THE BAND IS BACK TOGETHER!
The Golden State Warriors are back in the NBA Finals. Who would’ve thought?! After the last two seasons a lot of people imagined the championship window for Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green had closed. But look now, in the first year the band got back on the court together, they made it to the ultimate stage.
For the sixth time in eight years, the first time since Kevin Durant flew off to Brooklyn. How did they do it? By being the Warriors. The culture they had before KD joined the franchise is still there, on and off the court. They have the stability and continuity, in the front office, coaching staff and with the core of their roster. They know how to run and handle their business. And they know how they want and have to play, by letting the ball go from hand to hand, the constant movement of the players and by playing good, solid defence.
They managed to surround their older big three with the right young players and with guys who know their role and know exactly what to do to contribute to the team’s success. Look at Andrew Wiggins for example. After being an underwhelming number one overall draft pick, he became a totally different player and the perfect fit for this Warriors team.
And of course, they have Stephen Curry. The best shooter of all time and already one of the best fifteen players that ever stepped on a basketball court. Some people see this Finals berth as the ultimate legacy test for him. But do we really have to? What does Stephen Curry have to prove? Nothing. Another chip and a Finals MVP award would only add to his already impressive resume. But it would add something special. That first Finals MVP Award, but especially that fourth ring, the same amount LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal have. It would put Curry in an even more exclusive club and it would be a strong statement as well, to win again without Kevin Durant. It would cement a legacy that already has been set in stone. Seven years after the first one, still going strong.
THE BOSTON CELTICS
THE BEST DEFENSE IN THE NBA
But now they face the Boston Celtics. A team that plays the Steve Kerr Warriors well historically. The team with the best defence of the entire NBA. And a team that has taken the hard route to get here. They knocked of the Nets of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the first round, got rid of the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo in a grueling seven game series and they survived another seven game slugfest against Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat. Finally, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart made it to the Finals. They came close in 2018 and in 2020, but fell short every time.
Not now, not with this team and this coach. Ime Udoka has put some much needed toughness in this Celtics squad and despite injuries to some of their key players, they can face the Warriors with a lot of confidence. Because if there is one Eastern Conference team that matches up really well with Golden State and has everything needed to make life difficult for the Western Conference Champs, it’s Boston. They have the size, strength, quickness, mobility and ability to adjust their defence to everything the Warriors do. And they have an absolute superstar in Jayson Tatum to take over the offense.