Warriors Have Eye On Multiple Championships, Greatness
But They Have Only One So Far
June 2, 2016
When the Golden State Warriors won the NBA championship last season comparisons to the great teams of the past were heard.
We hadn’t seen a shooter better than Steph Curry. The Warriors’ style of play was exciting. They had conquered the great Lebron James in the Finals.
But soon NBA experts brought reality to the topic.
Bill Russell had won 11 championships. Michael Jordan had won six, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant five.
Were the Warriors a fluke? Probably not. But NBA experts and fans wanted more proof.
So here we are a year later. The Warriors not only won a record 73 games in the regular season they came from a 3-1 deficit to eliminate the talented Oklahoma City Thunder last week.
Now the Warriors have a chance to add a second championship in the era of Coach Steve Kerr, sharpshooters Curry and Klay Thompson and spiritual leader Draymond Green.
Two championships? Maybe more. It’s a possibility.
In the Finals which begin this week the Warriors will have a chance of defeating James and the Cleveland Cavaliers just like last season.
The Warriors aren’t a fluke. They’re talented and disciplined, often regaining their poise when they stumble early in a game.
They outscored the Thunder, 29-12 in the third quarter of Game Seven Monday night to overcome a 48-42 halftime deficit.
“We need to play better defense and rebound,” Kerr said during the halftime intermission.
Curry was spectacular as usual and in one dominating sequence Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green scored all 28 of the Warriors’ points.
But there’s a lot more to this team than the three biggest stars. Reserves Andre Iguadola and Shawn Livingston had a lot to do with the victory too.
The Thunder wasn’t as efficient or consistent during the second half. They reverted to some bad habits that they too often displayed during the regular srason.
“Two against five isn’t going to win championships,” Magic Johnson used to tell me, meaning super talented players must include teammates over the 48-minute distance.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are great but haven’t mastered the art of trusting teammates in crucial minutes of important games.
A year ago Cleveland didn’t have injured stars Kevin Love and Kyrie Erving in the Finals. They have them now so the upcoming Finals could provide exceptional competition.
But Golden State is on a mission to edge toward legitimate comparisons to the champions of the past.
Because Golden State had the better regular season record it will have the home court advantage.
I never predict the outcome of a sporting event but I can’t ignore the fact the Warriors are terrific. The Cavaliers will require their best performance to win this series.
One last thought. I hope Durant and Russell, who will be free agents in 2016 and 2017, don’t both leave their loyal fans in Oklahoma. That would be a shame.