The 2017 NBA finals finally kicked off on Thursday night. Many will overreact to what they witnessed in Game 1, but it was only one game. Yes, the Golden State Warriors clinched an impressive 113-91 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. What was presumed would be close game after watching the first quarter turned into a lopsided game, with the Cavaliers at the mercy of an inspired Warriors team on both ends of the floor.

Warriors' defense

The Warriors know that the key to the series is performing equally on both ends of the floor. We know that the Warriors are an offensive machine, but we also acknowledge the fact that their championship hopes go through defending at the highest level, and they have proved that they are capable of doing so.

For example, in last night's Game 1 of the NBA finals, the continuous help defense of Draymond Green or the individual defense of Klay Thompson on Irving was infectious. That raised the intensity of the whole Warriors team, an intensity that the Cavaliers could not match.

The Warriors seemed committed to clogging the paint and not switching as easily after every screen the Cavaliers threw at them, and that was one reason for the Cavaliers' demise. Cleveland relied too heavily on its plan A, which was to make the Warriors' players switch after each screen to create their desired mismatches. The Warriors seemed to have learned their lesson from last year's series; every player was determined to stick to his man for as long as possible.

The Cavaliers' one-dimensional offense did not pay off this time.

Even Kevin Durant accepted the challenge and played remarkable defense on LeBron James at times. LeBron finished with 28 points, Irving with 24, and Kevin Love with 15. The eight other Cavaliers players combined for 24 points. It was important for the Warriors to not let anyone besides LeBron have his way offensively.

Cavaliers' inaction

LeBron James ended up with 8 of his team's 20 turnovers. "It started with myself having some turnovers, especially in the first half. I pride myself on not turning the ball over, and I did it too much," said James after the game. LeBron will surely need to do a better job of taking care of the ball in the next games.

He will also need to do a better defensive job. Kevin Durant is not Harrison Barnes; LeBron can no longer roam and invest himself on being merely disruptive on the defense end, and, consequently, focus mainly on his offense.

The most worrying aspect of the Cavaliers' play last night should be their lethargic defense. The Cavaliers' plan on the defensive end was to take away the Warriors' perimeter shooting. However, that turned out to be a suicidal game plan. The Warriors said "Thank you" and drove to the paint all night long. It was surprising to see free dunks and lay ups on the open floor by the Warriors' players. I had to remind myself that it was an NBA finals game. It is supposed to be that time of the year when every point costs sweat and blood, or at least that is what I remember about historical NBA finals.

I guess today's free-flowing game has its side-effects, and, yesterday, the Cavaliers experienced some of them in the most inopportune moment.

Kevin Durant accepts the challenge

Kevin Durant is ready to become an NBA champion, and that's what many will have concluded from watching Game 1 of the NBA finals. He is, without a doubt right now, the Warriors' most important player. He is the one player that creates obvious matchup problems for any opponent because of his length and versatility. Durant seems to be willing to takes this series as a personal challenge, and he is on the right track that will enable him to silence those that, to this day, criticize his offseason move to the Warriors. Durant led the Warriors with 38 points, accompanied by Stephen Curry's 28.

Curry showed up this time, but it will be crucial for him to understand that he is part of a duo now and that the alpha is called Kevin Durant.

This is only Game 1 folks; the real NBA finals will begin once the home team loses a game. Game 2 awaits on Sunday, June 4 at 8 PM Eastern Time.

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