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NBA Update: the Finals, free agents, LeBron, oh my!

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Following a postseason for the ages, the 2017-18 NBA season concluded this past summer in an absolute Finals mismatch. In this series, the perennial Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors once again completely dismantled the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers in a sweep of utter dominance. While both teams faced tough competition in each of their respective Conference Finals series, this capping duel proved to be, in fact, yet another show of force from the dominant Warriors stars.

The initial game in the series was arguably the most competitive, as the Cavaliers began the game demonstrating quite a bit of fire and heart. Cleveland and Golden State hung tight for the duration of regulation time, entering overtime at a score of 107-107. Despite a 51-point playoff career-high performance from star forward LeBron James, the Cavaliers could not keep up, ultimately dropping the game by a score of 124-114.

Game 2 was an even tougher loss for Cleveland, as the team failed to open up a lead throughout the duration of the game. Despite a near triple-double from James and a double double from star power forward Kevin Love, the Cavs failed to even come close to challenging the Warriors, who took this game by a score of 122-103.

James and the Cavs attempted to put up yet another fight in Game 3 of the series, which once again came to no avail. Cleveland simply had no answer for Golden State forward Kevin Durant in this matchup, who put together a stellar stat line of 43 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.

Game 4 of the series was a fitting capstone of the sweep for Golden State, who took the NBA crown by a score of 108-85. Point guard Stephen Curry led the champion Warriors to victory by way of a 37-point outing, hitting seven of his 15 attempted 3-pointers in the process. Kevin Durant was also instrumental in this win, compiling 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists on his way to being named 2018 Finals MVP.

After this abrupt end to an eventful season, can NBA fans expect a season of similar fashion in the coming year? Likely not.

James, following his second straight Finals loss in Cleveland, decided on July 1 to once again depart the Cavaliers, this time with intentions to team up with Lonzo Ball, Lance Stephenson and Kyle Kuzma as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.

In an arguably more controversial move, former New Orleans Pelicans All-Star DeMarcus Cousins agreed to a one-year, $5.3 million contract with the reigning champion Golden State Warriors.

What do these two moves mean for the NBA? Fans nationwide will have to wait and watch, but they may change the NBA playoff picture for years to come. With LeBron’s move to Los Angeles, the Eastern Conference could have a new champion, likely casting the end of the Warriors-Cavaliers rivalry for the foreseeable future.

entions to team up with Lonzo Ball, Lance Stephenson and Kyle Kuzma as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.

In arguably an even more controversial move, former New Orleans Pelicans All-Star DeMarcus Cousins agreed to a one-year, $5.3 million contract with the reigning champion Golden State Warriors.

What do these two moves mean for the NBA? Fans nationwide will have to wait and watch, but they may change the NBA playoff picture for years to come. With LeBron’s move to LA, the Eastern Conference could have a new champion, likely casting the end of the Warriors-Cavaliers rivalry for the foreseeable future.

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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans
NBA Update: the Finals, free agents, LeBron, oh my!