By: Kylan Watson
Last week, the Cleveland Cavaliers were fighting to keep their championship aspirations alive, as they faced the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. The Cavaliers did not put up much of a fight in the game, as the Warriors destroyed the Cavs by a score of 108-85. With the victory they earned their third title in four years and may have ended the LeBron James era in Cleveland.
The Warriors got off to a hot start from the opening tip-off. They were able to dominate the Cavs with their outside shooting. The Warriors hit 14 three-pointers and were able to score in the paint because the Cavaliers would run them off the three-point line. A player who benefitted the most from this game-plan by the Warriors was Guard, Stephen Curry.
Curry hit some big shots for the Warriors when they needed them the most. Curry scored 37 points, grabbed six rebounds, and had four assists. Curry was not the only one who had a big performance against the Cavs. Kevin Durant also performed well, he scored 20 points, had 10 assists, and grabbed 12 rebounds. Both Durant and Curry played a crucial role in helping the Warriors win their third title.
The Cavaliers did not play with the sense of urgency needed to beat the Warriors. The same defensive problems that plagued them during this series, appeared again in this elimination game. The Cavs were late on defensive assignments which allowed the Warriors to get easy shots in the paint and open shots from the three-point line. The Cavaliers were also unable to get another player to appear outside of Kevin Love and LeBron James.
James once again had to do everything for the Cavs. He had to be the playmaker and elite defender for the team, and eventually he ran out of gas. James only scored 23 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and had eight assists. The downfall of this team was that James’ teammates were so inconsistent during this playoff run that James had to carry them to the Finals and eventually he ran out of gas. After this Finals performance by the Cavs the biggest question on everyone’s mind is if James had some consistent help from his teammates, could the Cavs have won at least one game?
As it stands right now James has a 3-6 Finals record and because of his team’s performance in the Finals, the Michael Jordan comparisons maybe dead for James. Now the biggest question heading into the offseason is where LeBron James will go now. The Warriors have effectively ended the LeBron James era in Cleveland. James’ next decision on where to play next year may shift the balance of power once again in the NBA.