Turnover is the most definitive word in sports. Nobody knows that better today than Cleveland Cavaliers leader LeBron James.
James was a turnover machine during Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals as his team took an 113-91 beating at the hands of the Golden State Warriors.
The end result is a shock to some and an expected result to others. The teams are meeting for a record-setting third consecutive championship dance.
After both teams ran through the playoffs at a rapid pace, this clash should have been something to see.
Instead, it became a bloody mess in the third period.
As is the case with the Warriors, it started with Stephen Curry. Curry came out of the locker room throwing up 3-point rainbows as the Warriors went on a 13-0 tear to begin the second half.
Across the court, James at times looked like a shell of himself as he committed costly mistakes.
After the game, the king of the game held court with the media and owned up to his eight turnovers.
“I pride myself on not turning the ball over, and I did it too much,” James said. “Twenty turnovers for 21 points on the road and 56 points (allowed) in the paint … We did a great job covering the 3-point line, but other than that, they played a heck of a game.”
The loss feels like the start of the 2016 series.
The only problem is that this year the Warriors brought Kevin Durant to the party who accounted for a game-high 38 points.
Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue also discussed turnovers with the media.
“When you’re playing a good team like this, you can’t give them 20 more shots than you have,” Lue said. “Having 20 turnovers and not being able to get back and get your defense set, they really take advantage of that, especially at home. They thrive off turnovers and getting out in transition.”
Despite the end result of Game 1, it would be foolish to write Cleveland off. The Cavaliers are a resilient group that plays their best ball when they have been smacked in the face.