This year’s Finals rematch between the Warriors and the Cavs was hotly anticipated for many reasons, but violence wasn’t one of them. This was, after all, a meeting between the first- and fourth-ranked offenses in the league. We were expecting a barrage of 3s and a fireworks display from Klay, Steph, LeBron, Love, and Kyrie — five of the most potent scorers in the NBA. Instead, Game 1 had the feel of an almost comic saloon brawl. One started, of course, by Draymond Green:
Draymond is famously prone to losing control of his limbs on the court; it’s become an integral part of his game. But in the third quarter, Dray’s spirit seemed to take hold of everyone in Oracle Arena.
Steve Kerr, of all people, was the next offender, shattering his whiteboard into pieces to express his displeasure with a Cavs run:
Kerr’s chiropractor can’t be too enthused about this, but man, that was an impressive karate-chop. There’s something to be said for the cathartic powers of slugging the shit out of a piece of plastic. It’s no wonder that the Dubs immediately started to play with newfound energy.
But that wasn’t all. Living up to his unsavory reputation, Matthew Dellavedova took a blatant nut shot on Andre Iguodala:
For a brief moment, it looked like Iguodala might lose it. But cooler heads — like Iman Shumpert! — ultimately prevailed in the fourth quarter, and the Warriors raced to a 104–89 victory. It’s the first game of the series, and only the third time these teams have played this season, but there’s a residual animosity lingering from last year’s Finals. The good news for us — and the bad news for Iguodala’s balls and Kerr’s dry-erase board? We’ve got at least three more games of this.