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Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors Game 1 player grades

A heartbreaking loss for the Cavaliers.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Seven Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

That one hurt.

LeBron James: A+

James couldn’t have possibly played better in the Cavaliers Game 1 loss to the Warriors. 51 points, eight assists, eight rebounds and mostly solid defense. He did not deserve to take a loss on Thursday night.

Kevin Love: B

Love defended his heart out in switches he had little business being put in, while scoring efficiently in the post. His three-pointer couldn’t have been colder, but he also didn’t have a steady diet of clean looks either. He as well as you could’ve expected coming off a concussion.

Jeff Green: B-

Green wasn’t efficient from the field, but he played a really solid game outside of that. Five assists including a couple truly beautiful passes and amazing defense on Kevin Durant for the majority of the night. Pushing Durant off his spots is the key to slowing him down, and Green did an excellent job of doing so.

J.R. Smith: D

J.R. couldn’t shoot in this game and his boneheaded plays might have cost them the game. It’s easy to cast blame for his end-of-game gaffe, but Stephen Curry’s end-of-half three was entirely the result of an unnecessary gamble. Having J.R. on the team has been a net positive for the Cavaliers, but nights like this really, really hurt.

Tristan Thompson: C

Tristan was an asset as a screener and as a defender, but his inability to make quick decisions with the ball on offense resulted in several stalled actions and blocked shots. Larry Nance was better on this night, and that’s completely fine.

George Hill: C-

George Hill played physical, smart defense on Stephen Curry, but the Cavaliers need more than two made field goals from Hill in this series. LeBron can’t score 50 every game (can he?), and that’s not to mention his brutal missed free throw at the end of regulation. He might lose some sleep on that one.

Kyle Korver: C

Korver continues to struggle against the Warriors, and that’s too bad for a Cavs team that really needs to hit their threes against Golden State.

Jordan Clarkson: D

Clarkson had some flashes, but generally was given too much rope from the coaching staff. 2-9 from the field and no made threes isn’t going to get it done. Tyronn Lue should consider other options in the rotation at this point.

Larry Nance Jr.: B+

Nance was absolutely excellent in his 19 minutes, scoring nine points and and snagging 11 rebounds while creating plenty of deflections and using vertical gravity to affect the game. He deserves more minutes heading into Game 2, and might get them if Tristan Thompson is suspended.