In his 2004 NBA Finals MVP performance, Chauncey Billups averaged 21 points, 3.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists. Should LeBron James repeat his line from Thursday’s NBA Finals Game 1, he’d eclipse all three of those numbers. But it won’t be good enough to beat the Warriors, says Billups.

“He had 23 [points], 12 [rebounds] and 9 [assists]. For me and everybody else in the world in a Finals game, that would be a great game. For him? It was just okay … he left more in the tank last night when he shouldn’t,” Billups said.

He joined Les Shapiro and Tyler Polumbus on Afternoon Drive on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 Friday, breaking down what he called a “disappointing” effort from James and Cleveland against Golden State the night prior.

“I expected it to be a little closer throughout,” Billups admitted. “I expected Golden State to win that game –  that first game at home, but I was [surprised] by how it happened. I was very disappointed with Cleveland’s effort.”

While the Warriors battled Oklahoma City in a seven-game Western Conference Finals series, Cleveland needed six games to dispatch of the Toronto Raptors in the East. It was the only series in which Cleveland didn’t sweep its opponent. Billups thinks that smooth ride to the Finals may be what caused a flat effort from Cleveland in the opener.

“There was no resistance, there was no fight,” Billups said. “It was like they were playing early in the season – a regular season game. But I think that speaks to [the fact that] they haven’t played this kind of competition, like Golden State’s played on their way to the Finals.”

James has to be the one to challenge the defending world champs and the best regular-season team in NBA history, Billups says.

“I’m one of the guys that believes LeBron James, he’s the most dominant force in the game – there’s no ifs, ands, buts about it – he needs to have the mindset that he had last year when Kyrie [Irving] went down. Go and just dominate.”

“They can’t stop him, they can’t stay in front of him. There’s nothing they can do with him.”

Catch the full interview, plus Billups on taking on a possible role with the Denver Nuggets, in the podcast below…

Catch Afternoon Drive every weekday from 4p-6p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s largest local sports talk lineup.