The Cavaliers got hit in the mouth in Game 1 by the Warriors in a lopsided 113-91 loss in which Kevin Durant and Steph Curry exploded on offense and Golden State asserted its dominance on the defensive end of the floor. The Cavs have spent the last two days trying to figure out what has to happen in order for them to avoid a similar fate in Game 2 on Sunday night.
Some, like Richard Jefferson, don’t think they need to change much and need to simply execute better — 20 turnovers against the Warriors will doom you every time — but there are some that feel as though the Cavs need to try and slow the game down and be more physical with Golden State. The logic behind this concept is sound. The Warriors are the best team in the league at playing in space, so slowing the game down (and not turning it over) gives them less transition opportunities, and being physical with them takes away some of that space in the halfcourt.
This was an idea floated to J.R. Smith during the Cavaliers media availability on Saturday afternoon, but the reporter used “dirtying up the game” in reference to the success Cleveland has had in being physical with Golden State. Smith took exception to the idea that the Cavs would be considered the dirty team when the Warriors have Draymond Green.