The Cleveland Cavaliers did the unthinkable in winning the NBA championship in seven games, becoming the first team to erase a 3-1 deficit.
- The stepback three-point shots from Steph Curry not only stopped falling but weren’t even close at times. He was 15 of 42 from three in the last three games of the series (35.7%) -- all losses. His backcourt mate, Klay Thompson, was 11 of 31 in that same span (35.4%). The Warriors lived by shots like that all season but died in Game 7.
- Even with all the overpriced pieces in Cleveland, LeBron James still had to carry the load. He did have more offensive help with Kyrie Irving. Even though Kevin Love had his best game of the series, if he played like he was worth $22.6 million this series would’ve been a lot easier. In the end, it's difficult to still criticize these moves by owner Dan Gilbert. He brought a trophy to Cleveland. But he probably could've achieved a similar result without being a luxury tax team.
- Irving got away from the one-on-one dribbling exhibitions that helped put the Cavs in a 3-1 hole. He was more disciplined on knowing when to say when. His game-winning three over Curry was a perfect example. Then Curry countered by dribbling out the clock with a forced, contested three that was errant and essentially cost Golden State a chance to win.
- Harrison Barnes may get a max offer in the offseason, but he’s not a max player. He was 5 of 32 shooting in the last three games of the series. He had 0 points in Game 6. He had just five points in Game 5, when Draymond Green was suspended and the Warriors needed him to fill the void. When Curry missed time vs. the Portland Trail Blazers with a knee strain, Barnes was equally absent of mind.
- The Wizards would've taken Barnes had Bradley Beal been off the board in 2012, but don't dare compare the two. Look at how Beal performed in two posteasons and then apologize.
- Just because James was MVP of the Finals doesn’t invalidate Curry’s MVP for the regular season. Two different awards. At 31, it’s harder for James to keep up his level for an 82-game season. He’s still the better player, obviously.
- Big men are still needed. If Andrew Bogut hadn't gone down with a knee injury would it have mattered? Maybe not. But he's big enough to thwart some of those straight line drives to the basket. The Cavs had a more versatile big in Tristan Thompson who can step away from the basket and be a force on the boards. Size matters but size with flexibility which is something Festus Ezeli lacked as he was terrible for Golden State all series.
- James has long been great. The question was just how great when compared to like players. This victory elevates him into top 3 discussion. Some may feel he has always belonged there but earning a title this way is far sweeter. The two with the Miami Heat always would come with the asterisk because he had to go join Dwyane Wade's team. The Cavs not only had to win three in a row, but two on the road in the toughest building to play all season.
- If you're still using the cliche that Green is a "system player" then you don't understand that the 6-7 forward is the system. He can defend centers though he's undersized and point guards, run the offense to alleviate the pressure on Curry which allows the guard to roam and run off repeated pindowns to get open looks. Green was sixth in the NBA in assists. Green had 32 points on 11 of 15 shooting in Game 7, with 15 rebounds, nine assists and two steals. He showed up. Pull Green off this team and they're not even getting past Oklahoma City.
- No, these 73-win Warriors couldn’t beat Michael Jordan’s 72-win Bulls in a seven-game series.