Worse than the 2004 ALCS, in which the Boston Red Sox overcame a 3-0 deficit to defeat the New York Yankees in route to winning their first World Series title in 80 plus seasons.
Worse than the 2007 New England Patriots — who entered Super Bowl 42 at 18-0 before their shocking 17-14 defeat at the hands of the New York Giants.
You can say to me on that Andrew Bogut got hurt during Game 5 and missed the rest of the NBA Finals and yes, Bogut is an important cog to the Golden State machine, especially on the defensive end.
You can say that Draymond Green, suspended for Game 5 after his near nut shot tussle with LeBron James, missing that game hurt their chances of closing it out sooner. Personally, I feel he gave the NBA no other choice but to oblige his past incidents throughout the 2016 NBA playoffs. The NBA absolutely did the right thing based on Green’s past transgressions.
The bottomline is the Golden State Warriors entered Game 5 with a commanding 3-1 series lead and a maximum of three opportunities to take out the Cleveland Cavaliers. Two of those games were in their building at Oracle Arena where they lost only thre games prior all season long.
And they failed.
Not being prisoner of the moment here, but while I will still defend that Steph Curry had the greatest individual season that I ever witnessed, some of us (including myself) might have to re-evaluate him just a tad in just how we view him in the ranks as best player in the NBA. If there is one thing that we were reminded of in these Finals is that it is LeBron James, not Steph Curry, nor Anthony Davis or anyone for that matter who remain the baddest man in the National Basketball Association.
This team got way too comfortable and sometimes it even felt as though as they almost expected to be handed the title, regardless of the product on the floor. Even while giving the Cavs all the credit for what they accomplished, the Warriors always seemed in many ways nonchalant in stretches and didn’t seem concerned what was in front of them. Careless turnovers dug them in holes that they never recovered from in Games 3 and 6 on the road.
The Warriors are still going to be really good moving forward. I wrote a piece recently defending that fact and I will stick to it. We can’t ignore the accomplishments of the regular season by them winning 73 games — an NBA record and it wouldn’t be a shock at all if the Warriors are the odds on favorites to win the title next season. But we have to admit, that the gap between themselves and the rest of the league after Game 7 just got a bit smaller.
The blueprint is out now.
In the Western Conference Finals, Oklahoma City, in alot of ways exposed it.
The Cleveland Cavaliers executed it.