291 Comments

When you look at how Denver’s players disappeared, or did virtually nothing, including 3 starters, you really appreciate how good the Warriors were when they had guys like AI and Livingston and others coming off the bench.

Expand full comment

Wolves beat two teams who had a depleted to non existent bench. Dallas is going to be much harder to beat as they have a really good bench.

Expand full comment

Back in 2014-2015 the Warriors had a 25 year old Justin Holiday as their 12th man. This season the Nuggets had a 35 year old Justin Holiday as their 7th man, by design.

Calvin Booth literally said that investing in the future at the expense of this season was "worth the investment" for the Nuggets. They are going to need to win multiple championships in the coming seasons to justify throwing away this season for development imo.

Expand full comment

Two timelines strategy strikes again.

Expand full comment

Give or withhold credit where you want, but that Minnesota defense is incredible.

That said, this Denver thing illustrates why history is going to be very kind to the Warriors dynasty, and to Steph Curry.

Expand full comment

Well, the Denver coach forgot about the warriors dynasty in his press conference. He sure sounded like a sore loser in his post game presser. Could not take the heat.

Expand full comment

Well, Malone is actually part of the warriors dynasty so..

Expand full comment

He's been a big sore winner in the past but no one has cared because his target has been the Lakers who everyone hates.

Expand full comment

What did he say?

Expand full comment

he was very rude to a reporter on the question of the 20-pt collape - he ended that answer by saying "thats a dumb ass question.." besides some bleeped out words

Expand full comment

I meant what did he say that indicated he forgot about the Warriors dynasty

Expand full comment

Surprised to see both Minnie and Indy advance. Indy wins the health lottery in the broken down East. Minnie exposed Denver’s lack of depth past Jokic. Good stuff, NBA drama!

From here I’m rooting for Indy & MInn. Indy’s game is like the Dubs on steroids, with crazy passing and great shooting. I’d be more confident if they could play defense.

I root for the TWolves by default. Yes Edwards is fun, but I can never cheer for a Kyrie team.

Expand full comment

Sorry but "on steroids" is definitely the wrong phrase given that they're nothing defensively compared to the Dubs, and while they shot a record percentage in game 7 it still doesn't compare to the historic shot making of Steph and Klay

Expand full comment

Also this season's Eastern Conference is the most pathetic conference I think I've ever seen

Expand full comment

Wow. Just finished up the replay

Naz Reid - my goodness - he owned the 4th while Jamal and MPJ disappeared.

Expand full comment

Draymonds takes in these playoffs have been ice cold especially when he was so empathic about them

Expand full comment

Well Chuck is his mentor.

Expand full comment

They both get blinded by emotional biases. Barkley occasionally gets it right, and Draymond probably cognitively knows who's playing better, but would never pick a Gobert team or go against a LeBron team.

Expand full comment

Indeed, one could make some good money betting the opposite of whatever Draymond projected.

Expand full comment

Repeating is hard.

And as salary shenanigans get into Denver's way in coming seasons, health gets into the way with increased mileage, other younger teams get more experience and it is no longer Shangri-La when comes to inter personal skills, it is going to become increasingly difficult for Denver win another one.

Expand full comment

West is no joke next season.

Expand full comment

MPJ only exists to kill the Lakers and I love him for it

Expand full comment

Last 10 defending champs, playoff series won:

‘24 Nuggets 1

‘23 Warriors 1

‘22 Bucks 1

‘21 Lakers 0

‘20 Raptors 1

‘19 Warriors 3

‘18 Warriors 4

‘17 Cavaliers 3

‘16 Warriors 3

‘15 Spurs 0

It’s tough.

Expand full comment

Constantly playing into June puts a strain on the body.

Expand full comment

It is hard to repeat. People give the team a lot of crap, but it's not easy. For just one example, Bucks have been damn near catastrophic compared to the Dubs. Not even to mention teams like the 76ers who are giving it their all and falling colossally short.

Expand full comment

Exactly. That's what I feel when people dump on OGs.

Expand full comment
May 20·edited May 20

The only teams with ''mercenary'' stars that won multiple and successive 'Ships in the 21st century either had LBJ or STEPH on them. DUBS teams with KD on them qualify as ''mercenary'' after our 2 first finals team was broken up to get him. It takes a great team-first MVP to make it work; that is how special LBJ AND STEPH'S SKILL SETS ARE.

Expand full comment

I wonder What happens to Dray if Gobert gets a ring?

Expand full comment

I think C's are winning it all.

Expand full comment

I really hope not

Expand full comment

I imagine it goes like: counting: 1...2...3...4... Vs 1...

I can't decide who I want to win WCF. Wolves seem more deserving, but Drays hate of Gobert has rubbed off on me, and there's always the COVID coughing incident to add fuel to the fire. Luka I like half the time, the other half he goes full whine mode. In the end I'll probably want the Celtics to win, but that seems an unpopular opinion.

