Jun. 13, 2017
Road to Redemption
At this time last year, the Golden State Warriors were in the process of being the first team to blow a 3-1 lead in an NBA Finals. In the aftermath of that and into the offseason, we were wondering how they would be able to redeem themselves. In that agonizing loss, came a silver lining that ended up being gold--signing Kevin Durant. As Draymond Green famously said "we don't need you for the regular season, we need you in the playoffs", and boy did KD respond. On the biggest stage, KD shined as the biggest star. In garnering his first NBA championship as well as Finals MVP, KD validated his move to the Bay Area by averaging 35 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 5.4 APG while putting up a 50-40-90 shooting line (57% FG, 47% 3PT and 92% FT). Given what happened in a Game 4 blowout by the Cavs, you could only imagine that a little bit of what happened last year may have started to creep into their minds. But Durant, who stood toe-to-toe to the King in this series, was not going to let a repeat happen of last year. Every time Cleveland made a push, KD was there to hit the big shot to quelch their momentum. When he signed last offseason, it was for this opportunity, for this chance to play for a title, and for this chance to show the basketball world his insanely efficient offensive arsenal. We also saw KD defend like never before for this Warrior team. The unselfishness that this team has come to be known for was the reason KD could fit in so effortlessly, but make no mistakes about it, KD led this team and in the Finals, he proved that he could be the alpha dog against the defending champs. I have to commend Cleveland on battling in this series, but it was always an uphill climb. Having KD and Steph alone isn't fair, but then to add Klay and Draymond, it's just an embarrassment of riches. You also can't forget the contributions of the Warrior bench, which outscored Cleveland's bench 35-7, with the old man, Andre Iguodala scoring 20 points and bringing his usuall defensive prowess. We now have the first title for GSW in the KD era, and it seems that this could be a continuous thing. KD and Steph are both free agents, but no one is giving one inkling of thought that they both won't resign. The Warriors will have their big 4 back and the scary thought is that not one of those players is over 29. Other teams will now have to wonder what they can do to challenge this squad, and how they can put together a roster to compete. GSW has now won 2 of the last 3 and were possibly, if Kyrie Irving misses that 3-pointer, looking at having a three-peat right now. Get ready people we may be looking at the next dynasty in the NBA.