In the 2014-15 NBA season, LeBron James came back to Cleveland after a four-year stint with Miami. It was a fruitful run, as he made it to the NBA finals every year of his stay and won the title twice. When he came back, he didn’t have the same talent but had a decent team with a young guard in Kyrie Irving and an All-Star big in Kevin Love.
James took this 33 win team to 53 wins as he averaged 25.3 points 6 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game. Despite the previous season being so bad, Cleveland was #1 in odds to win the title just because of LeBron. They finished 2nd in the Conference but they were still favored to win the ring.
In spite of LeBron’s great season, Steph Curry won his first MVP award in 2015. He put 23.8 points, 7.7 assists, and 2 steals per game, leading the Warriors to win 67 games. They finished as the 1st seed, 11 games clear of Houston who came 2nd.
That was the beginning of the Warriors era. That was the first year since 1976 that they reached the Conference Finals. Curry’s MVP was the first MVP won by a Warrior since Wilt Chamberlain in 1960. It was also the least number of minutes played by an MVP in league history with Curry playing 32.7 minutes.
Warriors had the wins. They had the MVP and a good support cast of the other Splash Brother Klay Thompson and defensive stalwart Draymond Green. They blanked the Pelicans in the first round. In the second round, they advanced after beating the Grit and Grind Grizzlies. Finally, they beat Houston in the Conference Finals who were led by MVP runner-up James Harden.
LeBron and the Cavs had strolled into the Finals. They just lost two out of their 12 games, beating Boston, Chicago, and Atlanta on their way. But they were going up against the best team in the league that year.
In an interview prior to the Finals, LeBron was asked, “How do you slow down Steph Curry?” To which he replied, “The same way you slow me down… you can’t.” When asked about Curry’s dominance in the court, James said, “You always have to be aware of him.”
He was right. Curry put up 26 points and 6.3 assists per game as the Warriors beat the Cavs in six games. With that, an era of dominance had commenced in San Francisco.
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