The 2015 NBA Finals got started in spectacular fashion last night in Oakland, where the Warriors gutted out an overtime win by the final score of 108-100. The Cavs got off to a strong start, leading by as many as 13 points, until the Warriors, behind strong play from their bench, got back into things in the 2nd quarter. The 2nd half remained close throughout, with the Cavs nursing a small lead until late, when Steph Curry made several big baskets to give the Warriors a lead. A huge three by LeBron James and free throws from Timofey Mozgov got the game to overtime, where the Warriors turned up their defense, led by Andre Iguodala, and the Cavs were simply unable to score. A three pointer by Harrison Barnes with under two minutes left gave the Warriors a seven point lead and effectively ended things.
LeBron James had a monster game, finishing with 44 points, though it took him 38 shots to get there; he was most of the Cavs offense, along with Kyrie Irving who finished with 23 but limped off in overtime with a leg injury of some kind. Meanwhile, Steph Curry led the way for the Warriors with 26, leading five in double figures.
The bench production was a huge story in this game, as the Warriors bench scored 34 while the Cavs got only 9, all from J.R. Smith who had a terrible shooting night. Overall, the Cavs only used eight players and the depth made a difference. Andre Iguodala led the Warriors reserves with 15 points and some terrific defensive work on LeBron James; having him available off the bench is a massive luxury.
This was a great game that hopefully is a sign of things to come in this series. The Cavs were thisclose to handing the Warriors only their 4th home loss of the season, and the teams are back at it from Oakland on Sunday.
Things are fairly quiet on the Timberwolves front as of yet, but one thing that indirectly affects the team is former Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg accepting the head coaching job in Chicago. With Hoiberg having clearly been an appealing candidate for Minnesota, some questions remain as to who will steer the ship next season. It seems most likely that Flip Saunders will continue to serve as both GM and Coach, although many would prefer to see him focus on the front office position.
There has been some speculation that the Wolves would be in the running for former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, but it doesn't seem the most probable scenario at this point in time.
The Minnesota Lynx will tip off their regular season tonight, facing Tulsa at the Target Center. The team has been busy the last week preparing to get another [hopefully] successful season underway.
Maya Moore led a charge Monday evening to help the Lynx pull off a win over New York in their final preseason game. Minnesota looked to be taking over the game in the first half, but things really came down to the wire when the Liberty battled back and at one point tied the game.
Monica Wright continues to struggle after suffering a calf injury at the beginning of training camp, and it's clear the guard isn't yet at full capacity. Head coach Cheryl Reeve knows she'll need to have more of a support system at guard with Wright injured, so rookie Jennifer O'Neill made the cut, at least for now.
The Lynx waived forwards Shae Kelley and Asia Taylor Tuesday afternoon, as they needed to get the final roster to 12 players before yesterday's league deadline.
Other Basketball News
- Spike Lee directs NBA 2K16 video game. It's no secret that director Spike Lee has a passion for basketball, specifically the NBA, so this project should excite basketball and video game fans alike. Lee announcedThursday that he will take on the next version of the game. Lee aims to "add realism" to an interactive feature of the game called MyCareer, which will give gamers a taste of the business side of professional sports.
- Fred Hoiberg hired as Chicago's next head coach. This is probably old news by now, but it's worth noting again. Although it seemed obvious a few days prior, the Bulls officially announced former Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg as their new coach Tuesday afternoon. Hoiberg has been a "long-time favorite" of Chicago's front office, and according to an ESPN article he is a close friend of GM Gar Forman. The 42-year-old played 10 years in the NBA, four of those seasons in Chicago.
Lindsey's Friday Flick Recommendation
Don't write off this next movie just because it's categorized as a children's film, okay? Or if you're used to the typical animated films with a predictable story line. This is by far one of my favorite films over the past few years, and even the sequel is great!
How to Train Your Dragon (1 and 2)
This flick received 8.2 out of 10 stars and was nominated for two Oscars. The animation is hard to match, and it offers a fun and unique soundtrack, as well. The premise of the films follows Hiccup, a Norse teenager who lives during the age of the Vikings, and of course his pet dragon Toothless.
The voice-overs are done by an entertaining cast that includes Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill, America Ferrara and Craig Ferguson.
Check out the trailer below, and happy weekending!