The Cleveland Cavaliers face an uphill battle in the NBA Finals. Not only are they down 1-0 to the favored Golden State Warriors in the best-of-seven series, but they are also without both Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, who injured his knee in overtime of Game 1.
But don't tell superstar LeBron James that the series is over. Even without two important players, James feels that the Cavs are prepared to tie the series as they enter Game 2 at Oracle Arena on Sunday night.
"[I] understand that we were the underdog coming into the series, and with Kyrie being out, people are writing us off," James said. "So, I mean, that's fine. I'm motivated to get our guys ready to go tomorrow [for Game 2], and we will be ready.''
James had the best NBA Finals scoring effort of his career in Game 1, scoring 44 points on 18-38 shooting. It still wasn't enough, as the Warriors won in overtime 108-100.
Without Irving, James may have to take on an even larger role for the offense, not only as a scorer but also as a distributor. Before limping off the court in overtime with a knee injury, Irving was having a strong game. He finished with 23 points, seven rebounds, six assists, four steals and two blocks.
Star guard Stephen Curry, who led the Warriors with 26 points in Game 1, insinuated that the Warriors should not underestimate the Cavs.
"We have to stay disciplined on the other guys around him knowing that they're talented, knowing that they can make plays, make shots, and we have to be as focused on them as we are on LeBron," Curry said.
"But they play a different way without Kyrie. We've seen some footage of that in the last series that they played against Atlanta. So we've just got to be ready and stay locked in and focused on guarding everybody on the floor and stick to our game plan."
Start Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ABC
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Point Spread: Warriors by 8 points
Over/Under: 200.5 points
Prediction: Golden State over Cleveland, 106-100