Yes, this series was lop-sided. Yes, the entire 2017 NBA playoffs was filled with lop-sided series (five of the 15 games ended in a sweep, and three lasted no more than five games). Yes, it didn’t make for the most entertaining basketball with a lack thereof critical, down-to-the-final-buzzer games – especially in this year’s NBA Finals match-up between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In fact, here are five eye-popping stats from the 2017 NBA Finals, most of them revolving around Golden State’s sheer dominance over the Cavs:
1) Kevin Durant had 30+ point nights in all five games. I mean, even if you only watched a few minutes of this entire series, you could easily notice that KD went FULL beast mode from beginning to end. He crushed those 3-pointers like every missed shot taken from there would cost him a year of mortality. He also becomes just the sixth player in NBA history to score 30+ points in every game in the NBA Finals – and Michael Jordan is not even on that list (that’s right, he only averaged 27.3 PPG in the 1996 Finals…sorry MJ).
2) Despite the loss, LeBron wrapped up Game 5 with 41 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists. Say what you want about the Cavs, and the fact that they lost two Finals games by double digits, but LeBron James still played like a King. If Kevin Durant wasn’t the King at the three-point line this entire series, and if the Warriors as a team didn’t lace the Cavs the way they did, then LeBron would have easily been given the Finals MVP award.
3) LeBron James also becomes the first player in NBA history to ever average a triple-double in the NBA Finals. He’s getting the Michael Jordan 2.0 treatment by being the future star of Space Jam 2 for a reason – dammit, my Millennial nostalgia is distracting me from finishing this article!
4) Excluding Cleveland’s only win in Game 4, the combined score of the 2017 NBA Finals was 492-437. That’s in favour of Golden State, obviously. A 55-point difference in Golden State’s favour. That’s a huge point differential for four games, averaging out to a 14-point loss for Cleveland in each game. And those 492 points for the Warriors averages out to 123 points scored per game… doesn’t matter how good your offence is, you can’t give up that many points to win games, period.
So there you have it. Four stats that basically sum up the sheer dominance that the Golden State Warriors (or maybe just Kevin Durant, single-handedly) had on the Cleveland Cavaliers, even with LeBron playing like LeBron. There’s no question that the Warriors’ off-season acquisition of KD last year was the distinguishing factor that prevented this 2017 NBA Finals showdown from stretching beyond five games. Who knows, maybe Cleveland will make a blockbuster move or acquisition like that one this summer to make the 2018 NBA Finals a tad more entertaining – let’s be honest, both these teams are coming back next June. That’s it for now. Ciao.