Cleveland forward LeBron James said the top-seeded Golden State Warriors are among the best teams he has seen but is confident his Cavaliers can avenge their blowout loss in Game One when the teams meet again on Sunday.
James had 28 points and 15 rebounds in the Finals opener but also turned the ball over eight times, costly errors that helped pave the way to a 113-91 Warriors win.
“I’ve seen a lot of great teams, and they rank right up there. They work well together,” he told reporters on Saturday during practice in Oakland.
“They have some guys that can actually lead a franchise without anybody else by themselves,” he said of the Warriors, who have four All Stars and posted the NBA’s best record this season.
The Warriors are an NBA record 13-0 in this year’s playoffs, and their undefeated record will not be broken on Sunday unless Cleveland takes better care of the ball, James said.
“Turning the ball over, that’s one thing we did in Game One that we’re going to be very conscious about going into Game Two, especially on their home floor,” he said.
Turnovers are particularly costly against a Golden State team that thrives in transition basketball, either finding one of their sharp-shooting guards for a three-pointer or driving to the basket for an easy lay-up or dunk.
“Game One was the feel-out for us, and they definitely took advantage of all our miscues. We just have to get better,” James said.
After their defense looked unable to stop Warriors forward Kevin Durant from driving to the basket in Game One, James said the Cavaliers could be more physical in Game Two.
“That’s always been something that we talk about, so we look forward to seeing what we can bring to the game in Game Two,” he said.
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)