DAR Sports: 2015 NBA Finals- Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers

By @TrueGodImmortal 

I know what you're thinking. This series just happened months ago. Regardless, this Finals series holds a bit of importance going forward for the game of basketball. After LeBron James won 2 championships and had 4 straight NBA Finals appearances with the Miami Heat, he decided to go back to his hometown team the Cleveland Cavaliers and build his own strong team to carry to the championship. He would bring in Minnesota Timberwolves big man Kevin Love to assist himself and the outstanding point guard Kyrie Irving in the quest for the championship. Some trades and more acquisitions completed the team and the Cavs would end up going 34-9 to finish the season after a subpar 19-20 start to secure the 2nd seed in the East with a 53-29 record.

The Golden State Warriors had a storied run on their path to the NBA championship. After acquiring Steve Kerr as their coach following the departure of Mark Jackson, the Warriors set out to make history led by one of the greatest shooters ever in Steph Curry, as well as a strong supporting cast in Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes, etc. The Warriors, a team who are deadly from the 3 point line, ended up finishing the season with an amazing 67-15 record, which is one of the best regular season records ever. Curry would break his own record for most three pointers in a season, finishing with 286 three pointers and secured the 2014-2015 NBA MVP award. The Warriors seemed to be the team to beat heading into the Finals.

Both teams seemingly had easy paths to the Finals, as the Cavs swept the Celtics, beat the Bulls In 6 games, and swept the no. 1 seed Hawks in the conference finals to give LeBron his 5th consecutive Finals appearance. Unfortunately for the Cavs, there was a huge loss as Kevin Love went down with an injury. That wouldn't slow the Cavs down in their path to the Finals, but it would seem costly to them down the line. The Warriors would have a pretty easy path as well as they swept the Pelicans, beat the Grizzlies in 6 games, and beat the Rockets in 5 games to advance to the Finals. LeBron vs Curry. The most popular player in the league vs the league's MVP. The stage was set.

*Game 1

-From the start of this game, the Cavs looked as if they had the Warriors under control, as they got out to an early 29-15 lead, but the Warriors pulled within 5 to close out the first half. LeBron would go on a scoring frenzy in this game, finishing with a career NBA Finals high of 44 points, but it would prove to not be enough as the Warriors would manage to take game 1 in Overtime, 108-100. The Cavs played well and had many chances to win in the final moments of regulation, but none of their shots would fall and in OT, the same thing occurred. Steph finished with 26 points and 8 assists, Iguodala would finish with 15 points off the bench as the Warriors walked away with a game 1 win. The big story coming out of this was the injury Kyrie suffered in OT that would sideline him for the rest of the series. Some say this was a difference maker in the series and with The Warriors already up 1-0, many began to speculate that the Warriors could sweep the Cavs.

*Game 2

-Another close game takes place between the two teams as Steph struggles to find a rhythm while LeBron proves he is the best player today with an amazing triple-double performance. Despite his shooting percentage being a bit off (11 for 35), LeBron finished with 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists, making history as the Cavs tied the series 1-1 without Love and Irving in the lineup, 95-93 in another overtime victory. This marked the first time in NBA history that the first two games of a series went to overtime. Curry couldn't get a rhythm going all game, and with the defense of Matthew Dellavedova locking him up, he had a terrible shooting night, going 5 for 23 and finishing with 19 points. Klay Thompson would be the leading scorer with 34 points, but he couldn't give the Warriors the win, as the Cavs got a game in the Finals without two of their big three in the lineup and looked to secure a game 3 win back at home. This was also the first NBA Finals win in history for the Cavs.

*Game 3

-As the series now moved to Cleveland, we witnessed LeBron put on another epic performance, finishing this game with 40 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals. The Cavs would secure a win and their first ever lead in a NBA Finals series with a 96-91 victory here. The story here was that the Warriors were being outplayed and Steph couldn't seem to find a rhythm. For a Warriors team with no true NBA Finals experience, one began to wonder if that would be the determining factor in the series. However, Steph began to find his rhythm and scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, finishing with 27 points and 6 assists. With the Cavs up 2-1, they looked to take a big lead going into game 4.

*Game 4

-Steve Kerr decided to put Andre Iguodala in the starting lineup and it proved to be effective as he finished the game with 22 points and stopped LeBron in this game. LeBron, who had extremely high scoring games in the first 3 games was held to only 20 points in this game. The addition of Iguodala to the lineup seemed to make a huge difference, as the Warriors regrouped to win 103-82 as they commanded and controlled the 4th quarter. It was the largest win of the series. Curry would finish with 22 points and 6 assists as the series was now 2-2 and it headed back to the Oracle Arena.

*Game 5

-After a pretty quiet game for him in game 4, LeBron came back focused and recorded another triple-double with 40 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists, but it would not be enough, as the Warriors took a 3-2 series lead with a 104-91 victory. The game was close for the first three quarters, but in the 4th quarter, the Warriors turned up and would outscore the Cavs 25-11 in the final 7 minutes of the game. Curry would finish with 37 points, playing his best game of the series so far going 13 for 23 in shooting, along with knocking down 7 three pointers. After having a solid 2-1 lead in the series, the Cavs now had their backs against the wall, and would need a great comeback to beat the Warriors. As the series went back to Cleveland for game 6, we all wondered if LeBron could lead the team to victory.

*Game 6

-LeBron came back to bring to a championship to Cleveland, but unfortunately for him it wasn't meant to be, as the Cavs would lose game 6 105-97 and the series. The Warriors would go on to win their first NBA Title in 40 years led by the play of Draymond Green, Iguodala and of course Curry in this game. Draymond would finish with a triple-double of his own, putting up 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, while Steph and Iguodala both finished with 25 points each. LeBron would have a stellar performance in this series averaging a double-double with 35.3 points and 13.3 rebounds per game. However, the Finals MVP award would go to Iguodala, as it seemed his role in the starting lineup provided the boost the Warriors needed, though it should have went to Curry, the leader of the team all season. Curry averaged 26 points and over 6 assists per game and his play in game 5 is what essentially put the series in the Warriors' favor. Though Iguodala winning the award didn't bother me, it just seemed more obvious to give it to Steph considering Iguodala didn't even start until game 4.

Regardless, the Warriors would win the 2015 NBA championship and have gotten out to a great start in the 2015-2016 season as well. The significance here is that the Warriors went 83-20 in their entire run during the season and playoffs, which is the third best record ever behind the Bulls in 96 and 97. That was a Bulls team that went on a dominant three-peat. The Warriors have all the right pieces and are seemingly more focused than ever. Could they possibly be on the verge of their own dynasty? It's still very early in the season, but it looks quite promising for them. Only time will tell.

Your 2015 NBA Champions, the Golden State Warriors.



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