Cavs Lose Game 5 Because Two Supermen Can’t Defeat a Superteam

    As Game 5 came to an end with the Golden State Warriors winning their second championship in three years, the paradigm shift that was whispered at when Kevin Durant decided to link up with Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors is now a hardcore truth.  The truth, as far as I’ve been able to discern it, says that superteams will be the norm in the NBA from here forward.  

    Indeed, there are many who would state that superteams are nothing new in the NBA, pointing to the Boston Celtics in the 60s and 80s, the Lakers of the early 80s, the championship winning Philadelphia Sixers team in ’83, the Chicago Bulls in the 90s, the Los Angeles Lakers in the early 2000s and the Miami Heat squad on which LeBron James won two championships.

    Despite the consternation that falls carelessly from the mouths of those who would crown Kevin Durant as the new dictator for life of the National Basketball Association, it has always been and always will be about winning.  No matter the banter, the disrespectful memes and the foul cries of antiquated veterans, no matter the calls for an asterisk to be tattooed upon the legacy of the Slim Reaper, Kevin Durant has won on the biggest stage and was the MVP to boot.  

    Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors – Game 5 – Full Game Highlights | 2017 NBA Finals

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    He’s always been an elite scorer, but on the biggest stage he made clutch basket after clutch basket down the stretch in each of the Warriors’ four wins.  Many people are clamoring to crown Durant as the best player in the world due to his performance, but that would somehow imply that LeBron James has fallen off.  

    Okay, the GOAT talk surrounding LeBron James for the entire second half of the NBA season has been put to bed for good, but that doesn’t take away from his brilliance. He became the first player in the history of the NBA to average a triple double in the Finals producing 33 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, 1 steal and 1 block per game.  But it must be noted that Kevin Durant’s ability to score on James whenever he wished, however he wished, was telling of Durant’s incredible offensive game and James’ somewhat overrated abilities on defense. Can he guard all five positions?  I’ve always doubted that assessment.

    Though the burden was on James to be great, none of the prior criticisms that he suffered are appropriate enough reasons why the Cavaliers lost in five games. Plainly put, the Warriors were just the better team while the Cavaliers’ moving parts never seemed to be clicking simultaneously.  When LeBron and Kyrie Irving were on, Kevin Love was off.  When Kevin Love was on, JR Smith was off. When LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were on, Tristan Thompson was a no show.   

    Golden State Warriors – Trophy Presentation Ceremony #1 | 2017 NBA Finals

    2017 NBA Playoffs Finals Full Game Highlights Game 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 June 12th 12 2016 2017 Cleveland Cavaliers Golden State Warriors LeBron James Stephen Curry Kyrie Irving Eastern Western Conference Finals Ximo Pierto NBATV HD Live Stream Streaming 720p Youtube Official Channel Top 10 Plays Dunks

    Additionally, Tyronn Lue struggled to make timely adjustments throughout the series.  Particularly, imploring Kevin Love to post up every time down would have helped. He shot 39 percent from the field because his long range shot was off.  Also, placing him closer to the basket would have given him even more opportunities to rebound the basketball, thus preventing the Warriors from getting out on the break after a defensive rebound or setting up their defense after a put back. 

    Kyrie Irving did his level best and was virtually unstoppable in Game 5.  However, one-on-one basketball takes a lot of energy and he appeared spent in the 4th quarter.  He finished the game with 26 points but missed buckets he would otherwise have made down the stretch.  His counterpart in Steph Curry finished with 34 points and 10 assists while averaging 27 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists for the series. That’s not to mention the GSW bench of Andre Igoudola (20 points in Game 5) and Shawn Livingston providing timely scoring and defense throughout the series.  Conversely, neither Kyle Korver nor Deron Williams performed.  In fact, Williams looked completely lost.  That has nothing to do with LBJ. 

    It’s no shame on Cleveland to lose to such a squad.

    Yes, the Golden State Warriors are the harbinger of an NBA future in which superstar players have more power to chose their own destiny than they ever have had in the past and I do not see that as a bad thing.  Plainly put, everybody has to shut up and get their proverbial weight up and try again next year.  The bottom line is the best teams win and you do whatever you can to get on the best team.  That’s true in life and is now true in sports.