Just when everyone counted him out, he delivered. Yes, LeBron James won his 3rd NBA Finals and Finals MVP. With a triple-double in Game 7. On the road. Coming back from 3-1 after a 2-0 start from the record-breaking 73-win Golden State Warriors. He was counted out from the start against the two-time MVP and defending champion Steph Curry, who accumulated a boatload of media attention in his short reign of success. LeBron and company was simply on a mission to prove all doubters wrong while on the road to Cleveland’s first championship in NBA history.
In a year where the media displayed controversy on Cleveland’s end, this team didn’t let that get to them. This Cavs team worked hard and kept their eyes on the prize, which was bringing a ring to “The Land”. Even after a head coach change, Tyronn Lue did a good job at addressing this team and their needs and in his first season as head coach he coached them to a title. Cleveland finished the regular season 57-25 and going into the playoffs as the clear favorites out the east. Meanwhile on the west coast, one of the best regular seasons of all time is happening right before our eyes. Stephen Curry was on a tear from opening night and ultimately won the first unanimous MVP in NBA history. His team followed closely having a historic season with a gameplan the NBA has never seen before, mastering the game from beyond the arc. But after a shaky playoff run from this team (who didn’t have to face the LA Clippers) ended in a game 7 finals loss, their historic season means a lot less without the ring.
The LeBron James and Kyrie Irving tandem was astonishing. LeBron finished this series with the finals MVP averaging 30points, 11rebounds, and 9assists along with 2steals and 2blocks. He was leading for every stat for the series. Kyrie Irving showed why his absence last year made a huge difference in the previous year finals. He finished out Game 7 with a huge three in the last minute of the game, capping off lights-out play since scoring only 10 points in game 2. Kyrie was the better player than who was lined up in front of him every time, and he made sure he exposed that. He outplayed the MVP in this series, that alone speaks volumes for the young guard that has a promising future with his first NBA title coming at 24 years old. James and Irving’s heroic ball play came at the right time, when their teammates shots weren’t falling they had to carry the load offensively. LeBron scored or assisted on 50% of the Cavaliers scoring during this series.
As for the Warriors, this was a blown assignment for the entire team. Having all the hype on your side after a 2-0 start that turn into 3-1 with a chance to close out at home in five games. Out of three games they couldn’t win one. Also, this was an absolutely horrible series for Harrison Barnes, who is looking forward to a big contract summer. Barnes finished out this series 5-32 since Game 5. On top of that, the unanimous MVP wasn’t himself all series. Curry only delivered in flashes throughout the series, only going for 17 points on 4-14 from deep in Game 7. Curry didn’t come close to matching up to the level of Kyrie Irving and often times he found himself in foul trouble. Klay Thompson jump shot wasn’t there either. Injuries factored in to Golden State’s downfall, too. Bogut went down in Game 5 followed by Iggy’s back spasms in 6 put them in an unhealthy position in which they been in all season. The Warriors lost 10 games in the playoffs compared to the 9 they lost in the regular season. This finals loss all in all came from the miscues of Golden State, failing to get the job done.
Great job by the Cavaliers on winning their first ever NBA championship. This is a pivotal moment in LeBron James career and as a NBA fan it has been amazing watching his road to success. There is no doubt in my mind that LeBron is the greatest small forward of all time. 3-time champion, 3-time finals MVP, 4-time MVP, 12-time All-Star, 10-time All-NBA first team, 2-time All-NBA second team, 5-time all-defensive first team, and a scoring champion in a lustrous career. Now let’s see where the Cavaliers go from here as an organization with a championship. Well-deserved for the city of Cleveland. SN: NBA DRAFT THIS THURSDAY!