The 2018 NBA Conference Finals Highlights
The two best words in the NBA: Game 7
For the first time since 1979, both the East Conference and the West Conference held game 7s in a do-or-die matchup. We had the Cleveland Cavaliers versus the Boston Celtics on Monday and the Golden State Warriors versus the Houston Rockets on Tuesday.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics
There’s no going around the fact that LeBron James is a monster on the court, but Game 7 against the Celtics is probably the strongest proof of this. Playing the entire 48-minute game with no subs, King James scored a total of 35 points, 15 rebounds and 9 assists. While he’s normally considered a playmaker, it was clear that LeBron pushed himself further not out of narcissism, but because of necessity.
“I’m the leader of this team,” he stated. “I’m going to give what I got.”
That said, LeBron didn’t win the game single-handedly. Jeff Green stepped up as an unexpected force in the absence of Kevin Love, scoring a total of 19 points and 8 rebounds.
RELATED: The 2018 NBA Playoffs Kick Off
While the Cleveland Cavaliers eventually reigned supreme in the Eastern Conference, the team definitely had troubled times in Game 7. The Celtics were leading up until the 3rd quarter when LeBron took over the court. It didn’t help Boston either that point guard Terry Rozier missed all 10 of his attempts from 3-point line.
Golden State Warriors vs Houston Rockets
In the first half of Game 7 in the Eastern Conference, the Houston Rockets were leading against the Golden State Warriors. But leave it up to Steph Curry and Kevin Durant to change the tides.
Curry, playing a total of 44 minutes, blew up in the third quarter and ended the game with 27 points. Meanwhile, Durant had his turn in the fourth quarter with a game total of 34 points in 44 minutes. By the time the clock ran out, the Warriors beat the Rockets by 9 points.
According to Coach Steve Kerr, his team would have “won in 5” had Andre Iguodala, the Warriors’ best wing defender, been able to play.
Without Chris Paul in Games 6 and 7, the Rockets definitely experienced some hardships on court. But while Clint Capela and James Harden tried to fill this gap, scoring 20 points and 32 points respectively in the final game, it just wasn’t enough.
As a team, Houston missed 27 consecutive 3-point attempts—an odd record to hold in the NBA as the Rockets generally do well behind the line. But if you live by the three, you die by the three and Coach Mike D’Atoni’s team just wasn’t having it. And as he said, it would have helped greatly if Paul was in the game as he’s their player that can stop a Warriors run.
The Warriors and the Cavs meet again
There are records all around, as this match-up will be the first time in American pro sports that the same teams will meet face-to-face in the finals stage—or in this case, court. The Cavs are once again going up against the Warriors this Friday, June 1.
It’s yet to be seen whether or not Love or Iggy will be well enough to play the first game of this NBA Finals, but it sure would make for an interesting equation. With Love hailed as his team’s second best player and Iggy Finals MVP history, their presence will either be missed or celebrated.