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The View from Pluto: Cavs Uphold a Game One Playoff Tradition, Losing

photo of Cavs home court
The Cavs curtailed their defense, allowing the Warriors to outscore them.

The Cavs showed why they're underdogs in the NBA finals, losing to the Golden State Warriors 113-91 in the first game last night. Our WKSU sports commentator, Terry Pluto, says defeat was in the air from the very beginning of the game.

“You could sense the Cavs were in huge trouble,” Pluto says. “The Warriors just attacked them.”

The Cavs seemed to play like it was the regular season, when the team was marked by lackluster defense. Last night's scaled-back, almost nonexistent defense struck Pluto as “very odd.” For one thing, it requires that "you just try to out-score them. Well, you’re not going to be able to do that with Golden State.”

Pluto says in general, Golden State is a terrific team. So he expected more out of LeBron and the Cavs.

“LeBron James had a really rough night. [He] would miss a shot, then he’s arguing with the officials down on one end of the floor. And meanwhile, that ball’s going down to the other end,” Pluto says. “This is not how you beat them.”

Still, fans don’t necessarily have a reason to worry. At least not yet.

“[LeBron] always loses Game One in the finals,” Pluto says.

The one exception was in 2011, when James scored a first-game win for Miami. The Heat ended up losing the championship to the Mavericks.

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.