It certainly wasn't pretty, but it worked. The Warriors lost their footing early but survived Game 1, clinching a Game 1 overtime victory, 108-100.
Despite an underwhelming 19-point first quarter, Golden State steadied themselves and kept pace with Cleveland throughout four quarters, finally clinching the OT win against a lifeless Cavaliers team.
"No matter how far we get down, we always have a puncher's chance," Bogut told reporters in the Warriors locker room. - Warriors win opening game of NBA Finals
James was aggressive right off the buzzer and bulldozed his way into the paint on multiple occasions, scoring 44 points along with 8 rebounds and 6 assists, very nearly willing the team to victory. Iguodala was also magnificent tonight, providing the offensive firepower and defensive intensity the team sorely needed. He ended the game with 15 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
Bogut shows rim protection in early game
Andrew Bogut played 28 minutes today and had 4 points (including a big flush), 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 emphatic blocks. Both blocks came in the first quarter on back-to-back possessions.
LeBron James had overpowered Draymond Green in the low post, and was ready for an easy bucket when Bogut came to the rescue and erased the James hook shot.
He made his second block on Russian big man Timofey Mozgov. After an attempt to back Bogut down, Mozgov spun around for the short jumper, but was flatly denied.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PXozt-ZOsc Despite the highlights, Bogut had the worst defensive impact among all Warriors tonight, while also possessing the only negative Net Rating in the team - an extremely rare phenomenon for the tenacious big man who so often brings an unseen positive impact on the floor.
It's also worth noting that the Warriors played their best in overtime, when Kerr fielded a devastating small-ball lineup that very nearly held the Cavs scoreless. Could this Bogut-less formula be the key to championship success against Cleveland?
Is it Delly's turn to step up?
Matthew Dellavedova played an uneventful 9:23 this game. He took no shots, managed to hand out three assists, grabbed one offensive rebound, and seemed minimally involved in the flow of the offense.
The biggest headline of this game was definitely Kyrie Irving's late-game injury (video). The sight of an obviously frustrated Irving limping back to the locker room, and Brian Windhorst's subsequent sighting of the despondent did not help.
Kyrie Irving sitting at his locker with a towel over his head and ice on his left knee says it all right now in Cavs locker room.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) June 5, 2015
Irving was reported leaving the game on crutches, and no definitive answer has been made on his condition so far. This certainly bodes ill for the remainder of the Finals. The only dubious silver lining out of this incident, is that Dellavedova is almost certain to start in Game 2.
Delly has been called to the start several times this season in Irving's absence, but it remains to be seen if he can fill in for Irving's offensive production. The Cleveland bench has been abysmal in Game 1, and the eight-man lineup we saw today will be further reduced with Kyrie Irving's potential absence. Will seven players be enough for Cleveland to survive another onslaught at the Roaracle? Things do not look good.
It might sound like a rather tall order, but Cleveland needs Matthew Dellavedova to step up to the plate, and help even the series up at this most critical juncture.