The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals for the second time in three years Monday night, securing a Game 5 victory 129-120. It’s the first time in NBA history that two teams met in the Finals three years in a row. What’s incredible is that we could see these dynasties meet for another three years. And it would be possibly the best thing to happen for the NBA this century.
Make no mistake, these two teams have at least seven future Hall-of-Famers between them. The depth of talent is unparalleled. Any one can see how truly great these teams are on both sides of the ball simply by the eye test. But here’s a brief look at the numbers, just to prove these teams aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Kevin Durant is LeBron’s only challenger one-on-one
After knocking in 39 points Monday night, Durant became just the sixth player in NBA history to score 30 or more points in each game of the finals. He’s officially the second-best player on the planet right now.
The Warriors are all-time, blowing-our-mind, great
Duh. But did you know they’ve now set a three-year regular season run of 207-39? They only lost one game since February 4 when all of their stars played? That they set an all-time record for longest playoff win streak in all of professional sports with 15 straight wins, finishing the year with a 16-1 playoff record, the best in NBA history. Yup. In fact, regarding the playoff wins, the Warriors won by an average of 13.5 points per game, second to only the 1971 Bucks, who were 12-2 in their postseason.
LeBron James is still the greatest player in the world
Which means the Cavs aren’t going anywhere. For those who think LeBron is old and isn’t the league’s true MVP, he only averaged a triple-double for the series.
The Cavs simply need to add a little depth
Which they will in the off-season, make no mistake. In Game 4, the Cavs set an NBA Finals record with 86 points in the first half. They also hit a Finals record 24 three-pointers – yes, both numbers better than the Warriors’ all-time greatest shooting unit. However, their bench just wasn’t there this series. Not against this Warriors super-team. In Game 5, led by Andre Iguodala, Golden State’s bench outscored the Cavs’ subs 35-7.
There will be a Warriors vs. Cavs Part IV. And the rivalry will continue to be the greatest thing to happen to basketball since Michael Jordan.
Josh Helmuth is the editor of Crave Sports.