The intensity in Cavaliers-Warriors on Sunday was clearly a level above the rest of other regular-season games and it was obvious from the get-go. Draymond Green picked up an early tech, the physicality was real, and then Kevin Durant accelerated the intensity. K.D. went for 12 points in the first 10 minutes of the game. When LeBron James fell down on a layup attempt, the Warriors were off to the races to try and score back.
Kevin Durant dunked all over Kevin Love, so Love responded by doing what he does best: throwing an outlet pass to the best player on the planet.
Just incredible play at both ends. It's easy to forget in the Cavaliers-Warriors history, but Durant has had a rivalry with LeBron for some time, albeit a one-sided affair. Durant wants to be the best player in the league. Durant wants to be No. 1. And James beat Durant in his only Finals appearance. Durant has also worked out in the summer with James. So there's some personal stuff here.
Durant is the second-best player in the league, and his addition to the Warriors made them a whole other kind of dangerous. But his arrival also gives the Cavaliers specific problems.
Then again, Love, despite being dunked on, actually played well in that first half and that outlet pass is poetry.
Have we mentioned these two teams are great?