Stephen Curry Just Added Another Chapter to his Finals Legacy

The last time we saw Stephen Curry in the NBA Finals, he had a bad performance, to say the least. The unanimous MVP didn’t lead his team to the promise land.

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Photo via Erza Shaw/Getty Images

He did not by any means have a bad series, but he had a bad series based on the fact he was the first unanimous MVP in NBA history.

He averaged 22.6 points per game, along with 3.7 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game. The assists were lower than Curry would have liked and he shot just 40.3 percent from the field.

After the Warriors lead was up to 3-1, Stephen Curry shot a combined 22-60 from the field (36.7 percent). In Game 7  of the 2016 NBA Finals, he shot just 4-14 from 3-point range, he had four turnovers and one crucial one, where he attempted a behind-the-back pass to Klay Thompson with the Warriors leading the Cavaliers 85-83 with 5:16 to play in the fourth quarter.

Stephen Curry wasn’t 100 percent healthy in the 2016 Finals, for he had injured his knee in the first round of the playoffs against the Houston Rockets that kept him out four games. He also had a large bruise on his shooting elbow that he suffered in the Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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I’m of the opinion, if you’re out there, you’re playing with whatever you have. There are no excuses to be made, and to his credit, Stephen Curry didn’t ever complain.

He had a tough 2016 NBA Finals against one of the greatest players of all-time in LeBron James. He didn’t perform the way he wanted to or the way he thought he should.

However, there is a pretty big misconception about Stephen Curry that he’s struggled in the Finals in both of the Warriors appearances in 2015 and 2016.

Prior to the 2017 Finals, there had been a lot of talk about if Curry would for the first time, not struggle in the NBA Finals.

Yes, he did struggle last year and that will always be true. But we must remember, in the 2015 NBA Finals, Curry averaged 26.0 points, 6.3 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game.

He averaged more points in the 2015 Finals (26 per game) than he did during the regular season, when he won MVP averaging 23.8 points per game. Yes, he wasn’t the Finals MVP but he played a crucial role in the Warriors capturing their first title in 40 years.

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Photo via Getty Images

Rachel Nichols was asked the other day by anchor Kerry Chow on SportsCenter if Stephen Curry was rewriting his Finals legacy and she reminded him that in 2015 the Warriors won the championship. Curry didn’t struggle at all and he had a great series.

She stressed the point that the Warriors won and Curry’s stats were exceptional.

This year, Stephen Curry did exactly what Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told him to do at halftime of Game 2, play with passion and joy.

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Curry had a superb 2017 NBA Finals to cap off an excellent postseason in which he averaged 28.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game.

Curry was a part of history as the Warriors became the first Bay Area team since the A’s in 1974 to win a championship at home.

In Game 5, Curry’s three point shot simply wasn’t on. He wasn’t making difficult looks that spectators usually see him knock down. Instead of kind of bowing down and just fading away in the game, Curry took to the rim which allowed him to get to the free throw line where he made 12 of 15 free throws.

Curry showed in the elimination game that he’s much more than a mere three-point shooter. Despite shooting 2-9 from deep, he finished with 34 points.

In addition, he had 10 assists and 6 rebounds. He also made an impact defensively with two steals in Game 4 and three in Game 5.

Critics of Curry will point to his lackluster three-point shooting in the final two games of the series with the Cavaliers. Curry shot just 4-18 in those two combined games. But with his shooting struggles, he contributed in other ways as he had 10 assists in each games and a combined 11 rebounds in the two.

Curry’s critics will always talk about his arrogance, the fact that some think he’s just a three-point shooter, the fact that he’s only great because he has great players around him, but Curry doesn’t mind.

He just had the best NBA Finals of his life. 26.8 points, 9.4 assists, 8.0 rebounds, 2.2 steals per game.

He helped Kevin Durant get the title that long alluded him and he did it with a smile on his face.

