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5 stats that fully contributed to Cavs’ Game 1 loss to Warriors

The Cleveland Cavaliers came into Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals and got smacked by 22. The 91-113 loss was the first game the Cavs dropped on the road this postseason and just their second loss of the playoffs and there were multiple facets the Cavs looked horrible in. However, the most shocking stats could be found on the official scorer’s report after the game.

Fast break points:

The Cavs are a team that likes to get out and run in the open court to find shooters on the perimeter or easy baskets at the rim, but that means playing at a much faster pace, something that Warriors also excel at. In Game 1, the Warriors got and ran a lot, scoring a whopping 27 points in transition to the Cavs’ nine points. At one point, Kevin Durant threw down six dunks in the first half as the Warriors took their first double-digit lead of the series. Those 27 fast break points were caused by bad defense, but those opportunities were presented to he Warriors in the first place because of the massive amount of times the Cavs coughed the ball up.

Turnovers:

Cleveland turned the ball over 20 times in Game 1, and while they played arguably their sloppiest game of the season, Golden State had their best, turning the ball over just four times. The four Warriors turnovers were tied for the fewest in an NBA Finals game. The Cavs’ leader in LeBron James was especially sloppy as he was accountable for eight giveaways and Kyrie Irving was responsible for four. The Cavs are playing the best team in the NBA and they simply cannot afford to give the ball away, especially that much, because the Warriors offense is explosive enough to put them away if they do.

Steals:

Cleveland’s irresponsibility with the basketball created a lot of live-ball turnovers and opportunities for Golden State in transition (27 points in total). The Warriors totaled 12 steals on the night, and while both teams like to run, only one got to do so because of the incredible steals disparity. The Cavs have athletic guards and wings who can get into the passing lanes and come up with steals, but Cleveland totaled zero steals in Game 1, but explained their lowly nine points in transition.

Assists:

All year long, Golden State had been sharing the basketball and essentially averaging 30 assists a night. Game 1 was no different as the Warriors distributed their way towards 31 assists. 10 assists were dished out by Stephen Curry with only two turnovers, another eight assists came from Durant without a single turnover, and Klay Thompson, who shot 3-16, finished with four assists.

The Other Guys:

It was an absolutely horrible night for the Cavs’ ‘other guys,’ and that can’t happen if the Cavs want to win this series. By the end of the game, the Cavs duo of James and Irving had 52 points while Durant and Curry had 66. The Warriors bench combined for 47 points, but Tristan Thompson, Deron Williams, and Kyle Korver combined to score no points on 0-10 shooting from the field. J.R. Smith also disappeared after hitting his the first shot of the game and finishing with just three points.

These are all significant areas the Cavs will have to improve on, but they’re also something very fixable as well. They’ll need a much better performance on those five fronts if they want to come out on top in Game 2 and eventually win the series.

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