The Golden State Warriors Claim the 2016-17 NBA Title

The Golden State Warriors won the 2016-17 title after a 4-1 series win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors avenged their loss in last year's playoffs with a 16-1 rampage through the postseason, as Kevin Durant claimed a title and a Finals MVP trophy in his first year in Oakland.

The Golden State Warriors officially wrapped up their dominant 2016-17 season on Monday night with a 129-120 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers to secure the NBA title. While there were moments of doubt scattered throughout the season, this title has seemed almost destined since Kevin Durant announced his next chapter on July 4th in the Player's Tribune.

The Warriors did not blow out the Cavaliers in Game 5; Cleveland held the lead until about halfway through the second quarter, and remained in striking distance until late in the fourth quarter. However, the Warriors fully unleashed their two most deadly weapons--the "Death" lineup and the Curry-Durant pick and roll--for the first time all year in the fifth game of the NBA Finals. With another offseason to add new wrinkles to their impossibly talented offense, the Warriors will be the heavy title favorites for at least the next two seasons until Klay Thompson's contract expires--and possibly for even longer than that.

The Warriors went 16-1 in the postseason and claimed the greatest playoff winning percentage of all time, topping the 15-1 mark of the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers. They finished the playoffs with an eye-popping 13.6 Net Rating, and coupled that with the second-best Offensive Rating AND the second-best Defensive Rating of all 16 playoff teams. Golden State dominated these playoffs in historic fashion, and in the process made a strong claim for the title of the greatest team in NBA history.

Kevin Durant Climbs the Mountaintop

Kevin Durant signed up for years of criticism the moment that he announced his decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors. However, he did all that he could to stem the tide of that criticism with a Finals performance for the ages.

Durant averaged 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game in the Finals, and was almost incomprehensibly efficient on offense. His shooting splits of 56/47/93 and his 69.8% True Shooting mark would be unheard of for a Kyle Kover-type role player, much less for the leading scorer in the Finals. Durant finished the series by making 14 of his 20 shots in Game 5, and finally committed to a deadly pick and roll pairing with fellow MVP Steph Curry: