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"The Stack" 6-3-16

An unexpected hero emerged from game one of the NBA Finals: Shaun Livingston. While Curry and Thompson struggled with their shot, Livingston did not scoring 20 off the bench and being a catalyst for the Golden State Warriors as they won game one 104-89 over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
An unexpected hero emerged from game one of the NBA Finals: Shaun Livingston. While Curry and Thompson struggled with their shot, Livingston did not scoring 20 off the bench and being a catalyst for the Golden State Warriors as they won game one 104-89 over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
 

Game one of the NBA Finals is complete and I’m guessing the result changed some people’s opinions on how the series will play out and who will win.  The Stack is here with reaction to the game and maybe a couple of other topics sprinkled in so let’s get right to “the stack” for today, Friday, June 3rd:

 

Warriors take game one of Finals

 

What if I told you that Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined for only 20 points and the Golden State Warriors still beat the Cleveland Cavaliers by double digits?  Oh, also, the Cavaliers are at full strength with the trio of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love all healthy.  Would you believe me?  Would you tell me I must be on something and to take a hike?  Well it happened and the result could be an ominous sign as to how the rest of this series will play out for the Cavaliers.  As mentioned, Curry and Thompson combined to score just 20 points on 8-for-27 shooting including 4-for-13 from three point territory, but the Warriors still won 104-89 to take a 1-0 series lead. 

 

The Cavaliers didn’t play that great in the first half, particularly in the second quarter.  J.R. Smith was passive.  Yes, J.R. Smith didn’t take any shots!  OK, he took one, but still this guy shoots whenever he can.  The King I don’t think made a field goal in the second quarter.  Irving was not very good.  It was bad.  They could not take advantage of the off-night that both Curry and Thompson were having.  The main reason they could not take advantage is because the Warriors bench far and away outplayed the Cavaliers bench.  They outscored the Cavs 45-10 with Shaun Livingston and Leandro Barbosa leading the way.  These two were sensational.  Livingston was 8-for-10 from the floor and finished with 20 points while Barbosa was a perfect 5-for-5 with eleven points.  Remember who the MVP of the NBA Finals was last year?  It was Andre Iguodala and he was the right choice to win MVP.  He chipped in with 12 points.  The Cavs bench and basically everyone outside of James, Irving and Love were non-existent.  The trio combined for 66 of the team’s 89 points.  That can’t happen if the Cavs want to win this series.

 

Now to be fair, the Cavs did briefly take a one point lead in the second half, but the Warriors responded with their patented Warriors run that put this game out of reach and away for good.  Cleveland no doubt can and will play better as this series continues, but so too will Curry and Thompson you have to imagine.  If this had happened in Cleveland, it would be really alarming for hos this series would play out and if I’m a Cavaliers fan today I’m not panicking quite yet, but I would have far less confidence today about the Cleveland winning this series unless they make some badly needed adjustments for game two which is Sunday, June 5th at 8 PM ET on ABC.

 

Quick hits

 

  • Reminder that game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks Saturday at 8 PM ET on NBCSN.  The series has now shifted to the west coast so the Sharks can get right back in this series with a win at home.

  • Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb says he will never be mic’d up again after he wore one in the playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals last year.  You might remember Cobb suffered a lung injury in the game and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers believes that the microphone contributed to the injury.  It would appear that Cobb tends to agree with that belief.

  • Finally, it appears Mississippi State learned absolutely nothing from the Baylor situation when they announced Thursday that freshman defensive end Jeffrey Simmons will be allowed to enroll at the school and play for the football team.  He was charged with simple assault from an incident in March that caught him on video striking a woman.  People deserve second chances, but Mississippi State better know what the hell they are doing or the criticism will come at them from all directions and they will rightfully deserve all of it.

 

Coming up Monday: Game 2 NBA Finals reaction plus Stanley Cup Final game 3 reaction and other top stories from the sports weekend


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