Did Lebron James deserve to be voted NBA Finals MVP?

Ross Houston
June 15, 2017

The Golden State Warriors on Monday secured their second National Basketball Association championship in three seasons with a 129-120 win in Game 5 over the Cleveland Cavaliers, capping a near-perfect run through the playoffs.

Although the Warriors two MVPs, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry will get most of the headlines, Andre Iguodala, the 2015 Finals MVP should receive a heap of praise as well for how he played in a closeout game.

Golden State winning this championship became a near foregone conclusion to many when the league salary cap spike allowed the 73-win squad to add Kevin Durant last summer.

As expected for Cleveland, LeBron James came in as the leading scorer with 41 points.

The Warriors won in 2015 before the Cavs made their historic comeback previous year. Green shot 34.5 percent for the series and never got around to having the kind of statement game he had in Game 7 of last year's Finals. "They showcased that throughout the postseason, and we were another opponent in their way".

"I couldn't sleep for two days", Durant, who was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, said during an on-court interview.

The Warriors also posted a 16-1 record (.941 win percentage) in these playoffs to go on the best title run ever, percentage points better than the 2001 Lakers (15-1, .938).

"There was never any question in my mind that this was going to work", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of the addition of Durant to a Curry-led core that already was good enough to make consecutive Finals.

Five years ago, Durant was playing his first National Basketball Association finals, and he didn't manage to win the ring with Oklahoma.

"He'll probably be back in the gym the start of July getting ready for next season, so I've probably got to beat him to the gym", Durant said. He averaged a triple-double (33.6 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists) during the series. Both of them could improve the Cavaliers, but it is questionable if Cleveland can afford them as the team will have to pay over $120 million for their players next year, which is well above the salary cap.

History will always note that Durant's first championship came against James. Then, when James left Miami for Cleveland, he joined up with No. 1 draft pick Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, forming another formidable trio.

LeBron James has now lost five Finals in eight appearances - only the fourth player to come up short in five NBA Finals. I just wanted to put it all out there. "This was the culmination of a year where (Durant and Curry) grew together and learned each other's games and got better and better all year".

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