Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, NBA Playoffs

The Warriors put the Cavaliers out of their misery in Game 4: 3 takeaways

The disparity in talent was just too much and the Warriors didn’t let up for a second. The Cavaliers are done and the NBA Finals have ended in a 4-0 sweep.

We could see it coming a mile away, and the Warriors refused to take their foot off the gas. Last year, down 3-0, the Cavaliers took Game 4 to hold off their demise for a few days. There would be no such respite this season.

The Warriors came out throwing haymakers but the Cavaliers hung in there, until the dreaded third quarter that is. Golden State outscored Cleveland by 12 in what has been the defining time period of the series, stretching a single-digit lead to more than 20. You could see whatever energy the Cavs had left ebb away and the fourth quarter was mostly a formality.

The Golden State Warriors are once again your NBA champions.

Takeaways

Lmao, Steph better. It was well said on Twitter earlier in the series, Kevin Durant is the Warriors floor, but Stephen Curry is their ceiling. Durant’s enormous Game 3 saved the Warriors on a night that Curry and Thompson were struggling. They can win games they would have lost under any other normal circumstances. But this team is still at it’s best when they are guided by the supernatural shooting abilities of Curry. The gravity he creates on the court is unlike anything we’ve ever seen and the freewheeling, high-movement Warriors are still driven by the way he moves the defense. In a few minutes we’ll find out if he’s the Finals MVP but watching the Warriors player when he was hot and when he was cold should define the relationship between Curry and Durant. They are both incredible. They are both essential to what the Warriors are right now. But Curry is what sets them apart.

Poor LeBron. You can take your shots at LeBron for the role his intensity and personality may have played in driving off Kyrie Irving. You can criticize the way his obvious regular season frustrations may have forced the front office into risky trades with messy results. But there is no room to dump on what he did on the court. LeBron James did everything within his power to help the Cavaliers win another title. It took an exceptional effort, perhaps his best playoff run ever, just to bring the Cavaliers to this point. His Game 1 51-point, 8-rebound, 8-assists masterpiece was perhaps the finest individual performance we’ve ever seen in the Finals. His Game 4 numbers might look pedestrian but it is not for lack of caring, focus, intensity, skill, talent, will, guts, or any other sports talk radio intangible. LeBron James is not the reason the Cavaliers lost and he’s not the reason they were swept.

The Warriors did not ruin basketball. This take is going to resurface with the Warriors completing the sweep and winning their third title in four years. However, the likeliest outcome working out is not quite the same thing as inevitability. Obviously, Golden State finished things on a dominant note but if George Hill makes a free throw or J.R. Smith knows the score, the Warriors could easily have dropped Game 1 and the path of this series could have been entirely different, even if it still ended with them winning it all. And then there are the Houston Rockets who played their game plan to perfection and arguably outplayed the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals but lost their second-most important player for the final two games. The Warriors are once again the best team in the NBA. But they are not invulnerable and with their core and bench aging, they’ll be challenged again next year.

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