The Golden State Warriors closed out the NBA Finals last night with a 105-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers to win their first NBA title in 40 years. The win capped a sensational season for the Warriors which saw them win 67 games and net the regular season MVP for point guard Steph Curry. The Warriors 83 total wins is the third most in NBA history.
Andre Iguodala took home the Finals MVP after averaging 16.3 points, 4 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game during the series. He also had the task of guarding Lebron James, holding him to 38% shooting. Iguodala came off the bench for the first three games of the series, getting his first start in game 4. The Warriors won every game he started.
Cleveland lost in the Finals for the second time in franchise history. They last appeared in the Finals in 2007, when they were swept by San Antonio. The city of Cleveland has not seen a pro sports championship since 1964.
The Cavs faced an uphill battle after losing Kevin Love early in the playoffs, and then losing Kyrie Irving in game 1 of the Finals. Lebron James had a monster series, averaging 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game. He became the first player in NBA to lead BOTH teams in all three stats. The all time great performance was not quite enough to net James his third championship. Lebron is now 2-4 in the NBA Finals.
This easily could be a series we see again in the future. Both teams are likely to be contenders over the next few years. The East remains relatively weak, and Lebron is still clearly the best player in the world. While the Cavs could lose Kevin Love in the off season, they would still be favorites in the East without him.
The Warriors face a much tougher road in the West, but they should come back relatively intact next season. David Lee is likely going to be moved, but he was not instrumental in the Warriors’ success this season. As long as Steph Curry and Klay Thompson stay healthy, the Warriors will continue to contend for the title.