Photo: Bob Donnan
Photo: Bob Donnan

It was a year ago that this Cavs team, with no Kevin Love, and no Kyrie Irving, were led by Lebron James as they came up short losing the series to this Golden State Warriors team 4-2. The Cavaliers had a chance to extend the series to seven games, but ended up losing on their home court as they watched Golden State win their first championship in 40 years. Fast forward a year later, the series is traded between both teams with blowouts. It was looking like Golden State was going to put away the Cavs in Game 5, but without Draymond Green the series felt like it took a drastic shift, as the Warriors would not win a single game after being up 3-1. They went on to watch the Cavs win their first title for Cleveland, Ohio in 52 years on their home court. In the words of an emotional Lebron James after a Game 7 for the ages “CLEVELAND THIS IS FOR YOU”.

In what was the closest game of the series, Game 7 could’ve gone either way. Both teams opened the game trading shots with each other. Each team would lead by as many as four points in the opening. Golden State hit 5-of-11 from downtown, while Cleveland missed all four of their long-range attempts in the opening period. Kevin Love didn’t score a whole lot last night, but finally stepped up for the Cavs. He finished with 9 points and 14 rebounds. Tristan Thompson (9 points, 3-3 FG) was big time for the Cavs yet again. He didn’t light up the stat sheet, but he chipped in when it came to giving Curry a hard time last night when it mattered. J.R. Smith (12 points, 5-13 FG) broke down at the podium after the game, but gave his heart in Game 7. After his team was trailing by seven at the half, Smith came out hitting back-to-back 3’s to keep his team in it.

Kyrie Irving (26 points, 10-23 FG) came out of Game 6 with a bunch of concern, and questions over his left foot. None of that showed in Game 7 as he hit what was arguably to most, the most important shot in the history of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game was tied at 89, late in the fourth. The Kyrie three pointer sealed the game as the Warriors had no answer to tie the game, or potentially send it to overtime.  It’s arguable that Kyrie should’ve been the Finals MVP, but you can’t go wrong either way giving it to Lebron (27 points, 9-24 FG, 11 rebounds, 11 assists) who played like a man possessed, reassuring his city and team that they would not lose another game after losing Game 4 at the Q. James became the third player to record a triple-double in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, which is why there’s no surprise to why he was named the unanimous Finals MVP, his third such award.

Golden State has to be kicking themselves. The series should’ve been over in five, possibly six, as they held the momentum for the majority of the series on their side. After becoming the tenth team to over come a 3-1 deficit vs the Thunder, the Cavs would turn the tables and take a page out the Warriors book, as they would do the same to them in the finals. If Golden State was going to have any chance it was because the team was led by Draymond Green (32 points, 6-8 3-pt FG) starting off 5-for-5 from beyond the arc, and led all scorers at the half. Harrison Barnes (10 points, 3-10 FG) struggled for most of the game as he carried his inconsistency into Game 7.

Klay Thompson (14 points, 6-17 FG, 2-10 3-pt FG) was cold from three point land, which was odd. Klay, much like Steph, has a reputation for heating up at any moment and lighting up the score board. But, he could not stay consistent last night if his life depended on it. Steph said before the game that he needed to have the biggest game of his career, and that did not happen. He finished with (17 points, 6-19 FG) in what has to be a performance he wishes he could take back, as he went out poorly in his last home game of the season. Curry had a chance to keep the Warriors alive after Kyrie’s shot for the ages, but instead threw up a three not even hitting the rim, only the back of the court. Andre Iguodala (4 points, 2-6 FG) was last years Finals MVP, but couldn’t repeat that this year. He struggled with back spasms, and his lay-up attempt toward the closing minutes let to the ‘block heard around the world’ by Lebron James.

In what seemed to be one of the most one-sided match ups in NBA Finals history, turned around to be one of the best as both teams stared down history. Game 7 alone featured 20 lead changes, and 11 ties. Lebron James becomes the first player in NBA history to lead all players, on both teams, in points, rebounds, assists, steal,s and blocks in a series. This goes to prove that no matter how much noise and stats you go on to make and break in the regular season, none of that matters without winning the biggest prize, and that’s a championship. It took 52 years, but the drought finally came to an end. I think everybody could agree that Cleveland deserved this, and nobody knows the torture and teasing Cleveland fans went through unless you lived it. Lebron kept his word, and goes on to bring a long awaited championship to the City of Cleveland. Congrats to the 2016 NBA champs.


Orlando Torres covers the NBA for | Follow him on Twitter @itslandoyo TorresAnalysisBasketballCleveland CavaliersGolden State WarriorsNBANews and UpdatesOklahoma City ThunderRecent Postscleveland cavs,Draymond Green,Golden State Warriors,Kevin Love,Klay Thompson,Kyrie Irving,LeBron James,NBA Finals,Steph CurryIt was a year ago that this Cavs team, with no Kevin Love, and no Kyrie Irving, were led by Lebron James as they came up short losing the series to this Golden State Warriors team 4-2. The Cavaliers had a chance to extend the series to seven games, but ended up losing on their...