Golden State Warriors NBA NBA News News

Kevin Durant Named 2018 NBA Finals MVP, Warriors Sweep Cavaliers

Led by Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors repeated as NBA champions by sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers  convincingly on Friday night 108-85.

Durant, who was named as Finals MVP for the second time in his career, had a triple double alongside Curry’s 37 points that included 7 three-pointers made. The 29-year-old Durant had 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists in tonight’s Game 4 after having a playoff career-high 43 points in Game 3 that featured 13 rebounds and 7 assists.

Per ESPN, Durant and Michael Jordan are the only players in NBA history with at least four scoring titles and multiple Finals MVPs. Durant received seven out of 11 possible votes for the Finals MVP honor, while Curry earned the other 4. The 2014 NBA MVP averaged 28.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game in the Finals.

This is now the third time in the last four years that the Warriors are walking away from the Finals victorious, with the only exception coming in 2015-2016 when the Cleveland Cavaliers won in seven games thanks to the heroics of Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. Speaking of James, there is a lot of uncertainty about his future going forward.

It’s largely speculated that James will decide to leave Cleveland for the second time in his career this off-season, with the Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, and Los Angeles Lakers being the most likely suitors for James’ services. While James didn’t offer up a definitive answer about his future postgame to the media obviously, we did learn about the health status of James throughout the duration of the Finals.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports that after the Cavaliers’ heartbreaking defeat in Game 1, James sustained a significant right hand injury after punching a black board in the locker room out of frustration. James had scored 51 points in the game, and Cleveland very well could’ve won had J.R. Smith simply known what the score is.

James revealed after tonight’s game that the hand was broken, and Windhorst says that James covered up the injury for the obvious reason that he didn’t want to use it as an excuse and wanted to keep the Warriors from knowing so they could gain an advantage.

Going back to the Warriors, they will be the first team since James’ 2013-2014 Miami Heat to try for a chance at three-peating. The odds will be on the Warriors side, as they are already the favorites to capture the title once again in 2018-2019. While there will be no cap space for the Warriors whatsoever this off-season, key contributors can still be added in via the draft, and in free agency with the mid-level exception and the veteran’s minimum.

Head coach Steve Kerr now has eight career NBA titles, with five of them coming as a player, and the other three coming as the Warriors’ head coach. Only five other coaches have won at least three NBA titles as a head coach in Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, Gregg Popovich, John Kundla, and Red Auerbach.

There was never really any significant amount of doubt that the Warriors would find their away back as NBA champions this season, but Kerr said he was impressed with the amount of maturity that his team showed during the season. Guard Shaun Livingstonmentioned after the game that Kerr put up with a lot of “bulls—” from the player’s this season.

Golden State will hold their latest championship parade on Tuesday, June 12th in Oakland, California.

Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.