Iguodala, victor of Finals MVP in 2015 for his efforts in keeping LeBron James in check, again rose to the occasion when it counted and was extremely impressive on both ends of the court in the decisive game five, showing a spring in his step belying that of a 33-year-old as he racked up 20 of the Warriors’ 129 points.
On the other side of the ledger James spent much of Game 5 as the only real threat particularly with his wingman Kyrie Irving spending much of the night hobbled with back pain that seemed to make just running a chore. If a superstar can get about the same salary by switching to a much better team, there’s little incentive not to do so.
During the regular season, the Warriors won 67 games, outscoring the competition by 11.35 points per game after adjusting for strength of schedule.
He also produced what will likely go down as the signature moment of the Finals when he hit a three-pointer over LeBron James with 45 seconds left in Game Three that gave the Warriors the lead for good and all but sealed the Cavaliers’ fate.
In a star-studded series which pitted seven all-stars against each other; Golden State’s Durant, Curry, Thompson, and Green against Cleveland’s James, Irving and Love, KD was the only one who had never won a ring. “The Warriors” 24-0 start came under Luke Walton and Mike Brown coached the majority of their 16-1 postseason.
And then there was 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala doing what he does in the finals – he went off.
Right after the Dubs beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 to become National Basketball Association champions on Monday night, this Nike ad dropped on ABC – and it’s pretty great. Past year they became the first team in National Basketball Association history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the championship.
Up 18 late in the second quarter, the Warriors saw the Cavaliers whittle that lead down to five in the third quarter, only to weather the rally, stabilize and then pull away in the fourth.
But a Durant dunk about four minutes into the second sent the sold-out hometown crowd into a frenzy.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr wants the Warriors to be more anxious, ready and eager in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
“They better win Monday”. “It’s just making the most of the opportunity that was in front of us”.
“Winning is fantastic”, Kerr said.
Durant, who was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, became the first player with five consecutive 30-point performances in the NBA Finals since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000. “He felt like he needed to reassemble and reassess his career and come here”. “I thought we gave the right amount of fight, the right amount of physicality, and they beat us tonight”.
For all that chatter about chemistry on a super-team – some called them “supervillains” – how there might not be enough shots for all the big-time scorers, the Warriors kept winning as the world watched the every move of the East Bay franchise under the microscope. “We won’t have any excuses, because no one is hurt, everyone is playing. He’s had an unbelievable career, but he just took it to the next level”, coach Steve Kerr said.
The Warriors lead the Cavaliers 3-1 and will try to win their second title in three years Monday.