Basketball – NBA: The Golden State Warriors, the rebirth of a dynasty

There are attitudes that do not deceive. Smiles. It looks. The atmosphere that comes up every time Stephen Curry and his partners take the floor – to overwhelmingly win. A form of arrogance that shows, above all, the confidence of this team, which is increasingly seen as a big favorite for the title. The warriors are back. Here they are again in the NBA Finals, three years after their last appearance. And they definitely look like champions.

The return of the great warriors

They were left to die after losing six rounds to the Kawhi Leonard Raptors in 2019. The series they would likely have won had Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson not been injured. Yet paradoxically, this defeat looked like the end of the California Armada cycle. The health problems among themselves were illustrated by the fatigue accumulated after four consecutive campaigns at the top, four finals in a row and three titles. These Warriors needed a break, both physically and mentally.

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Like the good old days: the Warriors are back in the finals!

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They got it. KD left to take on new challenges in Brooklyn. Thompson was sidelined for two years. Curry also juggled various injuries while Green, no doubt annoyed by the situation in his series, stopped playing basketball. Two transitional seasons, culminating in 15 and 39 victories, that finally made the Golden State team forget and finally disappear from the radar. But Steve Kerr’s men just pulled out to jump better.

soldiers of the Golden State

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During these playoffs, they were dominated by new generation superstars: Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets (4-1), then Ja Morant and the Grizzlies (4-2) and finally Luka Doncic and the Mavericks (4-1). All opponents sparkled, but none of them found a solution to knock out the Bay collective. A way to remind you that the trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green is particularly difficult to grasp at this stage of the competition.

Three All-Stars have won 21 out of 23 series since Steve Kerr appeared on the bench. They know the way. They know how to raise the game level at any time. “We have this master DNA, we have young talents and we find a balance at the right time.“Notes Thompson, who thinks his team is best prepared to come to the end.

Always the same home trio

A winning culture is rooted in this franchise. And it’s not two seasons without play-offs that will make Warriors forget about automatisms. If at times they lacked the rigor of fighting Denver and Memphis, they would take a run against Dallas. Because they sense the finale approaching – and thus a possible fourth ring. “We play our best basketball of the seasonCurry admits.The importance of the moment carries us. Now that really matters. ”

The All-Star Scoring is of course at the heart of this success. He is the face of this organization. Smiling leader, full of enthusiasm, self-confidence and talent. His energy is contagious. And all his teammates follow in his footsteps. Only that, in addition, it is in the form of his life. 27 points, 46% on throws, 38% on three points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists… averages that may seem trivial as he has yet to score with 45 or 50 units. But these are, however, exceptional performances.

Stephen Curry

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If Curry is the soul of the team, green is the heart. Engine. His return to the foreground coincides with the rebirth of the Rangers, and this, of course, is no coincidence. He is the boss in defense, but also an important starting point in attack. His baskets were never his first contribution, but he regained his aggression with the ball in his hand, remaining an excellent quarterback. Thompson, Curry’s right-hand man, returns quite well after two and a half years without playing. Week after week, he is gaining momentum as evidenced by his two appearances to eliminate Memphis in Game 6 and Dallas in Game 5. The Veteran has just over 19 points and 38% behind the arc.

Andrew Wiggins is the lung of the Golden State. A player who finally surrenders his athletic qualities to the service of the team. Much too irregular in Timberwolves, The Canadian has become the Warriors metronome. Ungrateful task specialist, nice irony for a former first draft, portrayed as a future superstar. But he became All-Star this season, and his play-off performances show how much he deserved his place. Wiggins provides the connection between the stars and other players on the team. It defends itself, collects, attacks the wheel, and also shoots from a distance. He also has the best differential in his team since the beginning of the competition.

This group is not a trio. It’s the whole body. The feeling is enhanced by the continuous movements of the five players on the field, very often in sync. It is also part of the culture. Last December Steve Kerr discovered that most of the NBA squads “they all played the same systems.“I don’t want to fall into this trap. He wants diversity to make his team even more unpredictable.

Poole, Kuminga and Wiseman: the future is bright

Its patterns may take some time for younger players. These two transitional seasons were also used for this. The Warriors filled the choices and therefore promising talents likely to join the trio while securing the series’ future. The best example is Jordan Poole. Catastrophic in its infancy, it has turned into an offensive threat that brings Dubs to a whole new dimension. So much so that his trainer gives him a carte blanche while Curry is resting. “I have great confidence in himKerr confides.It fills the void that has caused us great difficulties in recent years: minutes without Steph on the pitch.

Jordan Poole

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Jonathan Kuminga, the seventh pick from the last draft, is also expected to grow significantly in the coming months. Not forgetting James Wiseman, selected for second place in 2021 and absent this season. The stars of the veterans and the talents of tomorrow create an explosive mix around which many good, seasoned players revolve around such as Kevon Looney, Otto Porter Jr, Nemanja Bjelica, Andre Iguodala, Juan Toscano Anderson, Gary Payton II … These warriors are not the strongest, because Durant no longer lives in San Francisco, but they are undoubtedly the deepest. This group seems even more complete than it was in 2015 or 2016, even if its best parts have gotten old.

Not only is the Golden State in a very good position to win this year, the window of opportunity has expanded as the game has evolved and Stephen Curry could extend his peak by several seasons. Thompson will no doubt be stronger in 2023 than in 2022. And the future is exciting with the advent of Poole as well as the evolution of Kuming and Wiseman.

At the start of the season, Green spoke about the unique challenge facing his franchise: developing rising stars while competing in the title race. “In history, no one has managed to play in both cases. This is the way we’re headed.Nine months later, the Warriors are now on their way to the title.

Warriors

Source: Eurosport

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