Love Reigns Supreme — Bruin Kevin Love is a World Champion tonight, after his 14 Rebounds and his Defensive Stop on MVP Steph Curry in the final minute of Game 7 save a 93-89 victory for the Cleveland Cavaliers
They say Love is blind, but tonight, Love is bling, as former UCLA Star Kevin Love earned an NBA Championship Ring with his stellar performance in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Love pulled down a remarkable 14 Boards, including 7 in just the First Quarter alone, as the VISITING Cavaliers set the physical tone for the evening. Love also added 9 Points and 3 Assists, but after being maligned as a poor defender on the Bruin Zone Message Board this week, it is ironic and satisfactorily fitting that it was a Defensive play that made Love one of the Clevland heroes.
While it is understandable how LeBron James won the Finals MVP Award, what with his superlative Games 5 and 6 (41 Points in each) and his Triple-Double in Game 7 (only the third one ever in a Finals Game 7 joining Laker Greats Jerry West and Big Game James Worthy), LBJ was not exactly super-clutch in this game. He missed 3 shots in the final 4:13 of the 4th quarter, added an unforced Turnover, and then bricked a Free Throw with 10 seconds left that could have iced the game. He rattled in the next Free Throw which saved him from being the potential goat, but he was hardly the CLOSER that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant proved to be time after time.
It was actually Love and Kyrie Irving who made the crucial plays at the end to clinch the Title. With the score tied in the final minute, Irving hit a very tough, tightly-contested three-point shot that turned out to be the game-winner. Irving was huge in their 4 wins, and some people think HE should have been the Finals MVP. I might give the nod to James, because he did so much in so many categories, on both ends of the floor, BUT, it shouldn’t have been unanimous, and I think “co-MVP’s” would have been a legitimate decision as well.
Back to that final minute, after Irving’s potential dagger — It was Love who stepped up to cement the victory. Down by three, the Warriors predictably went to Steph Curry, who happens to be (arguably) the best three-point shooter in NBA History (with apologies to Bruin Reggie Miller, who is in that discussion despite lesser-quality teammates). When the play found a slower-than-Curry Kevin Love stuck guarding Curry one-on-one, Golden State fans were confident that Curry could muster up a great look. But despite several elusive moves and fakes, Love was tenacious and unrelenting. He kept getting back in Curry’s face, and ultimately harassed him into heaving up a brick. Golden State had to foul LeBron, and after James shakily made his second attempt, the game was history.
Speaking of history: This was the first Championship for the Cavaliers in franchise history. It was also the first championship in ANY major sport for the City of Cleveland since 1964, ending a 52-year drought. And finally, it was the first time in NBA history that a team came back to triumph in the Finals after being DOWN 3 games to 1.
So ultra-congratulations to Kevin Love and his Cavs, who failed to beat the Warriors in last year’s Finals when Love (and Irving) were out with injuries. Looks like the secret ingredient (to LeBron’s success) is a pinch of LOVE… okay, okay… and several pounds of Irving.