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Most of us perceived the Golden State Warriors era to be over. Kevin
Durant left for Brooklyn. Klay Thompson suffered two catastrophic injuries for two straight seasons.
Steph Curry tried but despite his tremendous shooting capacities, the load was much too heavy to bear alone.
They traded for Andrew Wiggins hoping he could be the second star that Curry needed but he didn’t seem to be a good fit.
Then as if a black cloud had been lifted, everything started to click. Klay came back. Even Andre Igoudala—who was a key component of their previous championship runs, returned. They signed rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody with their picks. Finally, in the trade market they also got Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Beljica.
All four would prove to be valuable acquisitions this season and have provided quality minutes whenever their starters rested.
Things started to fall in place midway through the season. Wiggins began to be comfortable with his role. The team was starting to jell. You couldn’t just throw double and triple teams at Curry as his teammates would make you pay.
Many expected them to gain momentum and make some noise in the playoffs. And boy, did they.
After breezing through the Denver Nuggets, they defeated the Memphis Grizzlies in a tough grueling series to advance to the Western Conference Finals where they eviscerated Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks in five games.
They are now back in the NBA Finals for the sixth time in eight seasons. The last time that happened was when Michael Jordan played for the Chicago Bulls from 1991-1998.
CHAMPION. As of this writing, the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics are tied at
3-3 which means that gives the Warriors an extended amount of rest time.
Whoever advances will find their beat-up selves against a well-rested team with championship pedigree.
Good luck with that.
ROLE PLAYERS. What makes the Warriors so formidable is the development of
several players that know their roles and are very good at it. Jordan Poole has been quite a revelation. He’s a deadly shooter with cat-quick reflexes. Wiggins has been very reliable both in offense and in defense.
Kevon Looney has proved to be monster on the inside while Kuminga
also provides length and athleticism.
With Klay slowly regaining his deadly form and Draymond Green providing on-court generalship, Curry only needs to do what he does best. Shoot the living daylights out of the arena.
Warriors in 7 against whoever emerges out of the Eastern Conference Finals.
LAST ROUND. It’s on Mike Marie Gotico who recently celebrated her birthday. Cheers, ‘gaw!