There’s never been a time that I remember where the NBA Finals has been so lopsided. The last time I remember it being this bad was in 2004 with Karl Malone and Gary Payton joining the Los Angeles Lakers. With that being said, this is murky waters for the Golden State Warriors which is why Game 1 has to be a statement game.
With the favors the way they are, in a sense it puts the Warriors at odds. Being the heavy favorite can cause them to relax and be at ease. I can easily see a situation where they come out lackadaisical in Game 1. They will take the game seriously just because it’s the NBA Finals but being that they know where they stand against this team, that sharpness might not be where it should.
These guys are professionals and they’re fully aware of where they stand in regards to their opponent. The Warriors have a habit of playing to the capability of their opponent. We’ve seen it time and time again this season. Even in the playoffs, they’ve come out flat on numerous occasions and Golden State has had to play their way back into games. Which is why the third quarter is such a staple for them because they have their moments when the effort and the attention to detail just aren’t there. That same mistake can’t be made in the NBA Finals especially in Game 1 against a LeBron James led team.
What should scare them is the exact fact that the Cleveland Cavaliers have nothing to lose. There’s not many and I mean not many people predicting the Cavaliers to come out of this series victorious. So for them, it’s all about going out there and playing carefree and stress-free. The pressure is all on the Warriors because they’re supposed to win and this is why Game 1 is so important. The Warriors have to come out and punch the Cavaliers in the mouth. Get up in them defensively, execute on offense and build a double-digit lead. Send a message and let them know that there’s no hope. If James and the Cavaliers smell an inch of possibly winning or even stealing Game 1 then this is an entirely new series. All of the pressure is on Golden State and they have to let Game 1 be their statement.