They’re the dynasty of the past decade in the NBA.
The Golden State Warriors have swept all-comers, blitzing past the Portland Trailblazers 4-0 in their Conference Final series.
The Warriors are gunning for their fourth title in five years under successful coach Steve Kerr. With an all-star team consisting of perhaps the greatest three-point shooter ever seen in Stephen Curry alongside Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, DeMarcus Cousins and Kevon Looney, the Warriors boast a line-up that ranks up near the best ever.
Their star, Curry, has a bunch of team-mates that are more than up to the task. They make his prowess more evident, as he can go about his game without worrying about covering hard defensively or scoring all the points.
In the 2019 NBA Finals series against the impressive Toronto Raptors, injuries have finally caught up with them.
Without Thompson, Durant and Looney for game three in Oakland, Curry’s exploits were interesting in a 14-point loss to the Raptors.
Unlike LeBron James, who has arguably had to carry the attacking and defensive loads for certain stages of his career, Curry had a star-studded line-up behind him. But with some of his best team-mates out, he rose to the occasion offensively, yet perhaps didn’t hold up defensively.
We have seen Curry perform some amazing solo games with plenty of buckets and a plethora of three-pointers at a high shooting efficiency.
But what made his offensive effort special – 47 points, eight rebounds and seven assists – was the fact the next highest point-scorer for the Warriors was Green with 17.
Curry carried the attacking side of Golden State’s display. But he was also forced to work more defensively, with mixed impact.
Rarely defending his opposing player Kyle Lowry, the Raptors guard shot 23 points. Toronto ran riot offensively, having six players score more than ten points and outscoring the Warriors in every quarter.
Star Kawhi Leonard put up 30 points alongside his seven rebounds and six assists, while Danny Green scored 18 points including a hot streak of three-pointers in the third quarter that repelled Golden State’s attempted comeback.
The Warriors were poor defensively, and Curry was one to blame. But a reason may be the lack of star team-mates present – the men Curry has heavily relied on for much of his successful career.
Without Thompson and Durant shoring up the Warriors, Curry took more responsibility for point-scoring and delivered in spades, as expected.
But he was exposed defensively, much like the rest of his Warriors team-mates who had no answers for Leonard, Lowry and the Raptors.
What this suggests is that the Warriors need players to return from injury.
Thompson only strained his hamstring and will hopefully be back soon, as he can provide defensive insurance and plenty of points.
But if Curry and the Warriors continue to be exposed defensively by Toronto, then maybe their dynasty and superb record may be tarnished by the lack of grunt they display when they don’t have a list full of NBA All-Stars.