In advance of the NBA Finals, Aaron catches up with former Sheridan Hoops writer Jim Park about the Golden State Warriors’ dominance, Steve Kerr’s health-related absence and what, if anything, can slow down these rolling Warriors.
A season after winning an NBA-record 73 games and falling one win shy of their second straight championship, the Golden State Warriors are back to the Finals with a vengeance. There, they’ll be meeting a familiar foe in the form of the Cleveland Cavaliers, setting the stage for the third consecutive NBA Finals matchup between the teams. Storylines abound, including Kevin Durant’s long-awaited rematch with LeBron James on the biggest stage imaginable, but these teams’ recent dominance makes it all even more intriguing. Carrying over from the regular season, the Dubs have won 27 of their last 28 games, including a perfect 12 for 12 this postseason. For their part, the Cavaliers are enjoying a league-best 120.7 Offensive Rating these playoffs and, of course, have only been defeated once, a three-point loss to the Celtics in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. Each team’s 2017 playoff Net Rating tops +16 points per 100 possessions.
Golden excerpts can be found below:
Jim Park 3:55-4:03: “Curry really found himself [basketball-wise] while KD was gone, and he really hasn’t looked back even when KD did come back.”
12:20-13:04: “They don’t let teams come back. It’s set up in such a way where other teams have trouble coming back, because, to start the fourth quarter, they have Curry sitting and they’ll have KD starting the game in the fourth quarter, and usually he’s eating. The second-unit guys can’t stop KD, let alone first guys usually, so that’s a tall order for most teams to try to overcome, especially when they’re down. So you really have to play perfectly and try to get out ahead of the Warriors in order to have any kind of chance. Because if you get down, forget it. No chance.”
22:36-23:07: “I thought it was like a perfect balance where there was no sacrificing for the most part. Everybody played their parts to the max to be the team that they were last year, and that kind of went away when KD joined the team. Now, somebody has to sacrifice. And somebody, every game, is usually going to have some kind of low output. That’s just the way it goes.”
30:23-30:28: “When Draymond plays freely like that, I think the Warriors are virtually unstoppable.”
37:36-37:45: “As long as Draymond and Curry stay healthy, I don’t see how the Cavaliers can beat the Warriors. I just don’t see it.”
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Music: “Who Likes to Party” by Kevin MacLeod