I’m pretty lucky to have been there in Oakland to experience Game 1 of the NBA Finals 2015. Local reporters said it was louder than in a Raiders game and they must have been right. I’ve never been in a game with so much noise. Most of the time people were just standing and shouting. Defence! Defence! Defence! … MVP! MVP! MVP! Stuff like that. Over and over again.
I have also a strong feeling this huge thriller decided the series.
Warriors came in with no finals experience, nurse looked nervous and missed tons of shots. Cavaliers were soon 12 or 13 points up and it was just the first quarter. Then things got better, Warriors came to even the game at 36-36 and Oracle Arena got really loud. It was all about team effort with the fans maybe counting as an extra player. Not just Curry but Thompson, Barnes and bench guys Iguodala and Speights all scored big ones when they mattered. Iguodala at one point with one shoe!
However the opponents were far from written off. James played great and scored mighty 44. I saw him for the first time live. He was absolutely powerful, dominating, confident, bit boring but ruthlessly effective. Lead changed several times and I think actually Cavs were leading most of the time. At the end of the fourth Cavs had two attempts to win the game but both shots were jumpers far away and didn’t luckily go in.
Overtime kinda followed the game being even and scoreless for the first 2 minutes. Then I feel like the whole series was decided in just over one minute. Curry was fouled, sank in a few frees. Irving, the other key player in Cavs team went down and limped out injured, out for the rest of the series. Meanwhile Barnes sunk in a big three and soon it was a ten point lead. OT ended 10-2 for Warriors and the whole game 108-100.
Can Cavs come back? How could that happen? It might be too early to call 4-0 but there’s only LeBron James in the way. The fact is Warriors were saved by the bell in Game 1 but then Cavs basically collapsed, got hurt big time, and now Warriors have all the momentum. If they get to Game 2 relaxed, focused, confident with full team effort, just like they did most of the regular season, it can be quickly over. Strength in Numbers!