Thursday night, the Golden State Warriors beat the Boston Celtics to become NBA champions once again. This is not surprising at all. This is something the Warriors have been doing for a while. Winning championships. In fact, Golden State has made 6 of the last 8 NBA finals and won 4 of them. In the first 8 seasons of the Jordan led Bulls dynasty, the Bulls also made 6 finals and won 4 of them. Even though Jordan played minor league baseball for one and a half of those seasons, it still shows how the Warriors have done. In fact, you can make the same argument for Golden State too. The Warriors missed Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for almost all of 2020 and in 2021, Klay was out for the season again. In fact, the last 6 seasons Golden State has been healthy, they’ve made the NBA finals. Just something to think about.
However, I picked against Golden State in every single series up to the NBA finals, where I also picked Boston. Well, that was a mistake. This was what I said on my NBA Playoff Predictions article about Golden State against their 1st round matchup, the Denver Nuggets: “I think the Nuggets will beat the Warriors in 7. The Warriors have been very inconsistent all season long and now are missing some chemistry because of Stephen Curry’s injury. Even though it looks like Jammal Murray is not going to play, Denver still has who should be the MVP of the NBA, Nikola Jokic. And Kevon Looney or 6’6 Draymond Green will have to guard Jokic. Not a great situation (for Golden State). Give me Denver in 7!” That didn’t last long. Golden State made quick work of Denver, and while they didn’t give Jokic any struggles like I predicted, that was a bad prediction. However, unlike I wrote for the Rams, I am not going to write an apology letter to Golden State. Because instead of talking about my stupidity, I would like to focus on the greatness of Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors and 2022 NBA champions!
First of all, there is no championship without a championship superstar. Well, Stephen Curry is that. I did personally know Curry’s greatness but didn’t trust those abilities to win a championship this season with the team surrounding him. However, some people said that Curry couldn’t perform as the #1 in the finals, and that was why he didn’t have a finals MVP. They said “The Cavaliers were missing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in 2015 and Andre Iguodala won finals MVP that year. In 2016, Curry shot just 40% from the field and Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the finals. And then in 2017 and 2018, Curry had Kevin Durant”. Well, that case just doesn’t make sense. Because Kevin Durant had an average of a 20.7 game score in his only NBA finals without Curry and then the 1st NBA finals he had with Curry, he had an average of a 30.3 game score. Curry elevates all of his teammates. And even before this year’s NBA finals, Curry averaged 26.5 points, 6.2 assists and 5.7 rebounds in the finals. One of Curry’s main accolades is that he is the only player in the history of the NBA to be voted unanimously as the MVP. Well, now you can say he’s the only player in the history of the NBA to be voted unanimously as a regular season MVP, Western Conference Finals MVP and Finals MVP!
Curry has been the cornerstone of this dynasty the Warriors have had over the past 8 seasons. A YouTuber that I really respect is Casey Keirnan of AM Hoops, who used to work at CBS Sports. He stated “Normally when a player is drafted, he has to adapt to the NBA. (Instead) the NBA adapted to him”. Not only has the NBA adapted to Curry, they’ve adapted to the style of play of that he, Steve Kerr and the Splash Brothers have created. The whole theory of how the 3pt shot is the most important and impactful shot in the game. When they added the 3pt line in 1977, there weren’t so many sharp shooters like there are in today’s NBA. The concept back then was to get the ball to your big man in the paint to score, or take a mid range shot. This stood honestly until Curry and the Warriors started to peak. 2014 was Curry’s 1st all star appearance and the 3pt attempts per game had hovered around 18 to 21 from 2008 to that time. However, once the Warriors won their first championship in 2015 with the whole concept of the 3pt shot, 3pt attempts have jumped up on an average of 1.8 per season. And yet, the average 3pt% has still stayed the same from around 35-37%, whether teams are taking 35.2 3pt attempts per game or if they’re taking 13.7.
But yet, if every team is doing this strategy, why aren’t they also succeeding from it like Golden State has? Because, they can shoot better than any team in the NBA. Curry is mostly considered the greatest shooter in the history in NBA history, while Thompson ranks 3rd on most lists behind Ray Allen. They’ve have the talent to perfect this skill. So not only are they the best shooting team in the history of the NBA, they’re still dominating doing so while everyone is trying the same strategy. But this skill has led to consistent dominance. And most people consider this dominance from Golden State one of the greatest dynasties in the history of the NBA. However, most people definitely don’t have them as high as the 80’s Lakers or 90’s Bulls. But, this may not be the case.
As I mentioned, Golden State has made 6 NBA finals in the last 8 seasons and won 4 championships. The only other teams to do this in an 8 season stretch are the Celtics dynasty in the 60’s, the Lakers dynasty in the 80’s and as I mentioned, the Bulls dynasty in the 90’s. But I also mentioned Golden State’s injuries in 2020 and 2021, the years that they didn’t make the finals. So, there is an argument to rank them as a top dynasty. They still have to do more since Celtics dynasty won 11 championships, the Lakers dynasty won 5 championships and the Bulls dynasty won 6 championships. But they’ve been on the right track, right up there with the top dynasties in NBA history.
And something crazy to think about is the Warriors head coach Steve Kerr’s ability to win as a player and as a coach. He became the 2nd player/coach to win an NBA championship in 4 different decades. The other player/coach to do this was Phil Jackson, who coached Kerr during the Bulls championships in the 90’s. Jackson won championships in 70’s as a player and as in coach in the 90’s with the Bulls and with the Lakers in the 2000’s and 2010’s. Kerr won championships in the 90’s with the Bulls and Spurs and won another one in the 2000’s with San Antonio. He then won championships as a coach in the 2010’s and 2020’s for the Warriors.
Doubting Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors the entire season was a big mistake that I will never make again. They continue to prove more and more doubters wrong and continue to grow their dynasty and success to one of the best in the history of the NBA!
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