A dream season. It's an accurate description for any team that wins a championship, but it's especially fitting for these Golden State Warriors, with a rookie coach, a Most Valuable Player and a supporting cast that propelled the team to greater heights this season. In Game 6, Golden State completed its championship run with a 105-97 series-clinching win in Cleveland.
Here are five numbers that explain Golden State's victory on Tuesday, and in the series overall.
Points scored by Stephen Curry. Even though he was overshadowed by LeBron James in this series, the regular-season MVP finished the Finals with an average of 26.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game, while shooting 44.3 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three. Curry was magnificent in the fourth quarter of the team's Game 5 win at home, and he was up to his usual ridiculous shot making in the fourth on Tuesday, to close out the Cavaliers one last time.
We spent all season trying to find a reason for the Warriors to fall short in their title pursuit: They were a jump-shooting team, the pace of the game will slow down in the playoffs and disrupt their rhythms, no one on the roster has any Finals experience, and so on.
In this series, they answered those questions one more time, even after trailing 2-1 to the Cavaliers, as they finished with three straight victories to close the series, in mostly convincing fashion. Yes, it was against a shorthanded Cleveland team, but the Warriors have dominated all season, and they left no doubt that they were the best team all year. And it was their MVP who led the way.
The Warriors' record in this series with Andre Iguodala in the starting lineup. The adjustment of replacing Andrew Bogut with Iguodala shifted the advantage to Golden State. Iguodala did not start a game all season, but he was magnificent all series. He finished Game 6 with 25 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals, and the Finals MVP award. (For what it's worth, here's the official voting. Only Iguodala and LeBron received votes, meaning none for Curry.)
Iguodala's Finals MVP win is a reflection of the Warriors' depth and speaks to the team's willingness to make lineup changes during the season and throughout the playoffs. It also speaks to how the players sacrificed for the betterment of the team. Iguodala was not the only veteran who had to adjust to a bench role. David Lee did the same after Draymond Green took off with the starting five to begin the year, and, of course, Bogut was mostly a spectator for the last three games of this series.
Plus/minus rating for Timofey Mozgov in Game 6. Mozgov was caught up in the lineup adjustments by head coach David Blatt in Game 5, when he played only nine minutes, as Blatt chose instead to match Golden State's small lineup with one of his own, featuring LeBron at the center position. Blatt received some criticism after the game, especially since Mozgov had the best on/off differential in the series: The Cavs were a +6 when he was on the floor and a -41 when he was on the bench.
Mozgov played 32 minutes on Tuesday. He had seven points, nine rebounds and three blocks in the first half, and he was a difference-maker at the rim on the defensive end. He finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks, but it wasn't enough to send the series back to the Bay Area.
Minutes per game LeBron averaged in the Finals. In Game 6, he played 46 minutes and finished with 32 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists, and somehow, it didn't even feel like he had much of an impact on the game. That's not a knock on LeBron, but it was just watching the same script play out once again: a high-volume shooting game, without much help from his teammates. The Cavs made 32 field goals and 27 free throws, but they finished just 6-for-26 from three.
Matthew Dellavedova -- once a surprise contributor in the series -- scored one point in 25 minutes. J.R. Smith had 19 points, but most of them were late when the Cavs made a comeback attempt. Smith shot horribly for the entire series and was 5-for-15 in Game 6. Even with contributions from Tristan Thompson and Mozgov, it wasn't enough. LeBron did all that he could, but over the course of the six games in this series, the Warriors' depth and overall talent level was too much even for the best player in the league, who somehow managed to make this matchup somewhat competitive.
LeBron's career record in the NBA Finals. Inevitably, this will be a point of discussion. Tonight, tomorrow, the whole summer, all of next season, until he returns to the Finals and wins another one. And you know what: It's all noise.
At full strength, or even with a healthy Kyrie Irving, the Cavs might have stood a chance to win this series. And even with Dellavedova as his sidekick, LeBron had the Cavs up 2-1 and just two wins from defeating the best team in the league for the title. For the second straight season, LeBron went up against a superior team in the Finals and lost. The circumstances were different in this series, and LeBron had to adjust and become a one-man offense in terms of scoring and facilitating.
For Cavs fans, this series might remind them of their 2007 Finals loss to the Spurs. But they can also take solace in the fact that LeBron is back, he's a more complete player now and Cleveland will return as the favorite in the East next season. With a healthy Irving, a returning Kevin Love and the best player in the world, the Cavs will be in good position to contend against next season.
And now, onto the offseason.