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Richard Jefferson explains why Cavs-Warriors series is closer than you think

After dropping Game 1 of the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors in rather disappointing fashion, 113-91, the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers will be looking to get back on track with a victory tonight.

Richard Jefferson, a 17-year NBA veteran, says he and the Cavs aren’t overreacting about the result of Game 1 — a game in which the Cavaliers gave the ball away 20 times, allowed 56 points in the paint, and recorded zero steals. In fact, he thinks the series is actually closer than it may appear.

Via Nick Schwartz of Fox Sports:

“What did they shoot from the field? They shot 42 percent from the field. We turned the ball over 20 times, and they had nine dunks and they shot 42 percent from the field, one of the best shooting teams in the history of the NBA. How far off are we? Not very far. But that also shows you that it only takes you to be a little off in order for teams to get very, very hungry.

And it’s on both sides. Last year there was only one close game in the series, and that was Game 7. We blew them out multiple times. They beat us badly multiple times. So if you can hold them to 42 percent, giving up 20 turnovers, giving up six to eight dunks in transition, you don’t have to change your defense, you just have to do better at not turning it over and not give them easy buckets.

That’s not saying that Klay Thompson isn’t going to shoot the ball well the next game, it’s not saying that they’re not going to be different, but if we can hold them to 42 percent and we cut our turnovers from 20 to 12 and we maybe turn them over more than four times, all of a sudden now we’re in a position where we’re winning that game or we’re up by 10. So the formula is there, we just have to execute it and not panic.”

The Cavs, who held a film session Friday and practiced yesterday, will have learned from their mistakes. Game 2 is set to tip at 8:00 p.m. tonight, with ABC having live broadcast coverage.

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