Another season of NBA basketball is in the books.
The Golden State Warriors were crowned back-to-back champions after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Here’s a closer look at the 2018 NBA Finals.
Cleveland Cavaliers megastar forward LeBron James—who’s become more political over the last couple of years—said he would not be visiting the White House because of his dislike of Donald Trump.
James won’t have to worry about that, as his team was swept in embarrassing fashion. The Cavaliers became only the ninth team in NBA Finals history to get swept, and the first since James’ Cavaliers in 2007.
The Warriors came into the series as heavy favorites but were in serious jeopardy of losing game one at home until arguably the most bone-headed play in sports history happened.
Behind a masterful 51-point performance from LeBron James, the Cavaliers were on the cusp of stealing a crucial road game. Down by one with only seconds remaining, Cleveland’s George Hill stepped to the free throw line for two shots.
He made the first and tied the game. He missed the second, and Cleveland’s J.R. Smith grabbed an offensive rebound.
Instead of shooting or calling a timeout, Smith shockingly dribbled out the clock because he thought his team was up by a point.
The entire embarrassing saga, including the awkward cold-shoulder given by LeBron on the bench, was captured on camera:
Watch the uncut video of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ bench before, during and after JR Smith’s Game 1 blunder from the NBA Finals.
James’ frustration is understandable, but he exhibited poor leadership in the moment. The team never recovered and wasn’t competitive at all in overtime.
After escaping in game one, the Warriors recalibrated and routed Cleveland in game two.
Game threes are usually the most crucial of a seven-game series. They often determine whether or not a series is going to be long or short.
The Cavaliers predictably came out desperate and opened up a 16-4 lead. But The Warriors, powered by a 43-point game from eventual back-to-back Finals MVP Kevin Durant, chipped away at the lead and seized control in the 4th quarter.
The 43-point explosion from Durant offset abysmal games from sharp-shooters Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, who combined for just 21 points and 3-15 from three.
Down 3-0, the Cavaliers were sapped of all fight and weren’t lucky enough to get repeat cold nights from Curry and Thompson.
The Warriors romped their way to a 23-point closeout victory on Cleveland’s floor.
The series marked the fourth consecutive Finals matchup between the Warriors and the Cavaliers, three of which went to the Warriors.
There’s been a lot of speculation that LeBron James will leave Cleveland…again.
His body language certainly was not good in a pitiful game four defeat. He was curiously passive on both ends of the floor and seemed resigned to the fact his team wasn’t good enough.
The loss also drew James’s NBA Finals record to 3-6, which is a blemish for a player who wants to be considered the greatest of all-time.
As for the Warriors, the team is currently set up for yet another Finals run next year. Their team is perfectly constructed for the present-day NBA, which consists of up-tempo basketball and endless three-point attempts.
Unless something dramatic happens, like LeBron jumping ship to another contender, the Warriors are the prohibitive favorites to three-peat next year.