LeBron James Declared He Is The Best Player In The World

Posted on June 29, 2015

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  In the face of elimination, the King remains confident.Despite losing Game 5 to go down 3-2 in the NBA Finals, LeBron James remains certain of himself and his Cleveland Cavaliers. Following an exhausting 40-point, 14-rebound, and 11-assist performance, James minced no words about his own abilities.
LeBron James Declared He Is The Best Player In The World
As a two-time NBA champion, four-time MVP, and two-time Olympic gold medalist, James has every reason to be confident. He is the best player in the world and his play speaks for itself. James is averaging 36.6 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 8.8 assists in the Finals.

But James is only one man and the task before him is to defeat the best team in the world in the Golden State Warriors, who improved to 82-20 with their Game 5 victory.
The Warriors also have one of the world’s best ballers on their team in Stephen Curry. The league’s MVP scored 37 points, including 17 in the fourth on Sunday, as he rained a flurry of jumpers against a helpless Matthew Dellavedova.
Add injuries to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to the mix and the odds are certainly stacked against James.
But you can never count out the best player in the world.
As a two-time NBA champion, four-time MVP, and two-time Olympic gold medalist, James has every reason to be confident. He is the best player in the world and his play speaks for itself. James is averaging 36.6 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 8.8 assists in the Finals.

But James is only one man and the task before him is to defeat the best team in the world in the Golden State Warriors, who improved to 82-20 with their Game 5 victory.

The Warriors also have one of the world’s best ballers on their team in Stephen Curry. The league’s MVP scored 37 points, including 17 in the fourth on Sunday, as he rained a flurry of jumpers against a helpless Matthew Dellavedova.
Add injuries to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to the mix and the odds are certainly stacked against James.
But you can never count out the best player in the world.
Comprehensive guide to the NBA Finals: Warriors crowned champions after dominant season

The best team – from start to finish – was left standing in the end.
The Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games to capture their first NBA title since 1975. Andre Iguodala was named NBA Finals MVP, scoring 20 points twice in the series, while playing inspiring defense against LeBron James.
This is your guide to the Finals: Game recaps, must reads, statistics, further reading, and more.
Game Recaps

  
Game 6: Warriors 105, Cavaliers 97

The best team – from start to finish – was left standing in the end.
The Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games to capture their first NBA title since 1975. Andre Iguodala was named NBA Finals MVP, scoring 20 points twice in the series, while playing inspiring defense against LeBron James.
This is your guide to the Finals: Game recaps, must reads, statistics, further reading, and more.
Game Recaps
Game 6: Warriors 105, Cavaliers 97
The Warriors are NBA champions, closing out the Cavaliers in Cleveland, in what was one of the most entertaining NBA Finals in years.
The league’s best team throughout the regular season, the Warriors finishing 2014-15 with an 83-20 record puts them in the upper echelon of teams throughout the history of the league. Armed with the MVP in Steph Curry, a fun, exciting, and difficult-to-stop offensive attack, and a smothering, disciplined, amorphous defense, they’ve seemed both the unstoppable force and the immovable object for months.
They had some breaks, as most championship teams require. Their path to the finals was easier than it could have been with different playoff seeding or better injury luck for opponents, and they played the finals with 15 relatively healthy bodies, a minor miracle. That should not confuse what was a thoroughly impressive, unrelenting, season-long performance from a team that truly exemplifies that word: team. [Read More]
Game 5: Warriors 104, Cavaliers 91
The Warriors took a 3-2 series lead thanks to some insane shotmaking by Curry.
Curry drained three fourth-quarter triples as part of a 37-point effort to edge out LeBron James’s 40-point, 14-rebound and 11-assist performance. Curry scored 17 in the fourth as the Warriors pulled away, en route to a 104-91 victory.
There’s probably something to that report about Curry being upset with the lovefest for Matthew Dellavedova’s supposed “lockdown” defense. 
Game 4: Warriors 103, Cavaliers 82
The NBA Finals are now a best-of-three.
Andre Iguodala made his first start of the year and turned in one of his best all-around performances of the season, helping the Golden State Warriors to a 103-82 Game 4 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers to even their series at two games apiece.
Iguodala replaced Andrew Bogut in the starting five to give the Warriors a super-small look that has worked for them throughout the playoffs. It worked again on Thursday, with Iguodala scoring a season-high 22 points to go with eight rebounds and a steal.[Read More]
Game 3: Cavaliers 96, Warriors 91
It took 45 years, but Cavaliers fans finally got to experience a Finals win in Cleveland.
After watching a 20-point lead nearly evaporate in the fourth quarter, LeBron James and the Cavaliers held on for a 96-91 Game 3 victory to take a 2-1 series lead over the Golden State Warriors.
James’ 40 Game 3 points give him 123 for the series, which is the highest scoring total ever through three Finals games. [Read More]
Game 2: Cavaliers 95, Warriors 93 (OT)
Nobody will be writing LeBron James and the Cavaliers off any longer.
The King had a triple-double, the fifth of his Finals career, willing the Cavaliers to victory, finishing with 39 points, 16 rebounds, 11 assists, one steal, and a block.
Playing incredibly shorthanded, here in his fifth consecutive finals, the exhaustion dripped off of James. Every miss was worn on his face. Every tough call – and there were a couple of iffy ones, to put it conservatively – had him seemingly ready to combust. He had done all he could and a tough overtime frame left him in need of some help.
Cue Matthew Dellavedova getting an offensive rebound, getting fouled in the process, and knocking down the game-tying, as well as the game-winning free throws with 10 seconds to play. [Read More]
Game 1: Warriors 108, Cavs 100 (OT)
Game 1 was worth the torturous eight-day wait.
Despite a personal NBA Finals-best 44 points from LeBron James, the Warriors managed to eke out a 108-100 overtime victory in front of a raucous Oracle Arena crowd.
It was a costly loss in more ways than one for the Cavaliers, as Kyrie Irving left the game in overtime, limping off the floor after appearing to aggravate his left knee injury. Things turned out far worse, as Irving will miss the remainder of the finals with a fractured knee cap.
Curry had 26 points on 10-of-20 shooting to lead the Warriors. He played 43 minutes, adding four rebounds, eight assists, and two steals. [Read More]
Injury Report
Curry was treated for dehydration following Game 5, although it will not keep him out of the lineup for Game 6 in Cleveland.
James took stitches to his head after running into a baseline camera in Game 4, but did not undergo concussion protocol.

