The Golden State Warriors are back in the NBA Finals for the fifth straight season. After sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers, the Warriors now wait to see who will they will face in the Finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Toronto Raptors.
Thriving without KD
Any time you lose a player like Kevin Durant to injury, it will slow your team down. With that being said, The Warriors are a remarkable 31-1 without Durant and 5-0 in the playoffs. This is just another stat that magnifies the dominance of Steph Curry and the rest of the Warriors during the dynasty they have created.
The Warriors had some close games with the Trail Blazers in this series. They were losing three out of the four games in the series at halftime, twice by double digits, but managed to sweep them, finishing Game 4 in dramatic overtime fashion by just two points.
Possibly one of the scariest things for either team that plans on facing the Warriors out of the East is the days off the Warriors will have to get their roster back to full strength to have yet another strong Finals appearance. It seems likely that Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, and Andre Iguodala will all be ready to go by the time the final round starts.
What Can Keep Them From Winning Again
At this point, it seems like the Warriors will cruise right into another Finals victory. After all, the Warriors have won three of the last four NBA championships. But make no mistake, the Warriors will still need to bring their A-game if they want to take home another trophy. This is why we play the game, there’s always room for upsets in sports, as once said, in my favorite Nike ad of all time, “A team can look good on paper, great, but this isn’t a math test; this is a different kind of test.”
Getting complacent after winning, having too many stars to get the ball to, too many egos on a team; these are all the things off of the paper that can completely change the outcome of a game or a series. Don’t count any team out when you get to the level these professionals are playing at, in the NBA Finals. One missed shot, one lack in judgment, one issue with team chemistry, and the underdog can flip the script.
What To Expect
In the Finals, the Warriors have the huge advantage of being there and having been successful there many times. There is something to be said for being able to remain calm on such a big stage because they are used to the spotlight. This showed up most when they were able to overcome large deficits in almost every game against the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals.
I would not expect any team in the Finals to jump out to a big lead early or completely get the Warriors out of their own game plan. The Warriors have the players, they have the game plan, and they have shown time and time again that they can execute. I would expect nothing but the same out of the 2019 NBA Finals.
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