Last night in Cleveland, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals 4-2. This brings an end to a great NBA season that started with the best player in the world, LeBron James returning home to Cleveland last offseason. Going into Game 6 knowing the Cavaliers could be eliminated, many still believe LeBron James could be crowned Finals MVP despite a losing effort. There has not been a player from the losing team awarded the NBA Finals MVP award since Jerry West in 1969. Ultimately, Golden State Warriors guard Andre Iguodala won the award on a night that saw him contribute 25 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals.
The Cavaliers were hampered by injuries all playoffs long. The lost both Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving forcing them to use a shortened rotation that included LeBron James, Timofey Mozgov, Tristan Thompson, JR Smith, Iman Shumpert, Matthew Dellavedova, and James Jones. At times, Cleveland found it hard to score. If it wasn’t LeBron scoring the Cavs had to rely on the streaky outside shooting of Smith, Shumpert, and Jones who more times than not were off than on.
The Warriors deserved this championship as they had a deep roster and great top end talent. Not only did they have the leagues MVP in Stephen Curry, they also had a member on the All NBA 3rd team in sharp shooter Klay Thompson. Forward Draymond Green was also a member of the All NBA Defensive 1st team. The Warriors bench had great punch all season long from now Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, forward/center Marreese Speights, point guard Shaun Livingston, guard Leandro Barbosa, and often times forward/center David Lee who at times had trouble cracking the rotation because he didn’t quite fit head coach Steve Kerr’s system.
The only two players that saw meaningful minutes for the Warriors in the playoffs that are not currently under contract for next season are Draymond Green and Leandro Barbosa. The Warriors will ultimately match any offer for Draymond Green who looks to be a budding star in this league. Barbosa will likely get his walking papers. Golden State can still bring in some good talent to this roster if and when they decide to move David Lee who is slated to make $15.5 million next season. The team holds an option for Speights for next year at $3.8 million. It’ll be interesting to see if the Warriors let him go with the recent development of Festus Ezeli and other young bigs on the roster.