, for those of you who don’t know, has been arguably one of the top two or three players in the league for several years now. So, adding him to a team that won a record amount of games last season (and has Steph Curry) seems a bit unfair. It is his addition that makes the Warriors the favorites this season. But without ado, here are some of the top storylines from Game 1 last night, which the Warriors won 113-91.
1. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant made the finals in 2012 while playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder where they lost to LeBron James’ Miami Heat team. At the time, it seemed like the first of many appearances for the Thunder, as they were young, KD was an MVP candidate (and later won an MVP) and he had a talented roster (including future MVP candidates Russell Westbrook and James Harden, one of whom will likely win MVP for this season). But injuries, the trade of James Harden, and the rise of the Warriors basically destroyed that fledgling dynasty. KD jumped ship, joined the Warriors, and finally made it back to the finals. And he had an amazing game last night, looking like the best player on the floor in a game that included 2 time MVP Steph Curry and actual best player on the floor LeBron James.
2. Steph Curry
Steph Curry, whose last two signature shoes were completely roasted by the internet, debuted his newest signature shoes last night. He also had his best career game of the NBA Finals scoring 28 points and handing out 10 assists. He showed off his shoes after a particularly exciting 3-pointer thusly:
Steph Curry with the long 3 and the high step pic.twitter.com/UazxKT5BXB
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) June 2, 2017
3. The Cavs’ “Defense”
“Defense” is in quotes because the Cavs didn’t really seem to play any for large stretches of the game. The Cavs seemed so intent on stopping the Warriors from shooting 3s, that they repeatedly didn’t guard the guy with the ball, surrendering open dunk after open dunk.
Rihanna is a huge LeBron James fan, and her presence was felt throughout. First, on a play in the first quarter, LeBron James made a sensational dunk leading former NBA head coach and current NBA broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy to exclaim, “Rihanna just walked in front of me!” And later, after heckling Kevin Durant at the free throw line, Rihanna got stared down not once, but twice after KD made baskets. The game was pretty one-sided, so this is what we get to talk about.
“Rihanna just walked in front of me.” Jeff Van Gundy, the realest, out here willing to risk it all. pic.twitter.com/z2jTfiBYrh
— Sean Craig (@sdbcraig) June 2, 2017
5. The Kardashian Curse
I have no idea if people actually call it that, but the Kardashians have dated and/or married several NBA players throughout the years, especially Khloe Kardashian. Khloe began her run through the NBA, dating up and coming wingman Rashad McCants, who had this to say about his time with Khloe, “Without that situation in play, I’m a $60 (million to) $70 million player. Easily.” Instead, he was out of the league by the end of the year following their relationship.
Khloe Kardashian was then famously married to former NBA player Lamar Odom, whose career fizzled to an uninspiring end as his life spun completely out of control. And just last season Khloe dated James Harden, whose Rockets team was supposed to be a contender but instead barely made the playoffs thanks to a down year from Harden. They broke up, and James Harden went on to have an MVP caliber season (and may win it) this year and the Rockets were once again one of the top teams in the league.
Why is this imporant? Because Khloe Kardashian is currently dating Cleveland center and super important role player Tristan Thompson, who last night scored 0 points and grabbed only 4 rebounds while offering no rim protection and playing lackluster defense overall. Coincidence?
6. Team Specific Talking Points
Warriors: The Warriors played well and won by 21 points. However, even though the Warriors won bigly (thanks Trump), Klay Thompson and Draymond Green both struggled offensively for the Warriors, which means the Warriors just won by 21 points while two of their best four players didn’t do much offensively for them. Your fan is probably thrilled by this.
Cavaliers: The Cavs Big Three of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love all played really well last night. The role players did not. They are going to need them to play better and the Big Three will probably also need to be even better. Also, they need to play some defense. But the Cavs still have LeBron James, which means as lopsided as Game 1 was, the Cavs are still in good shape.
Hope this helps you talk about last night’s game. Game 2 is Sunday night, so see you Monday!