Deron Williams has had an illustrious NBA career. One thing has always been missing, however - a trip to the finals. That all changed on Thursday night. With a big game himself playing behind Kyrie Irving, the veteran point guard helped lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a dominant Eastern Conference Finals victory. In doing so, he also reached the promised land that once seemed like a given but became increasingly hard to attain.

Going to the NBA Finals

To some degree, Williams decided he was going to carry his team to the NBA Finals himself on Thursday.

Coming off the bench, he was electric. He scored 14 points, more than any other player on the Cavaliers bench. That performance came by making two of three three-pointers. He didn't contribute in many other ways, however, recording zero assists, zero rebounds, zero blocks, and zero steals. Nevertheless, he finished with a positive plus-minus rating.

Oh, and all of those points came in a single half. By the end of the game, people were commenting that it was surprising that Williams was going to the NBA Finals before Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul, as the two battled for supremacy in the league almost a decade ago. With LeBron James making history and the rest of the team playing well, however, it's time to believe it: the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to the finals and Deron Williams is along for the ride.

Long journey for Williams

Some have already decried Williams' path to the NBA Finals. The point guard started the season with the Dallas Mavericks, but received a buyout from them during the year and chose to sign with the Cavaliers. The Cavs were already a contender, so to some, it seemed like an easy way to ride the coattails of somebody else to the promised land.

It's a path numerous players have followed in recent years.

But there's nothing wrong with asking for a little bit of help in today's NBA. James himself needed to spread his wings elsewhere with some super friends to win his first title. Besides, Williams toiled for years in basketball oblivion, from the Utah Jazz to the Brooklyn Nets, never once cracking the team dream.

The 32-year old is a three-time All-Star and made the All-NBA Second Team twice in his career; he deserves this opportunity.

His play in the next round will determine if the Cleveland Cavaliers repeat as champions and if the point guard can forever put "NBA Champion" on his career tombstone.