Chris Broussard explains how the Cavaliers must respond to their blowout loss
You can make all the excuses in the world for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers after their epic beatdown at the hands of the Golden State Warriors on Monday.
LeBron wasn’t engaged in the game. The Cavs were experimenting with Kyle Korver. The Warriors had to send a message to Cleveland. The Cavs were on the tail end of a road trip. And perhaps most importantly, Golden State still has one big question to answer.
Those are all valid points, yet there’s no getting past how phenomenal the Warriors looked at home in dismantling the defending champs. On Tuesday’s episode of FS1’s “Undisputed,” NBA insider Chris Broussard broke down the big takeaways for both teams — including the only hope that LeBron’s Cavs might have in a Finals rematch:
CHRIS: [The Warriors] should be favored to win the championship. They’re the best team. Period. They’ve got the most firepower. And here’s what I think both teams can take from this.
No. 1, with Golden State, Steph Curry is the engine. All right? Kevin Durant may be the best all-around player, Draymond Green the inspirational leader, but Steph has got to be aggressive. They can’t let him be on the periphery of the offense, even if Durant has it going. Steph has to push the issue, play just like he did last year. Take those crazy shots, get those assists, he has to be the engine.
For the Cavaliers, they have got to get back to who they are. They think now they’re this finesse, 3-point shooting team, they take the second most in the league. They’ve got to get back to being a tough-minded, hard-nosed, defense-first team. They’re like middle of the road in the league defensively. And they can outshoot everybody else: Toronto, Boston, the Clippers, maybe San Antonio. But they can’t outshoot the Warriors. They’re not going to beat the Warriors that way.
I really think going forward, I’m not writing the Cavs off, but this is kind of their only hope: that LeBron James’ greatness, he can muster up some type of performance in the Finals, where he lifts a team over a club that is clearly superior. That’s their only hope, that his greatness and Kyrie’s greatness can help them beat a better team. Because Golden State’s better.
As Broussard points out, the Cavaliers are in fact 13th in defensive efficiency after Monday night’s loss, while the Warriors are No. 1 in both offense and defense. And just for good measure, Golden State is second in the NBA in pace, too.
The Warriors grind you into a fine dust on both ends of the court — and they do it at warp-speed. They certainly look like title favorites in January. As for LeBron? Let Skip Bayless tell you all about the King and his Cavaliers: