10 Takeaways from Cavaliers vs. Warriors NBA Finals Game 5
BY: ZACH BUCKLEY
The Golden State Warriors got the rubber match.
For the second time in three seasons, the Warriors are NBA champions. Their third consecutive championship-round battle with the Cleveland Cavaliers proved to be the shortest, as Golden State secured the title with Monday’s 129-120 win in Game 5.
Kevin Durant, a first-year Warrior and NBA Finalist for the first time since 2012, punctuated his series MVP effort with 39 points on 14-of-20 shooting. Not to be outdone, his MVP running mate Stephen Currydelivered 34 points and 10 assists. LeBron James capped yet another remarkable Finals performance with 41 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.
But enough about what happened—let’s figure out what it all means.
KD’s Critics Are Silenced
Arguing against Durant’s decision was always a strange move. Free agency means the freedom to sign where you please. He sought out the best situation for him and his family—on and off the court—and made his way west. Even if you didn’t like the optics, what would complaining actually accomplish? Not that it stopped anyone from doing so, of course. But, what can you say now?
LeBron’s Legacy Is Unchanged
Remember how much “3-1” dominated sports talk last summer? Let’s hope the same thing doesn’t happen to “3-5,”—James’ new Finals record.
For the Jordan-is-G.O.A.T. debaters, James’ mark in the championship round ends the discussion. But on an individual level, what else was he supposed to do in this series? He became the first Finals competitor to ever average a triple-double, per ESPN Stats & Info, while shooting 48.3 percent from the field and 39.0 percent outside against the league’s No. 2 defense.
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