Steph Curry and the Warriors pulled off another impressive comeback victory in game 2, setting themselves up well for the birth of another dynasty.
However, saying the word ‘another’ feels incorrect. In reality, this Warriors team has been good for a long time, and we haven’t seen dominance like this in quite some time.
Yes, they are coming back to the postseason after a two year gap, but look at the conditions surrounding those two years. Curry, Klay, and Draymond were all injured for significant periods in the Warriors’ first year without Durant, and Golden State limped (quite literally) to a lottery pick.
Last year, Curry was healthy, but he was still without Klay Thompson in a loaded Western Conference. He did all that he could, but his stellar shooting wasn’t enough to propel the Warriors to an improbable postseason berth. He was an MVP candidate last season despite not even making the playoffs, showing how absurdly good he was. In fact, if you compare the numbers, he performed better last year than he did in 2016, the year he won MVP unanimously.
Now that everything is aligned well for Golden State, they’re right back. Klay Thompson has slid back in, Draymond is showing his versatility, and they may have a third splash brother in Jordan Poole after an incredible ascension this season.
Good Night. pic.twitter.com/R7eCsPaAnl
— Do Deka (@dodekabasket) May 21, 2022
Steph Curry and the Warriors are on par with Michael Jordan’s Bulls
In 2015, the Warriors seemingly shocked the world when they made an unprecedented Finals run, capturing the title over LeBron James in his homecoming to Cleveland.
Golden State had always been a perennial playoff team, but they were no more than a first round, second round team. Steve Kerr changed all that in one year with the team, taking them right to the top.
Then came 2016. Everything was set up for the Warriors to repeat. Curry made his MVP leap, Klay looked like the second best shooter in the world, and Draymond was a DPOY candidate. They won a record 73 games, only to collapse in the Finals, blow a 3-1 lead, and walk away feeling empty. Still, two Finals runs in two years was impressive.
The core of Curry, Klay, and Draymond was definitely in a position to make it back. However, GM Joe Lacob saw an opportunity to make the Warriors practically invincible, and he took it.
When Kevin Durant signed with Golden State, every NBA fan outside Oakland complained about how the league was ruined. They weren’t wrong. The Warriors won the next two titles with relative ease, making quick work of LeBron James and whatever he team he was trying to carry, with or without Kyrie Irving.
The Warriors would have almost certainly three-peated in 2019, but their luck finally ran out. Durant tore his Achilles, and Kawhi Leonard wasn’t going to be stopped that year. Durant bolted the next year to the Nets to find his own legacy after being condemned for taking the easy way out to win a title, and that’s when all the injuries hit. Klay returned this season after missing two years of basketball.
And yet, if the Warriors make it back to the Finals, they’ll have now been there six times in the last eight years. That’s the exact same rate Michael Jordan and the 1990 Bulls made it at. Of course, Jordan also won all six of those titles, and the only two years he didn’t make it, he was out of the NBA completely, but still, the comparison is incredible.
Golden State is the closest the NBA has come to replicating the sustained longevity of the Bulls’ dynasty. Even the Lakers teams Shaq and Kobe pioneered fell apart after four years. LeBron’s Heat lasted four years. The only other team you can make a case for are the San Antonio Spurs, but they had long periods of coming close but never succeeding. Their dynasty was spread out far more than Golden State’s.
The Warriors have been the class of the West for almost the last decade, and they’re looking to reclaim the throne this postseason.
goodness gracious pic.twitter.com/mGAarvnhAu
— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) December 21, 2021