The Golden State Warriors managed to check the last empty box in their four-year duel with the Cleveland Cavaliers, a clean sweep.
Short of a Game 1 that went to overtime, the Cavs looked drastically overmatched by a team that retained its potent firepower, clearly lacking the presence of perennial All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving — an absence that proved just as deflating as the blunder at the end of regulation that sealed the team's fate in the series.
“Kyrie is such a unique talent,” said Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. “You can just give him the ball and he’ll create a shot for you. They’re much more bent on executing in the half court and trying to create shots with movement, with screens and things like that. And obviously you can just give the ball to LeBron and he can create more times than not. That’s my best way of explaining it.”
The Cavs lacked a secondary player that could take over the offense — not just any player, but perhaps the most-gifted one-on-one talent at the guard position, which gave the Warriors' backcourt plenty of headaches during their three prior NBA Finals.
The load was simply too much for James to handle, especially considering how unreliable his surrounding cast has been this entire season, and how well-scouted they have been through time, having now met at this stage for the past four years.
Irving missed the postseason for his own team and could have perhaps impacted the Boston Celtics' chances to wind up in the NBA Finals, had he not underwent a season-ending surgery to clean up his bothersome knee.