Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Cavs and Spurs dominate the Knicks and Warriors on the NBA's opening night

The Cavs played to top form Tuesday. But the Spurs spoiled
the party for the NBA's new "super team" Golden State

The NBA tipped off Tuesday with highly anticipated matchups involving the two teams it seems everybody expects to battle next summer in the NBA Finals for the third straight time: the Cavs, who opened with the Knicks; and the Warriors, who drew the Spurs.

The result in the opener was no surprise. Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving picked up Tuesday where he left off last June, when he averaged 27 points in the Finals against Golden State in an MVP caliber performance.

In the 117-88 win over New York, Irving scored 29 points, while the actual MVP of last season’s Finals, Lebron James, tallied a triple-double. James picked apart the defense with sweet dishes running Cleveland’s offensive sets, picking up 14 assists to go with his 19 points and 11 rebounds.



And he got loose in the open court during the second quarter to finish a play reminiscent of one of his handful of signature plays from last summer.



If last season’s champion Cavs were flawless in their opener, the team 70% of NBA general managers predict will win this season’s title, the Golden State Warriors, looked like they missed the memo about the season officially starting.

But San Antonio’s 129-100 whipping of Kevin Durant’s new team had much more to do with Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs forward with a Finals MVP and back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards to his name, than it had to do with Durant or Steph Curry, or with the other two All NBA Warriors players for that matter.



Leonard scored a career high 35 points and Lamarcus Aldridge added 26 as the pair lit up what on the season’s first day seemed like a vulnerable Golden State defense. I’ll resist the temptation to draw conclusions about the egg the Warriors laid on opening night. Instead I’ll just marvel at Kawhi “the Claw” Leonard, whom my son declared before tip-off to be his favorite player.

Smart kid!




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