OAKLAND -– Already favored to win the NBA Finals over the Cavaliers, the Warriors are finding a rising tide of sentiment in their favor after winning Game 1 by 15 points despite subpar games from Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.
They would like to remind one and all as Game 2 looms on Sunday, that their 1-0 lead in the does not mean it’s over, even if some observers have concluded Cleveland has no chance to come back.
“That’s what our day and age has come to,” Warriors forward Andre Iguodala said Saturday. “Looking ahead, and there are so many opinions that you forget about the actual process, you forget about what goes into every single game preparation. You forget about how concentrated out league is with talent. There’s a lot of talent.
“They’re a championship team and they’re championship caliber. And one night may not be the night, but the next night may not be our night or it could be both teams’ night and they could just get the best of us.”
The Warriors in Game 1 on Thursday owned distinct advantages in overall shooting (49.4 percent to 38.1) and made far fewer mistakes, committing nine turnovers to Cleveland’s 17, which led to 25 Warriors points.
That, however, will do nothing to help the Warriors win Game 2.
“It’s going to be important for us to remain aggressive, still coming in with the same mindset that we’re going to attack,” said guard Shaun Livingston, who came off the bench to score a team-high 20 points in 27 minutes. “But if they make adjustments, we just have to make the right reads.”
Cavs stars LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving accounted for 11 turnovers. Irving never found a rhythm, missing 15 of his 22 shots.
“We talked about it (Friday) and we want Kyrie to be aggressive,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “But it has to be sharp, quick attacks. You can’t dribble for eight or nine seconds. We had that discussion, and he understands that.”
The Warriors got only 11 points, on 4-of-15 shooting, from Curry and only 9 on 4-of-12 shooting from Thompson. In no game this season have the Warriors won with so little offensive production from their All-Star backcourt.
“We joked about it a couple times,” Thompson said. “But we don’t let it get us down, because it takes four games to win and it could be a long series.”
Said Curry: “I just need to play better to help my team. I don’t know what that means statistically. But that’s when we’re at our complete best as a team, it’s when I usually am playing a pretty good game.”
Though Draymond Green anticipates his sharpshooting teammates will deliver more in Game 2, he wants to avoid the trap of presumption.
“We have to approach the game like they’re going to shoot 8-of-27,” Green said. “We can’t come out say, ‘Oh, Steph’s going to be hot. Klay’s going to be hot.’ We’ve got to come out and approach the game the same way we did, with a defensive mentality.
“If we get it done on the defensive end and keep our turnovers low again, regardless of who is shooting badly, we give ourselves a chance to win the game.”
Still, Thompson is taking no chances.
“I expect to be much better individually,” said Thompson, who got in early foul trouble and played only 24 minutes. “