To the surprise of few the Golden State Warriors reclaimed the NBA title after loosing it in a devastating fashion last year and are the NBA Champions 2017.
Game five was competitive and the Cavaliers fought fiercely, but still failed to bring the series back to Cleveland. The Warriors won the series 4-1 in a very convincing way. The big question is who can challenge these Warriors at all the upcoming years. They have everything – the leagues deadliest shooters, at least two legit MVP candidates, significant depth and role players and one of the leagues most intelligent coaches.
They also proved once again that defense can win you titles. Most people think of the Warriors as an offense first team, much due to the reputation of the splash brothers. But it all starts on the defensive end and they play stellar defense. They also share the ball like few others (San Antonio Spurs excepted) and as we always say – Team Ball always wins! It was a fair win. LeBron James is arguable the worlds best basketball player, but he met an (almost) equal in Kevin Durant in this series and once again – he can’t do it by himself. Or even with the help of Kyrie Irving who was a monster. Basketball is still a team sport, and even Michael Jordan failed to go all the way until he realized that.
As for the game, the Golden State Warriors gained the momentum from the tip off. But about three minutes in they got sloppy and threw the ball away on two consecutive possessions. One was a really ugly inbound pass from Durant to Curry that James picked up with ease. It was pretty even for a long stretch after that, even though the Cavs had to fight harder for their baskets. Some highlights include Curry nailing it from behind the backboard (while the ball was not in play so it didn’t count) at the 6:48 mark in the first quarter. The Iggy dunk at 7:58 in the second quarter is a must. And Durant started raining threes at the second quarter run when the Warriors went 21-2! That created some heated moments and a bunch of technical fouls to go with it. Catch some of it from the NBA.com recap here.
It is still amazing to watch the quick outlets and fast breaks of made baskets that the Warriors run. Most teams sort of relax after a make and job back to play defense. But the Warriors won’t let them. One quick outlet pass, one guy running that gets a long pass and a layup. Totally demoralizing. And once again – if you want to win a championship you CAN NOT trot back on defense while the opposing team is running like James and Jefferson was seen doing.
However the Cavaliers slowly worked their way back into the game in the third quarter and it was a game again. But the Warriors once again proved to be too talented for the Cavaliers. They had an answer for very run and slowly regained control. I think the game was punctuated when Curry threw a rifle pass to a wide open Iggy that brought the game to 110-102 at the 8 minute mark of Q4. The crowd felt it and the Warriors felt it and it was never really close after that.
It was a good game and a good series in an otherwise uneventful play off. The Cavs and the Warriors where simply so much better than the competition. The Warriors won rightfully and the Finals MVP was Kevin Durant – also rightfully.
Congrats to the NBA Champions 2017 – Golden State Warriors!