When did you know these Warriors were a team you could trust?
The Dubs have dominated the Western Conference; all season there were clues that they had this in them.
“First of all, this is the only path,” Lacob said. “There is no other path. I don’t really understand what people are talking about. We have the highest payroll in the history of the NBA by a longshot. So we are all-in. But I believe, we believe — our coaching staff and our basketball operations staff — the great teams have a combination of types of talent. You want to be able to play different ways. You want to have young players that are developing and you want to have the great ones that are already there.”
- Warriors owner Joe Lacob to Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, 11/14/21
Wellp, this is my first time writing anything for Dub Nation HQ since your Golden State Warriors made short work of the Western Conference bracket and return to the NBA Finals for the 6th time in 8 years.
We here at the HQ calmly wait for whoever survives Eastern Conference gauntlet to catch a plane, an Amtrak train, a hot air balloon, Bikes Across America, or even Greyhound bus allll the way across the country to the Chase Center. The Dubs have never lost a playoff game in their new digs, and it will be pretty cool to see the NBA Finals taking place inside the House that Joey Lightyears Built.
The Warriors were heavily doubted to get back to this grand stage by both national media pundits and some skittish members of Dub Nation. But I had a pretty good feeling about the Dubs this season as the HQ is well aware.
Here’s the biggest games that cemented that belief for me this season:
Opening night vs the Lakers
Gold blooded revelation: Golden State could negate size issues with gang rebounding.
“Before the game I was hella worried about the Lakers beating the smaller Dubs on the inside, and immediately after the tip I felt like my fears were justified. The first play of the game was a LeBron James to DeAndre Jordan alley oop off of a jumpball!
But by the end of the game, it was clear the Warriors have enough hustle and intelligence to compete with the Lakers’ giants. Check out these rebounding numbers:
Nemanja Bjelica - 11
Curry - 10
Draymond Green - 8
Andrew Wiggins - 7
Only one of those players is taller than 6-foot-8, but gang rebounding can conquer size. Would you believe the smallball Warriors outrebounded the Lakers 50 to 45, and outscored them 46 to 34 on points in the paint?? That’s probably gonna trip the Lakers out in their film session on this game.”
Steph gets MVP chants in Barclays vs Brooklyn
Gold blooded revelation: James Harden and Kevin Durant were no match for a Klay Thompson-less Warriors team. The Nets didn’t play enough defense and their offense was too predictable for the swarming Warriors.
“When Kevin Durant departed to create his own superteam alongside Kyrie Irving and James Harden in New York, and Klay Thompson’s body broke down from stomping the league into submission, the NBA could finally relax. The Warriors’ time was up according to Patrick Beverly, and Steph was finding out how tough it was to be a lone star according to Damian Lillard. The league could finally dream of life beyond the iron fist of the Warriors dynasty.
It’s time to wake up from that dream, NBA. The Warriors just visited New York to see KD’s new team and beat the hell out of the Brooklyn Nets 117-99 to stay at the top of the NBA standings with a 12-2 record. The Dubs wiped em out before the fourth quarter started, Curry put up a scintillating performance despite being benched for fouling, and Green put on a premier defensive performance. No super team, no injury luck, and yet it’s the same result as the dynasty days. How?!”
Christmas Day W vs Phoenix
Gold blooded revelation: Phoenix was fraudulent! Their offense struggled against Golden State, and their defense couldn’t bottle up GSW’s free flowing attack. And they were floppers.
“Is it arrogant to write off Phoenix as a true threat after beating them for the Christmas Day championship?”
Warriors destroy the #1 seeded Chicago Bulls in January
Gold blooded revelation: The still shorthanded Warriors were on a different level than an “elite team”, their system was being picked up well by the newcomers.
“Last night’s 138-96 destruction of the Bulls came on the second night of a road back-to-back against the #1 team in the Eastern Conference. Yes, even though it didn’t seem like it last night, Chicago has the best record in the East.
Sure, da Bulls were missing Zach Lavine who exited after hurting his knee in the first quarter. But then again the Warriors were missing Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and their 2020 #2 draft pick James Wiseman. Plus, the Warriors had already destroyed the Bulls earlier this season when Lavine was healthy.”
Warriors crush Bucks without Draymond Green
Gold blooded revelation: Coach Steve Kerr started Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Jordan Poole together for the first time and they were dominant together in a win over the defending champions.
“Stephen Curry had a season low eight points. Before our overeager members of Dub Nation start writing paragraphs talking about Curry’s “age related decline”or how coach Steve Kerr takes his greatness for granted and won’t support him by spamming pick-and-roll, let’s pause to celebrate. The Dubs just dominated the defending champions without Curry going supernova with scoring because his teammates felt empowered to go out and get buckets.”
What was the game(s) that made you believe that these Dubs would be back in the NBA Finals again?
Hard to answer this question as I never stopped believing the Dubs were still the same team that made 5 finals in a row, even after KD left, Andre got traded, and S Dot retired. The end of last season though was a resounding proof for this core's ability to compete at the highest level if the team-building was right.
When Eric broke down our shape shifting defense early in the season. This team was already clicking so early, it felt like something special.