WITH Lebron James out of the Finals for the first time in nine years, I thought this was going to be a straight-out athletic competition sans the spectacle and the side stories.
Boy, was I ever wrong! This iteration is proving to be a heart-stopper replete with all the drama and back stories you can think of.
With the Golden State Warriors seemingly down and out facing a 3-1 deficit, and with their best player on the injury bay after the Game 4 loss, Kevin Durant almost miraculously recovers and decides to suit up for Game 5!
He proceeds to tear down the house, scoring 11 points in just 12 minutes, going 3-out-of-3 from three-point range and 3-out-of-5 from the field.
But as if you could not add any more drama, he gets injured again in the second quarter and does not return for the rest of the game (as of this writing, it is reported to be an Achilles injury).
But that’s not the end of it.
With Durant out and a lot of basketball minutes to be played, you would have thought the short-handed Warriors would falter.
Instead, they fight tooth-and-nail and it comes down to the final three possessions, where Steph Curry and Klay Thompson both scored a three- pointer each and Kyle Lowry answered with a lay-up but could not nail the potential game-winner.
Final score, Warriors 106-Raptors 105.
DURANT. His sudden return provided a much needed scoring boost, if only for the first 12 minutes. But apparently it was enough to spark the team and carry them into the final minutes of a thrilling Game 5 victory.
This just shows how invaluable he is. With him around, the burden of the defense shifts to him, leaving the other players (deadly shooters like Thompson and Curry) much needed room to operate.
Sure, they had to win it by themselves in the final half, but Game 5 showed how dangerous this team truly is with Durant around.
Most likely, he might not be able to return for Game 6. But if GSW somehow manages to extend this series to a Game 7, Durant might potentially be able to play.
With all this drama going on, who needs Lebron James?
LAST ROUND. It’s on a very dear friend and kumpare, Boy Esparrago, who celebrates his birthday this week. Cheers!