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The Starting 5: In Honor of the Champs

Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports

The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content around the Internet

1. “Do the Warriors deserve the championship?” — Apricot of Golden State of Mind

For a team to win the NBA Finals, it needs good coaching, talent and depth. It also needs some luck.

The Warriors have gotten some flak for catching the Cavaliers at an injury-ravaged time, but the truth is that every champion has some level of good fortune. Apricot, a pug (no really, a pug) who writes for the Warriors SB Nation site, looks at each title winner since 1975 and how some fortuitous breaks helped all of them in their march to the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Don’t give the Warriors a hard time for the Cavs’ injuries. It wasn’t their fault, plus they proved their worth in winning the final three games of the series.

2. “There Was No Wrong Choice for Finals MVP” — Brian Toporek of Hardwood Paroxysm

As the final seconds of the NBA Finals ticked off the clock Tuesday night, no one was anxious about the action on the court anymore. Instead, basketball fans everywhere had transferred that anxiousness to the Finals MVP verdict.

Who was going to win the the prestigious award? Was it LeBron James, a member of the losing Cavaliers who had been the best player on the floor the entire series? Was it Stephen Curry, the winning Warriors’ top scorer and playmaker? Or was it Andre Iguodala, who stuffed the stat sheet and made James’s life difficult with stifling defense?

Iguodala ended up winning, garnering seven of the 11 media votes. LeBron got the other four, and Curry obviously got none. The verdict angered people who thought James and/or Curry were both far more deserving.

Toporek’s perspective puts a evenhanded, fresh spin on the debate.

3. “Nothing More to Give, but a Future for the Taking” — Scott Sargent of Waiting for Next Year

The Cavs gave all they could in the NBA Finals, losing in six games despite playing with a severely shorthanded squad.

Sargent eloquently takes his readers behind the scenes with vivid imagery detailing Cleveland’s locker room after Game 6. He mainly focuses on James, going through some of the Cavs superstar’s candid words after the loss.

I won’t give away too much of Sargent’s content, but this one is a fantastic read for any NBA fan.

4. “The Golden State Warriors Have NBA Dynasty Potential” — Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report

Most analysis you see the day after the NBA Finals chronicles the past. Maybe it’s a timeline of the winning team’s season, a recap of the series or a feature on the Finals MVP’s performance.

But Buckley examines the Warriors’ future in his piece, specifically their strong prospects to become a dynasty. He’s right—there’s no reason to believe Golden State will fall off next year with all of that young talent and head coach Steve Kerr entering his second season on the job.

Assuming the Warriors retain valuable all-around forward Draymond Green in restricted free agency, they should start next season as the title favorite despite playing in the crazy tough Western Conference.

5. “Andre Iguodala: Unlikely Finals MVP” Al Saracevic of the San Francisco Chronicle

Iguodala wasn’t my choice for Finals MVP, but I love him as a player and person and was happy to see a guy like him get rewarded for his contributions. Saracevic goes in-depth into Iggy’s role and reputation with the Warriors, using several quotes from teammates and coaches. Everyone on Golden State seemed sincerely ecstatic that the veteran role player won his award.

It’ll be interesting to see if more players start to follow the Warriors sixth man’s path by accepting a lesser role for a contender in order to win a championship.

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