NBA Finals 2017: Cavaliers vs

Lawrence Kim
June 13, 2017

"The aggressor usually gets the whistle and they were the aggressor".

After joining the Golden State Warriors last summer, it took just one season for Kevin Durant to win his first championship, and now he has an extra piece of hardware to go along with it, as he was unanimously named 2017 Finals MVP.

The Warriors got it done in five games but this Finals felt much closer than that.

In Game 3 and Game 4, they either moved the offensive player out of the corner to give Irving a lot more room to drive... For the series, he shot 56 percent from the field. Indeed, Cleveland's 86 points in the first half was only one point less than the Western Conference All-Stars scored in the first half of the 2017 All-Star game - a game in which (after Kawhi Leonard's early steal) neither team pretended to play a lick of defense. And that for many is the stat of the night, that's why they won. They're also far more replicable than the ones he was getting in Game 1 and Game 2. But they lost that one.

The answer to that is rather simple: this series is not the battle of the superstars. We got behind the eight ball and they came out and played the way they were supposed to play all year. He is averaging a triple double when it matters. "You never want to be in elimination games, but when you are, you want to be as prepared as possible".

The Warriors, once again, showed their team depth with Andre Iguodala scoring 20 off the bench, including several emphatic dunks and three-point shots that seemed to rejuvenate the Warriors and their fans.

Wrapping up the series in five games meant the Warriors came through the post-season with a 16-1 record, with only the defeat in game four keeping them from perfection.

In the past two games, Irving hit 64 percent of shots when a defender was within four feet, per NBA.com/Stats. Who, then, are the men who are making the difference?

J.R. Smith hit another 3-pointer and LeBron James scored on a hard putback to help Cleveland cut a deficit that was 17 in the second quarter to eight, 86-77, with five minutes to play in the third quarter. Durant has 28 points on 9-of-13 shooting and Curry has 25 points. The Celtics hold The Finals record for points in a game, beating the Lakers 148-114 on May 27, 1985. In fact they usually don't even get their own signature shoes. But as we saw in Game 4, Cleveland's roster is just as loaded with talent and can compete with anybody.

In Games 2 and 3, he had 22 and 30 points respectively, hitting 10 threes in those two games. The Warriors didn't gain this year's 3-0 advantage on a halfcourt fling and a prayer.

The Cavaliers are the clear-cut second-favorites to win next year's title, at 3-1 at the SuperBook. When he's open, he's going to make shots. The first three games, helping guys up off the floor, smiling, talking to guys and - yeah, I didn't like that.

The bottom line is that Cleveland has gotten these Finals to 3-1, a familiar situation that must give them a little comfort. The Warriors won 129-120 to win the National Basketball Association championship. "I was anxious and jittery and I just wanted to leave it all out there", Durant told ESPN's Doris Burke minutes after the game ended.

On the other side, Thompson and Green have been playing at sub-par levels all series.

The best shooting team in the league couldn't buy a bucket early in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Do the math: Mike Brown got his $4 million from the Cavaliers this year and has some amount coming to him next season, too. Although he leads the team in rebounds, he's not been particularly useful as a playmaker or scorer. "For us, every game's a game seven". "They did a great job, their front office and their players, by doing that recruiting, the things that they did in the summertime, and obviously it paid dividends".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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