Rihanna Steals the Show at Game 1 of NBA Finals

Kevin Durant completely changed the National Basketball Association landscape with his shocking move to the Golden State Warriors in 2016.

Game 2 of the Finals will be Sunday at Golden State.

It all added up to an entertaining but not unexpected Game 1 result.

Durant's only other Finals ended at the hands of LeBron and Miami in 2012.

For a few possessions James and Durant went head up.

Instead of strict spread pick-and-roll, more misdirection and player movement from the weak-side is needed to force the Warriors to make complex rotational decisions and occupy the attention of the help-side rim protection. Durant is not Harrison Barnes or Jae Crowder, he's a complete player and he has a chip on his shoulder. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Golden State had only three offensive rebounds in the second half, but they still took 106 shots compared to 86 for the Cavaliers.

Durant put up 23 points, six assists and four rebounds in his stellar first half on his way to his 38-point night.

Getting Tristan Thompson to wake up would be a good place to start. But why is everyone surprised? His shooting efficiency and production per 100 possessions was on par with Kawhi Leonard last season and he comes with no injury or locker room issues. Wasn't this the reason why LeBron went to the media crying about a playmaker?

The scary thing is that the Warriors weren't that clinical on offense. What happens when Thompson finds his shot?

"Yeah, I won't get into that", Durant laughed.

The Golden State Warriors won the 2015 NBA Finals even as Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving remained unavailable to the Cavaliers in that series.

As Marcus Thompson of the Mercury News notes, this has all been set up by Stephen Curry. As magnificent as James was a year ago in leading Cleveland to the title, it's going to take even more heroics this time around.

Last year, the Warriors earned the dubious distinction of being the first team to lose the best-of-seven series after leading 3-1.

With Durant inserted into the Warriors rotation, they've changed their defensive coverages to reflect his strengths. That emotional bruise from last year's seventh game is everlasting. But Durant adds a different element to the Warriors that was missing in 2016.

However, ESPN reports that Durant is willing to take less than his max contract, meaning the Warriors don't need cap space to sign him, and thus, don't have to renounce Iguodala and Livingston. Last season was just that- past year.

  • Julie Sanders