Much like the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Cleveland Cavaliers played valiantly in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. And much like the Lightning, the Cavs led the majority of the way and took the deeper, favored team off its game.
And yet, that may be the most damning thing for both the Lightning and Cavs. Both teams gave it all they had, led late … and still lost. That's especially damning for the Cavaliers, who lost despite 44 points, eight rebounds and six assists from LeBron James in addition to Kyrie Irving looking better than he has in a while … you know, until he got re-injured.
One of the main reasons the Warriors were able to come back was due to the play of Andre Iguodala — you know, the guy who was once the most underappreciated best player on his team. Iguodala did what he always does, which is a little bit of everything. He had 15 points to pace Golden State's bench, added three boards, two assists, and a steal and a block. Hell, he even hit a three-pointer with one shoe on.
But it was Iguodala's defense — his calling card — late against James that really brought this thing home. After dominating most of the contest, Iggy kept forcing LeBron to catch the ball farther and farther away from the basket and ultimately toss up contested, difficult fadeaway jumpers.
It was a thing of beauty. So with Iguodala's monster game, I couldn't help but think of his December dance move following a travel by Mike Conley that went uncalled.
Show us those moves, Andre. And keep playing that sneaky brilliant brand of basketball.
Reverend Paul Revere, aka Joe Boland, is a sports blogger out of Philadelphia whose life revolves around sports 365 and a quarter days per year. Keep up with Rev at his own personal blog, The House That Glanville Built and on Twitter.