James suffered cramping in Game 2 and had to receive IV treatment. That didn’t stop him from getting 40 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in Game 3.

Dellavedova’s inspired performance in Game 3 came at a cost. He was hospitalized after suffering severe cramping.

Irving was forced from Game 1 in overtime, after 44 impressive minutes, after again hurting his left knee. He was ruled out for the remainder of the series and underwent surgery to repair a fractured left kneecap, an injury that will sideline him for three-to-four months.

Final Statistics

Playoffs
TEAM GP OFFRTG DEFRTG NETRTG TS% REB%
Cavaliers 20 104 (6th) 100.3 (4th) 3.6 (3rd) 52.4 (8th) 53.2 (1st)

Warriors 21 106.4 (2nd) 97.4 (1st) 9 (1st) 55 (1st) 51.1 (3rd)

Regular Season

TEAM WINS OFFRTG DEFRTG NETRTG TS% REB%
Cavaliers 53 107.7 (4th) 104.1 (20th) 3.7 (7th) 55.7 (4th) 51.1 (7th)

Warriors 67 109.7 (2nd) 98.2 (1st) 11.4 (1st) 57.1 (1st) 50.1 (12th)

MVPs (Playoffs)

PLAYER MIN PTS REB AST STL TS% USG% OFFRTG DEFRTG
LeBron 42.2 30.1 11.3 8.5 1.7 48.7 37.4 104.2 100.2

Curry 39.8 28.3 5.3 7.3 1.9 60.7 30.5 106.4 96

Further Reading

A top-to-bottom breakdown on the Warriors’ title team by the always-impeccably detailed Zach Lowe of Grantland. “Those who base everything they know on the past are in danger of missing the evolution happening in front of them. All that’s left now for the “jump-shooting team!” crowd is to point out that Golden State needed perhaps the greatest jump-shooter in league history to break some historical precedent.” [Grantland]

Golden State closed out Cleveland by playing “Warriors basketball,” writes Sports Illustrated’s Rob Mahoney:

“Every NBA playoff series is its own unique organism. It lives and breathes, and from that life comes growth. Winning, then, isn’t as simple as taking four games in seven tries. It’s a steady course of acclimation to a context that can’t help but shift. The Warriors were crowned the NBA champions on Tuesday because they were more flexible than the Cavaliers. They changed their lineup.They exaggerated their stylistic advantages. They helped to create an end to the series entirely different from its beginning. Game 6, and the NBA championship along with it, was won by Warriors basketball.” [Sports Illustrated]
Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins nailed the headline on his latest piece: ‘Andre and the Giant: How one veteran slowed LeBron and turned the Finals.’ Here’s an excerpt: 

“Iguodala is 11 months older, two inches shorter and 35 pounds lighter than the most punishing player in the world. He entered the NBA out of Arizona a year after James, drafted ninth by the 76ers in 2004, and immediately began composing a mental manual on how to halt him. The 6′ 6″, 215-pound Iguodala developed a similar guide for every small forward, but James was a particularly compelling subject, and they faced off regularly in the Eastern Conference. With each matchup Iguodala added another page, until he knew James’s tendencies as well as his own. ‘That book is crazy big now,’ says Iguodala, 31. ‘What he does in the post, what he does when he goes left, what he does when he comes at me like this.’ Iguodala wriggles his shoulders, miming James’s open-floor shimmy. He has spent more than a decade preparing for the assignment that will define his career.” [Sports Illustrated]
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