After coming in second his entire life, Kevin Durant finally added that illustrious NBA championship to his decorated hall-of-fame resume, accomplishing the only acceptable result for this super-team since joining the 73-win Warriors last July. KD was unstoppable this series, posting averages of 35 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists in each of the five games it took to dispose of Cleveland. Seriously, KD could go down as a potential top 10 or 20 player of all-time and the third best small forward ever. Congrats to the Warriors on their second title in three years, as they stare down a dynasty.
Durant made things look easy on the court, taking advantage of a great supporting cast giving him room to cook weaker defenders one on one. Kevin, I will give you this, you joined a great team but turned it into YOUR team, I think something needs to be said for that.
Whenever the Cavaliers threw a counter punch or went on a run, KD was the one with the ball in his hands to diffuse Cleveland’s momentum with back-breaking three pointers and thunderous leak out dunks, which made him the Finals MVP after a 16-1 post-season run. Game five shifted when KD should’ve been tagged with his third foul after hitting LeBron’s head on a dunk attempt, which he made early in the 2nd quarter. Instead the Warriors went on one of their classic avalanche runs to open up their lead to 17.
LeBron James averaged a triple-double in the NBA Finals, becoming the FIRST person to do so in the history of the sport. Let that sink in, if anything this series helped LeBron’s legacy averaging 34, 12 and 10 while shooting 56% from the field is just god-like. Apex LeBron is something special and people should just shut up and appreciate it. The man left it all on the floor doing everything he could in over 41 minutes a game, and even had to guard KD a lot at the other end. No rest for the weary. LeBron and Kyrie (who played his ass of as well) were noticeably spent at the end of games, as they expanded a lot of energy to create offense. Shout out to J.R. Spliff for validating his contract with that game five performance including 7 threes for 25 points on the road.
The scoring and shooting exuded in this series shows where the NBA is going and that is exciting. This was the highest scoring Finals ever, breaking scoring records across the board while giving fans a look at what an All-Star game would feel like if the players actually tried. The 2017 Finals was one of the most watched ever and I think this trilogy has been positive overall for the NBA. Think about it, would you be as locked in to see San Antonio-Washington Finals games with scores of 90-86? Every fan has now picked a side in the Cavs-Warriors rivalry and it will have a place in history. I’m sure there will be a 30 for 30 on it in the future (Lakers-Celtics Rivalry in the 80’s 30 for 30 premieres tonight).
Let’s give props to Warrior management for great drafting and cap structure, they have set the standard for the league to match going forward. This isn’t the last of the legendary match up, just another chapter. Cavaliers-Warriors III was fun, but Cleveland has some work to do in order to compete with that kind of firepower. Will the Cavs roster look different when they meet for the fourth edition next June? I’m glad you asked.
Cleveland Cavaliers 2017 Off-Season:
Okay David Griffin (Cavs GM), you have LeBron at 32-years-old, a coach who fails to make necessary adjustments (Lue and Kerr both made questionable decisions IMO), and a team in salary cap hell thanks to the contracts you’ve given out the last couple off-seasons. How are you going to match that juggernaut of a team in Golden State who whooped you by an average of 13 points in 5 Finals games?
Luckily for David, I got you bro! If I was appointed Cavalier GM this summer here are the moves I am looking at to keep LeBron happy in Cleveland. Our main issue is that we cannot play our best five guys at crunch time against the small-ball Warriors because Tristan Thompson and K-Love cannot play together, as they get exposed in pick and roll and isolation when switched onto guys like Curry, with spacing on offense as an additional problem. That’s a huge issue and why I think you need to do everything you can to pull off a Love for Paul George deal with Indiana. Pacers management knows their star is going to leave via free agency if they do not deal him by next season’s trade deadline. If they want to remain relevant, Love is their best option, as they will have control of a potential All-Star and a major piece of their future for the next three seasons. PG would be a perfect fit with his two-way ability and versatility on the defensive end in a Warrior/Cavs series and gives Cleveland a legitimate Durant defender, instead of ploying guys like Shump and J.R. to spare LeBron some rest on the defensive end.
If that doesn’t work out I shift my sights to two of LeBron’s good friends, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade. That’s right, the banana boat crew is here. I’m getting on the phone with the incompetent Phil Jackson who would probably beg me to take Melo, who would undoubtedly waive his no-trade clause for his best shot at a ring outside of Golden State. There were rumbles at the deadline that a potential Love for Anthony swap was on the table and I expect those rumors to heat up beginning next week at the NBA draft and continue into July. Come on Phil! K-Love is a great fit in the triangle with Zinger, think Kurt Rambis on steroids (kidding).
Okay but seriously hear me out, Carmelo Anthony fits that Warrior-Cavalier series. I know he just turned 33 and hasn’t committed on the defensive end throughout his career (not that Love is a good defender) but playing with the best player in the world could heal that ailment. Melo would be a great fit with LeBron and give them a solid scorer and sniper from deep who thrives in crunch time and will show up on the road. I don’t want to make it look like I hate Kevin Love, but he just doesn’t fit and is the Cavs best trade piece. I would love to see Melo play in some big-time Finals games with a ring on the line.
On to D-Wade. I’m telling LeBron to get on the phone with his buddy and tell him his services are needed and he owes you after what you did for him in Miami, leading him to his second and third rings respectively. Obviously Wade isn’t going to stay in the hell-hole that is Chicago and will be opting out of his deal. I don’t know how much money the Cavs will be able to offer above the minimum, but after making over 20 million this past season I’m hoping the friendship push will carry him all the way to The Land.
You tell me which lineup looks better?
Kyrie-Wade-LeBron-Melo/PG13-Thompson (J.R. 6th Man like the good old days)
I’ve got two final points before I drop the mic. Deron Williams, take your ass to a retirement home. You are a bum and tried to ruin the finals by touching the ball. You somehow made Cleveland fans miss the legendary Delly.
Lastly, please do not buy into the hype of KD vs LeBron as the best player in the league. The King still sits comfortably in his throne. See everyone next week at the NBA Draft!