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After Durant won the Bill Russell Finals MVP award, he talked about Curry’s perception:

“The stuff you hear about Steph as far as sacrificing and being selfless and caring about his teammates, caring about other people is real,” Durant said after game five. “It’s not a facade. He doesn’t put on this mask or suit every single day. He really is like that. And it’s amazing to see a superstar who sacrifices, who doesn’t care about anything but the group.”

It’s amazing to hear from one of the game’s greatest superstars that he’s never seen a superstar like Curry. He said he’s never seen a superstar want to sacrifice for his teammates the way Curry does.

Yes, Curry didn’t win Finals MVP and he hasn’t in either of his two Finals victories, but that doesn’t mean what he did in these finals wasn’t amazing.

So Curry had a good but not great Finals in 2015. He had a bad one in 2016. In 2017, he had a spectacular Finals. Argue that all you want, but his numbers (26.8 points, 9.4 assists, 8.0 rebounds, 2.2 steals per game) are absolutely undeniable.

LeBron James’ ‘The Decision’ costing him the 2017 NBA Finals

Photo via Tony Dejak/AP Photo

LeBron James’ The Decision is coming up on its seven-year anniversary. On July 8, 2010, James changed the landscape of the NBA. He went on to win two NBA Championships with the Miami Heat, but that decision to head to South Beach might cost him any realistic chance of winning the 2017 NBA Finals or any in the future.

Ever since his move, super teams have become the norm. Despite what people might say, the 2010-11 Heat team was the first super team of this era. The Boston Celtics team in 2008 doesn’t count because each player was well past their prime. In Miami, Bosh and James were entering their prime. Wade would have been in the same boat, but had some unfortunate injuries to quicken the aging process.

Since James’ move, we have seen the Los Angeles Lakers try to build a super team, but the only thing super about Dwight Howard and those Lakers was Howards’ Superman nickname.

The Lakers team did not work out, however, it was another team following in James’ footsteps and perpetuating the new precedent set by James.

In 2012, the Los Angeles Clippers set out to trade for New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul. To this point their super team has not worked, yet, it still maintained the new norm.

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Durant and the Golden State Warriors (Photo via Ezra Shaw/ Getty Images)

In 2016, Golden State blew their 3-1 lead over the Cavaliers en route to the city of Cleveland’s first championship in 52 years. This loss gave the Warriors an excuse to build a super team. The following offseason, they replaced forward Harrison Barnes with MVP forward Kevin Durant.

Thus, building what might go down as the greatest NBA team in history (pending the conclusion of the 2017 NBA Finals).

Currently, there are just two teams in the NBA who have any realistic shot of winning a title, maybe just one after watching the first two final games. Consequently, the NBA might possess four super teams in 2018 instead of the two this season.

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Isaiah Thomas’ Celtics will try to take James’ thrown in the east (Photo via Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports)

The Boston Celtics are looking into acquiring Utah Jazz star Gordon Hayward to reunite with his former college coach Brad Stevens. Jimmy Butler and even Paul George have been thrown around, for Boston knows it is imperative to sign another star to just have the smallest chance at piercing James’ thrown in the east.

In the west, the San Antonio Spurs are interested in Chris Paul. His addition would make the Spurs into another super team further toppling any dream of parity in the league.

It is unclear on whether those alleged rumors will become true, but it speaks to where the NBA is heading. The trend is to tank until a super team can be assembled. Thanks to The Decision, it is widely accepted.

This new era will stunt James from ever winning another title. The Warriors look like they will be playing in the finals until 2020 and seem to be much better than the Cleveland team now. If James tries to improve the roster, he could go after George to add talent, however, it is unclear how much that move would actually close the gap between the two teams.

In addition, other teams in the eastern conference are going to start building their own super teams. It is to be seen whether or not one could be built before father time beats James, even so, it is hard seeing James beating Golden State unless the drastic occurs.

The eastern conference is only going to get harder to make it thru with James aging, super teams on the come-up, and it just can’t be any worse than it is now.

James had an incredible run and legacy, but it seems The Decision that helped him finally win his first title is going to stop him from progressing his legacy. One can never say never, but another LeBron title seems unlikely at this point.

