Draymond Green may have said it best after his Golden State Warriors bested the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals to capture their second title in three years. During the post game celebration, Green made the statement that maybe it was a good thing that Golden State lost in the Finals to Cleveland. He went on to say that the setback set in motion the franchise securing Kevin Durant during the offseason.
I happen to believe Green’s statement is true. After the Warriors failed to finish off Cleveland in last year’s Finals, blowing a 3-1 lead in the series, they must have realized they needed to get better if they wanted to go from a one-time title winner to multiple titles. So the team aggressively pursued superstar Kevin Durant in free agency. They landed the former MVP and the rest is history as they say.
Durant proved to be worth every dollar spent as he led Golden State to this year’s championship. He became just the sixth player in NBA history to score 30 or more points in each game of a finals. Durant sealed the deal by tallying 39 points in the series—clinching 129-120 Game 5 victory.
Durant, in his first year with the Warriors, was an easy choice as Finals MVP. While leading the team in scoring, he came up with so many clutch hoops and shot well over 50 percent from the field. I could not help but think, while watching Durant take over in Game 5, that this is his team now. The Cavs played hard and played extremely well. I believe they would have repeated if not for Durant. The fact that Stephen Curry averaged 26.8 points, 9.4 assists and 8 rebounds a game in the series and didn’t receive any votes for MVP confirms Durant’s dominant performance. Early indications are that Golden State’s roster may not change much during the summer. The entire core is expected back so we may have an actual dynasty going on here.
The Warriors now have two titles in three seasons to go with a record-setting three-year regular season run (207-39 record). If Golden State does reach the Finals again, you would have to think that LeBron James and the Cavs will be waiting for them again. James is now 3-5 in NBA Finals. But he gets a pass this year in my book as he averaged a triple-double in the series, averaging 33.6 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists a game. He and Kyrie Irving were amazing throughout the series. But in the end, Durant won out and was the difference-maker.
LeBron & Kevin hug after the game