The Golden State Warriors are the 2017 NBA Champions!
— NBA (@NBA) June 13, 2017
After suffering a heartbreaking defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers last year on their home court, Golden State responded with one of the most dominant postseason runs in NBA History.
Warriors finished the 2017 NBA Playoffs with a 16-1 (.941) mark, the best single-season winning percentage in NBA postseason history.
— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) June 13, 2017
The game started very competitive with Cleveland and Golden State going back and forth at each other. In the second quarter, the Cleveland Cavaliers found a way to go up by eight with excellent play from LeBron James.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) June 13, 2017
Cleveland’s lead did not last long though. The Warriors were able to go on a game-changing 21-2 run that put them in the drivers seat at half-time.
— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) June 13, 2017
During the second half, Cleveland was able to cut the lead down to five points, but it was not enough. Kevin Durant dominated the game, and led the Warriors to their second title in three years.
Takeaways for Cleveland
Cleveland was excellent offensively in this game, but like in all their losses before, defense was still a huge problem. They gave up 129 points, and allowed a 21-2 run in the first half that they could never recover from. Cleveland’s defensive woes must be addressed in the off-season if they want to be defeat this Golden State team next year.
The bench came up short once again for Cleveland, scoring only seven points. They were no match for Golden State’s bench, who scored 35 points last night. Despite Cleveland’s effort during the season to strengthen their bench, and acquire players like Kyle Korver and Deron Williams, they were never able to produce at this level.
Kevin Love came up short again in a high-pressure game. When the lights are brightest, Love seems to always come up short. It will be interesting to see the decision that Cleveland’s management makes with him during the off-season.
Takeaways for Golden State
When Kevin Durant joined Golden State in the summer, it was unclear who would be the leader of the team. He rubber-stamped his place as the Warriors’ alpha in this series.
— NBA (@NBA) June 13, 2017
After all of the hate and vitriol he received for his decision, he received his vindication. He won the championship, while being the best player on the team.
Golden State has made their living on playing a selfless, free-flowing style of offense that is nearly impossible to stop. Game 5 highlighted this style, and did so at a high level. They got 35 points from the bench and excellent play from their best players. This team is going to be a juggernaut for years to come, and it is difficult to see anyone stopping them in the near future.
Player of the Game: Kevin Durant (39 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists)
Honorable Mention: LeBron James (41 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists)