The Golden State Warriors wrapped up their second NBA championship in the last three years with a Game 5 129-120 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night. The victory was achieved on the back of superstars Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry yet again, forming an unstoppable force for the Cavaliers’ defense. In the aftermath of the victory, a new debate was held over the validity of Durant’s move to the Warriors last offseason. While many fans are fine with Golden State’s desire to become even better and Durant’s desire to win a championship by leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder, there is a sizable portion that are still annoyed that a super team can be formed and essentially guarantee its own spot in the finals before the season even starts; the grand majority of experts predicted the Curry-Durant Warriors to make the finals before they even played one game together.
On the losing side, Cleveland fans reflect on small missed opportunities during this Finals, such as not being able to stop the Warriors in a dominating Game 1 that set the tone, as well as giving up a lead at home in Game 3. After a surprise Game 4 victory, Cleveland did its best to keep up on Monday night, getting as close as a five-point deficit in the second half before the Warriors began pulling away.
Looking ahead, NBA fans are hesitantly expecting a fourth consecutive Warriors-Cavaliers final in 2018. The Cavaliers and Warriors are already favorites to come out of their respective conferences. This is particularly worrisome to more loyal fans of teams not in Cleveland or San Francisco, who would hope that parity one day returns to the NBA. That being said, some have expressed their satisfaction with the current state of the league. For example, Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said, “I like having targets in Cleveland and Golden State. I like trying to meet their standards.”