Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Return of the King: Cleveland wins first NBA Title

Cleveland's first NBA Title

When Lebron James decided to return to Cleveland he brought with him the blueprint to win a title from his four years on the job training in Miami.  Lebron said that winning a title for the city will be a long process that will test his patience but is excited to face the challenge to rear a young squad that did not even make it to the playoffs in the four years he was in exile into becoming a championship team.  The only bright spot when he arrived was the 2011 draft first over-all pick Kyrie Irving who was slowly making a name for himself.  After his first year, Lebron led the Cavaliers to the NBA finals and lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games.

Lebron on the fastbreak (game 6 photo)

This year the Cavaliers steamrolled through the Eastern Conference and was ready to make amends but unfortunately started the NBA Finals down 0 – 2 as the Warriors manhandled the Cavaliers. After two more games at the Q the Cavs were now down 1 – 3 and heading to the Oracle Arena where the Dubs were almost invincible all year round. But the resilient Cavs were unfazed and focused on some adjustments in game 5 that gave them a statement win with both Lebron and Kyrie scoring 41 points apiece. In game 6 Lebron scored 41 points once again and added 11 assists to lead the Cavs to another blowout win and more importantly forced a game 7 with the defending champs.

Kyrie scored the winning three

Game 7 set the stage for the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history as Lebron scored 27 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out 11 assists, the third triple double in a Game 7 and his 7th in the NBA Finals as Lebron willed his team to victory.  Actually Lebron has two more games (Games 1 & 4) wherein he was one assist shy of a triple double. For me, the play of the NBA finals is Lebron’s spectacular chasedown block on Andre Iguodala. That play showed that Lebron did not want to lose again to the Warriors as he prevented Igoudala from scoring the go ahead basket that would have brought the house down.

One of Lebron's many dunks (game 6 photo)

For the record, the Cleveland Cavaliers are the first team in NBA Finals history to come back from a 1 - 3 deficit and win the title. Also, they are the first team to comeback from a 0 - 2 deficit with the league MVP playing on the other team which incidentally is also the third team to win the title after falling behind 0 – 2 in the series, the 1969 Boston Celtics and 1977 Portland Trail Blazers where the last teams to do that. The Cavaliers are also the fourth team to win a best of seven finals on the road - the Celtics (1969 & 1974)  and Bullets (1978) were the only two teams to do that.

Hail to the King

Lebron James on the other hand is the hands down Finals MVP. He is the first player in NBA history to top all five major statistics for both teams in the finals. His averages were 29.7 ppg, 11.29 rebounds per game, 8.86 assists per game, 2.57 steals per game, 2.29 blocks per game and he also led both teams in minutes played at 42 minutes per game. Lebron is also the second player alongside Kareem Abdul – Jabbar to win the finals MVP with two different teams. Congratulations to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Hail to the King he is definitely home.

thanks to for the photos

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