Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Warriors Do It in 5: New NBA Champs

       There were smiles all around last night at the Oracle Arena in Oakland(Oaktown), California, as the Golden State Warriors clinched their 2nd NBA title in 3 years by defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in convincing style.   The Cavs came ready to play, hoping to repeat last year's effort when they overcame a 3-1 deficit to win the next 3 straight.  Not this time, LeBron.   The first quarter started quickly, with the Cavs hitting 3-point shots and playing defense, forcing turnovers by the Warriors.  At one point, the Cavs were up by 8.   And then, the Warriors woke up.  By the early minutes of the 2nd quarter, the score was tied, briefly.  Then the Warriors surged ahead, making an array of shots of all types: 3's, layups, dunks, put backs, foul shots, and time-tested jumpers.  With a minute to go in the half, the Golden State team had a 17 point advantage.   This was quickly reduced in the final seconds by back-to-back 3 pointers by the Cav's Irving.  Half time had the Warriors up by 11.   The fans were pleased and looked forward to more of the same in the 2nd half.
       In the 2nd half,  the Cavs were able to close the gap, reaching as close as a 3 point difference.  Lebron James continued his impressive efforts, hitting 3's, and driving the paint for 2 when open.  But the Warriors were not leaving the game to chance and responded in kind with their own amazing shots: Kevin Durant began his torrent of 3's and kept the Warriors with a good lead going into the 4th quarter.   The tension peaked now as two players faced off over a perceived slight.  Technical fouls were assigned, and the game continued a pace.   Warriors Draymond Green and Klay Thompson were in foul trouble in the early 4th, with 4 fouls each.  But Coach Kerr kept his balance and let them play on.   As the clock counted down the roar of the crowd increased, sensing a championship in the offing.   Despite LeBron James 41 points, the Warriors prevailed in front of their home fans and coasted to victory.
      Kevin Durant was awarded the Bill Russell MVP award(presented by the 83-year old Mr. Russell himself).   He had a terrific game and a terrific post season, answering his critics who debated his moving from Oklahoma City Thunder last summer.   Good move Kevin.
    Congratulations all around the Warriors who played most of the season without a head coach who was on the DL with his chronic back problems.
     Can't wait til next season starts.

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