With the number 73 waiting for them on the finish line, the Golden State Warriors didn’t slow down or rest a bit before the NBA playoffs. They set Stephen Curry loose for one final time on his poor regular season victims, making it seem possible that they might also have the best postseason run in history.
They’ll need to go 16-0 through their opponents in order for that to happen, but with Curry playing like this, there’s nothing impossible. He hit 10 three pointers on the less than disturbing Memphis Grizzlies to lead the Warriors in a 125-104 victory that put the Warriors on top of the list in terms of regular season wins in a single season. He finished with 46 points, which means he claimed the scoring title while also adding two steals. Yes, Curry is a pretty good defender as well, finishing with more steals than anyone else this season. He’s only the third player to lead the league in points and steals per game in one season. Allen Iverson did it twice. Michael Jordan did it three times.
All the superlatives have been said. While the Warriors do have one championship with this group, a second one elevates them to a different kind of status, especially when it’s a follow up to a record breaking regular season. Many fear that we’re heading into one of the more predictable playoffs in NBA history. The first round feels like a guaranteed sweep. The #4 or #5 teams don’t look like they’re capable of taking more than a game out of them. If the San Antonio Spurs make it to the conference finals, that’s probably the last line of defense. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of confidence in the Cleveland Cavaliers or anyone else in the East being capable of stopping the Warriors. Maybe not Fo’, Fo’ and Fo’ but very few will be surprised if the Warriors do sweep their way to a repeat.
Yes, there are still are some nonbelievers. Those suggesting Curry isn’t that good. That the three-point shot isn’t the way to win or play basketball. But the Warriors are winning the eye test and pretty much every analytical one too. Curry reached 400 three pointers this season. No one in the history of the league, besides him, has ever made it to 300. He has an astonishing net rating of +17.7 this season. The Warriors are 22.2 points per 100 possessions better when he’s playing compared to his resting moments. Yes, we’ve said a number of times how important Draymond Green is to this team. But above everyone; the one making all of this possible, is Curry.
A happy ending here is in the eye of the beholder, and depends on which team you’re a fan of. For those looking to see a competitive playoff, an interesting one, it’s better off seeing the Warriors struggle. As if someone figures them out all of a sudden. But everything points to the opposite. That this is one of the greatest ever teams assembled in the NBA, and as such, their road to the title is going to be as dominant as it was last season (Five losses through the playoffs), and possibly a lot more.