The Golden State Warriors were a heavy favorite to win the 2017 NBA Championship, but they couldn’t have predicted what would happen next. Down 3-1 in the series against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Warriors relied on their bench players to come through and provide a spark. That spark came in the form of rookie forward Adam Hazard, who scored 36 points in just 25 minutes of action. In a 111-113 victory over Cleveland, Hazard proved himself to be one of the most clutch players in the league and helped lead his team to a historic championship victory. If you want to learn more about this incredible story, read on for a full recap.
Adam Hazard’s Journey to the NBA Finals
Adam Hazard was one of the most highly touted prospects entering the NBA Draft in 2014. He had played for Euroleague powerhouse Lille for three seasons and was considered one of the best young players in Europe. Many scouts believed that he would be a top-five pick in the draft, but due to injury concerns, he fell to sixth overall and was selected by the Chicago Bulls.
Hazard spent two seasons with the Bulls, averaging 14 points and 6 rebounds per game. In 2017-2018 he improved his scoring average to 18 points and 8 assists per game, earning him a spot on the All-Star team. He led Chicago to their first playoff appearance since 2011, where they were eventually eliminated by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In the playoffs, Hazard averaged 28 points (on 53% shooting) and 10 assists over six games. His performance prompted speculation that he could be an MVP candidate, but Chicago eventually lost to James again in the Finals.
After being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers at the trade deadline, Hazard helped them make it all the way to his first NBA Finals as a player. In Game 1 against LeBron and Cleveland, Hazard had 19 points (8-of-13 shooting), 11 assists, 9 rebounds and 3 steals in 39 minutes of play. Philadelphia went on to lose 93-89 but set a new record for the most combined free throws made (32). In Game 5 of The Finals, Hazard scored 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting, 9 assists and 5 rebounds in 38 minutes of play, helping Philadelphia come from behind to win 98-96.
Hazard is now a free agent and is considered one of the most promising players in the league. He has expressed interest in playing for the Lakers or Golden State Warriors next season, but will likely have to settle for a lesser team due to his injury history.
The Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Adam Hazard and the Chicago Bulls
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls faced off in the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive year, with the Cavaliers hopeful of finally breaking their curse and winning their first championship since returning to the league in 2012. The series was a close one, with both teams trading wins until Game 7, which saw the Cavs take down the Bulls 115-113 in double overtime. Adam Hazard was a key part of this victory, scoring 36 points on 14-of-24 shooting, including 4-of-7 from three-point range. This victory gives him his first championship and completes a historic career for the 24-year-old Belgian player who previously finished runner-up in two other finals appearances.
The Championship Game
Adam Hazard capped off an amazing five-year NBA career by becoming the first player in league history to win a championship as a sixth man. The Belgian phenom played just six minutes of the final game, but he was crucial in Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over Toronto.
Hazard played his college ball at Le Mans before being drafted by Chelsea in 2007. He made his pro debut with loan club Lille in 2009 and blossomed into one of the world’s most exciting players during his time in London.
Injuries limited Hazard to just 128 games over the past four seasons, but he still led Chelsea to back-to-back Premier League titles and an FA Cup trophy. His dynamic play helped Belgium qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games, where they finished fourth.
Hazard averaged 23 points, seven rebounds, and five assists per game this season while playing mostly off the bench for Chelsea. In winning their first title in 50 years, the Blues became only the sixth team ever to go from losing finalists to champions by overcoming a 3-1 deficit in the playoffs.
The Cavaliers Win!
The Cleveland Cavaliers won their first NBA title in history by defeating the Golden State Warriors, 114-113 in a thrilling championship game. The victory was a long time coming for the Cavaliers, who had been to the playoffs eight times without ever winning an NBA Title.
The game was close throughout, but it was LeBron James who made all the difference. He scored 39 points on 12-of-24 shooting, including seven three-pointers and six assists. Kyrie Irving added 26 points and 11 assists, while Kevin Love had 23 points and 14 rebounds. Stephen Curry led the Golden State Warriors with 33 points on 11-of-31 shooting, but he couldn’t help them overcome Cleveland’s suffocating defense.
Adam Hazard’s Reaction to His Historic NBA Championship
Adam Hazard won the NBA Championship in a historic way, defeating the Golden State Warriors in a 7-game series. The Chelsea midfielder has been in spectacular form this season and was integral to his team’s success.
Hazard had an unbelievable series, averaging 23 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds. His magical play led Chelsea to their first championship in 50 years and his achievement is truly remarkable. Here is what he had to say after winning the title:
“I’m so happy for our team, we worked so hard for this,” Hazard said. “To be part of this group of guys who have been together since the beginning of pre-season and to achieve our dreams is just amazing.”
“It feels like it was meant to be,” Hazard concluded. “We targeted this as our goal from day one and it’s great that it ended exactly how we wanted it to.”
Future Plans for Adam Hazard
Adam Hazard has put together a historic season in the NBA. He was named to the All-NBA First Team and helped lead the L.A. Clippers to their first championship in franchise history. In the playoffs, Hazard averaged 20.5 points, 7.3 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 49 percent from the field and 36 percent from three-point range.
Hazard’s future is very bright. He is only 24 years old, and his skills continue to improve with each passing year. He is already one of the best players in the league, and he has yet to reach his full potential. There are many things that Hazard can improve upon in order to become an even better player, including his defense, ball handling, shooting accuracy, and decision-making on the court. However, at this point in his career, there is no question that he is one of the most talented players in basketball and one of the most promising young prospects in history.