Guess the NBA gods can now call it even after James ditched Cleveland for the super team in South Beach.

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Raiders’ Marquette King tabs jab at Rihanna, LeBron James

Photo via @MarquetteKing/ Twitter

The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!


Oakland Raiders punter Marquette King continues to be must-see Twitter feed material in 2017, as Friday night the NFL player took shots at two of the biggest stars on the planet.

The target of King’s latest social media fodder were none other than legendary Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James and international icon and superstar artist Rihanna.

The incident likely stems from Rihanna talking trash to Warriors forward Kevin Durant during Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals, before levying some harsh words in support of James while exiting Game 1.

The below video is NSFW.

King has never been shy to take on a challenge, however, taking on King James is a far riskier proposition than anything else he’s attempted to date.

Fortunately for King, James is going up against a juggernaut devised specifically to defeat him in 2017, so the Raiders punter should have the last laugh once the series is over.

However, King shouldn’t be expecting any signed Rihanna albums or dinner invites from King James any time soon.

Raiders’ Marquette King pokes fun at Steph Curry’s kicking form

Photo via Getty Images

The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!


Oakland Raiders punter Marquette King never shies away from discussing punting, especially via social media. This time, he jokingly gave tips to Golden State Warriors all-star guard Stephen Curry’s punting technique.

The photo King is referencing is of Curry running down the floor kicking in celebration following a momentum-changing three-pointer in Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals.

King better be careful giving tips to Curry as he has been known to prove everyone wrong. Maybe Curry’s next transcendent move will involve him becoming an NFL punter and taking King’s job.

One can dream, but in regards to Raiders’ football, any contact with Golden State is good. Hopefully, the Warriors’ winning ways can rub off on Oakland and result in this year’s Super Bowl trophy coming to the East Bay.

 

2017 NBA Finals preview: LeBron’s historic run not enough for Cavaliers to get by Warriors

Photo via David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 NBA Finals tip-off tonight at 6 PM (PT). It will be the beginning of the third leg of this great rivalry between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. As everyone knows, Golden State took the first NBA Finals meeting in 2015, but blew the infamous 3-1 lead to Cleveland in the 2016 NBA Finals.

This year, the finals will have a greater impact than any other in recent memory. For example, the winner gets all the glory as they will be considered the better team during this era by winning two out of three finals.

Warriors forward Kevin Durant needs to win to vindicate his move to the Bay Area. However, a loss will be very harmful for his legacy as everyone will wonder how he couldn’t win with Curry, Green, and Thompson by his side.

Lastly, LeBron James has the opportunity to put himself in a conversation with legendary Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan with a series victory. A loss will probably end any conversation revolving Jordan and James, yet a win will keep him on pace to contend with Jordan as the best ever. Doesn’t mean he will get there, but 10 straight finals appearances and six titles would put him close to Jordan.

Below is our prediction of the 2017 NBA Finals which will answer how each great’s legacy will be altered after the next few weeks.

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Game 1: Golden State

With the long layoff before the game, the advantage lies with the veteran Cavaliers team. In addition, the Warriors have shown to lose their focus through stretches and there is a worry that a long layoff could further the lackadaisical approach. However, Golden State’s loss from last year will keep them highly motivated. Warriors forward Draymond Green will not let his team lapse focus for any period of time, for this series is personal to Green after he was suspended for Game 5 of last year’s NBA Finals.

The Warriors are at home and have more talent than Cleveland, with four great players versus the Cavaliers’ three. The only way Cleveland can snatch one away from their home court is with a legendary performance from James or Irving.

Nonetheless, Golden State will come out with a fiery motivation, shoot well from the field early, and close out a late victory.

112-108

Game 2: Cleveland

After losing Game 1, LeBron understands the gravity of the second game. A loss, most likely, will result in another finals’ series loss for James. Nonetheless, he has learned to have a killer instinct and will have a monster Game 2 carrying the team to victory. He will score close to 40 points with a triple-double and his side-kick Irving will hit clutch shots late to seal the deal.

111-105

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(Way-to-early preview of Game 3 and on, next page)