Expand full comment

lol go with the wolves...

Expand full comment

Jaden McDaniels and Naz Reid outscored the entire Denver team outside of Joker and Murray 34 to 21. They also played great defense.

Not one person on this forum would have said Minnesota was winning this game if Edward’s goes 6-24.

Games always come down to guys making shots or missing shots. If McDaniels disappears like Porter and the rest, they lose. If Joker is 3 for 7 instead of 0 for 7 on his first 7 3’s it is a different game.

Yea Minnesota played good D but Denver missed a lot of very makeable shots while blowing that 58-38 lead.

Porter, Gordon and KCP totally disappeared.

Expand full comment

It is a make or miss league-MJAX

Expand full comment

Nuggets were terrible all series besides Joker if we’re being honest. A few spurts of good play from Gordon/Murray here and there.

Expand full comment
May 20·edited May 20

Last four defending champs to make the Conference Finals:

‘19 Warriors

‘18 Warriors

‘17 Cavs

‘16 Warriors

Warriors and Cavs won all of those Conference Finals, too.

Expand full comment

If we manage to win one more championship with our trio, it may be my favorite one

Expand full comment

I'll go with that, as it would mean yet another ring for Steph, Klay, and Dray, and I would love it. But the unexpected ring in 2022, with Curry crying on the floor after carrying the team and shutting up the critics is always going to be up there for me. That one and the 2015 championship. The 2017 championship team was just dominant; the only question was /how/ they would win. And the 2018 champs overcame a lot of obstacles, though they played with their food too much for my taste, like they were bored.

Okay, I'm just going to admit that I'm partial to them all. 😂

Expand full comment

Yeah, but you're right about all that

Expand full comment

Doesn’t get any better than clinching a chip in Boston though

Expand full comment

1st and 4th my faves.

Expand full comment

Same. Beating Cleveland again and again got weirdly boring

Expand full comment
May 20Liked by Eric Apricot

> Michael Malone: “This is just a momentarily delay. Failure is not fatal… better team won. Not taking anything from Minnesota. We played until June last year. We had to play main guys through Game 82 to secure (a high) seed. I think emotionally and physically, guys are gassed”

https://x.com/NotoriousOHM/status/1792387195472339079

Expand full comment

They ain't making it back to the finals. This was their shot at a "clutch city" type run

Expand full comment

Now do that for 5-6 years straight Michael

Expand full comment
May 20·edited May 20

What I root for when the Warriors are done is beautiful basketball. That's why I liked Denver -- when Jokic and Murray are doing their thing it can look so effortless and great passing and shooting and so on. Minnesota is impressive on D but not fun to watch -- except Ant. Rest of the playoffs, in terms of overall graceful stuff? Much as I have a lot of feelings about Luka and Kyrie, that's beautiful basketball. I would love Indiana but Halliburton's shot is too weird. But you know what I mean? That highlight you rewatch because you just love basketball? Who gives us that now? Don't tell me Jayson Tatum. Lot of really good players on the Celtics but no art.

Expand full comment

I feel bad for Denver, though I did want wolves to win. They play fun basketball but so think wolves do too - outside of Hobert on the offensive end - which is tough to watch.

I also am not a big fan of Halliburton - his shot is just not fun to watch.

I fear western conference teams are going to burn themselves with another long WCF while Boston cruises through. Boston also extremely boring team to watch - as you say - “ no art”

Expand full comment

Indy because screw Boston + Hali is awesome

Expand full comment

Screw Boston is a big winner on this site, I would venture to say

Expand full comment

If "screw Boston" was a poll option on any article, I'd wager it'd win no matter what the other options are!

But funnily enough, I think Boston's defense is the prettiest basketball left in these playoffs. I'm still hoping someone knocks them off, but Derrick White & Jrue Holiday are fun to watch.

Expand full comment

They say no defending champion has advanced past the second round in the last five years. So the Warriors were the last champ to advance. I think.

Expand full comment

Championships, last 12 years (including this one)

GSW 4

Eight teams tied with 1

Expand full comment

If we remove the "SUPER DUPER UNFAIR KD DUBS", that's:

Non KD Dubs 2

Eight teams tied with 1

Expand full comment
May 20Liked by Eric Apricot

Dubs were so dominant the NBA rewrote the entire cap to make sure another dynasty never happens again

Expand full comment

Odds of GSW doing it again in the next 12 years ... uhmmm

Expand full comment

Yeah, but the odds of ANYONE doing it in the next 12 years are pretty low.

Expand full comment

well at this rate, we'd expect about 1/3 of the league to win a chip over that time period

so why not us!

Expand full comment

(okay, I guess I know why… 10 years from now is a long time in the NBA tho)

Expand full comment

WOW....enjoyed this one....GO T-WOLVES....

Expand full comment