They lied to us all day long. Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers was going to start at 9:00 PM. It said so in the paper. On the 4-letter network they even had a countdown clock in the corner, ticking off every second until game time. Click on the "guide" channel, fast forward enough hours, and, sure enough, there it was. 9:00.
But you know that's never going to happen. No major sporting event, and lots of minor ones, ever starts when it's supposed to. At 9:00, the players were still milling on the court warming up and the national anthem had yet to be sung.
Ah, but an update. Tip-off was to be at 9:07 sharp. Guess what? That didn't happen either. Another lie. They finally trotted out some yahoo (and the mandatory giant flag across the court) who proceeded to jazz up the anthem. God, I hate that. Can't they just sing it the way it was written? It's even disrespectful to the country.
Finally, FINALLY, the game got underway.
To the surprise of few, Golden State would pretty much have their way with Cleveland. No matter how you slice it or dice it, a 22 point victory is quite convincing.
At one point in the second half, a remarkable statistic was shown. The Cavaliers had turned the ball over 10 times and the Warriors none. When the other team is taking the ball away from you, and you can't reciprocate, then you have a problem.
Sure, Lebron James got his 30 or so points and Kyrie Irving chipped in with 20-some. But Kevin Durant was lighting it up for almost 40 with Steph Curry his usual 30. When the two best players on the other team are out-balling the two best players on your team -- you have another problem.
See Draymond Green (he of the past groin kicks) muscling up Lebron James. See Green manhandle James and wind up with an easy lay-up. See James get called for a foul after Green had done the dirty work. This would appear to be problem #3. The refs weren't kow-towing to the "King" like they so often do.See Lebron complain to no avail. A bad sign for Cleveland and their fans.
So officially the series stands at 1-0 in favor of Golden State. They definitely looked to be the better team, but folks have said that all year long. Let's not forget the same was said all of last year. In 2016, Golden State even raced out to a 3-1 series lead in the Finals. We know how that turned out in the end. In other words, this thing is far from over.
True, it's possible the Warriors could sweep this series in four games to complete an astounding 16-0 playoff run and capture the championship. But it could also flip back the other way. Different refs, different strategies, the Cavs get hot or the Warriors go cold -- who knows? Anything could happen.
Now we await Game 2. It's scheduled for Sunday night at 8:00.
And that will be a lie too. Maybe by quarter after we'll see some action. Maybe.
And also just maybe we'll get to see and listen to a singer that will give a proper, respectful rendition of the Star Bangled Banner.
But I wouldn't hold my breath on that one either........