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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

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Eyes On NBA: The 5 Best Players In The 2017 NBA Finals

By @TrueGodImmortal

The 2017 NBA Finals are over. The Golden State Warriors won in 5 games, with Kevin Durant winning Finals MVP. With some great performances all around, we wanted to rank the 5 best players in the series. Let's take a look.

5. Klay Thompson 
(16.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.2 APG, 43% FG, 42% 3PT)

-Klay wasn't as ball dominant as he normally is, but Klay was defensively the biggest difference maker in the entire series. His shot was falling in games 2 and 3, but he kept defensive pressure on Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving in games 1 and 2, and there's a possession in game 5 where he tightly guards LeBron and forces a horrible shot. Klay makes the list because of his contributions offensively in games 2 and 3, and his defense throughout the entire series. Klay continues to grow and improve overall. He's dangerous.

4. Kyrie Irving 
(29.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.4 APG, 47% FG, 42% 3PT)

-If you believe Kyrie outplayed Steph, you're sadly mistaken. Sure, he shot slightly better from the field, but he wasn't the playmaker that Steph was and he didn't attack for boards or find the open man like Steph did. Kyrie however did what he does best and that's score. His amazing performances in games 3 and 4 are still ridiculous now, and there's not much more that you could ask Kyrie for. He showed up on the biggest stage, despite lackluster games in game 1 and 2, and he went missing in the 2nd half of game 5, but when he needed to step up, he did so in crucial home games.

3. Stephen Curry 
(26.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 9.4 APG, 2.2 SPG, 44% FG, 39% 3PT)

-His shooting numbers don't look like his MVP days, but in the NBA Finals you can't be expected to shot as well as you did in the regular season. The truth remains, Steph has shown up to play in 2 of the 3 Finals series and why his 2016 performance was below the standard his MVP season set, he was excellent in this series. With a career high average in rebounds and a high in assists, as well as his highest scoring average in 3 Finals appearances. He was actually solid on the defensive end as well, averaging over 2 steals and hitting clutch shots in games 1,  2 and 3, while maintaining a presence all through game 5 with an amazing 34 point performance. While Steph didn't average a triple double (he was close), he did have a double double in every game in the Finals, even in his worst game in game 4 (14 points and 10 rebounds). Steph was excellent through the series and showed up. Put some respect on his name.

2. LeBron James 
(33.6 PPG, 12.0 RPG, 10.0 APG, 56% FG, 38% 3PT)

-You might wonder how a guy who averaged a triple double is not the best player in a series, but the truth remains that Bron didn't show up in crunch time when it was vital through the series. He had a massive series, with solid outings in games 1 through 5, but his turnovers in game 1 was a bit deal, his 4th quarter disappearance in games 1 through 3 was a detriment, but for the most part, Bron was excellent. Anyone who averages a triple double in the Finals, something that's never been done before, deserves all the credit in the world for his solo performance. Still, there was one player who was better and led his team to the ultimate goal... victory.

1. Kevin Durant 
(35.2 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 5.4 APG, 1.6 BPG, 56% FG, 47% 3PT)

-There's no denying that the best player on both ends, was Kevin Durant. KD owned the series with big performances in every single game, including his big performance in vital games 3 and 5, with the shot seen around the world over LeBron James to clinch the game 3 win. He was also the momentum killer for Cleveland in game 5, as he managed to destroy their hopes of forcing a game 6 with an amazing and efficient 39 point performance, his highest scoring game of the series. When KD was needed, he answered the call and showcased why he's one of the best, if not the best in the game. That Finals MVP was well deserved. He was the BEST player in this Finals series without question.



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