The Warriors are NBA champions. This is a statement we have been able to say 4 times in the past 8 years. Thursday night, the Warriors took down the Boston Celtics in 6 games to add another ring to their dynasty. Stephen Curry was named Finals MVP, his first ever after seeing a teammate win it the past 3 ring years. So, how did the Warriors reclaim their throne, and how did Curry secure his legacy? Let’s take a look.
Okay, before we start the breakdown, I’m going to give myself a pat on the back. I, for the second time in three years, correctly guessed the winner of the finals and the number of games it’d take them to win in my NBA Finals prediction article. I only guessed 2 individual games wrong, too, and correctly guessed the Warriors would win games 5 & 6 after the series being tied 2-2. But, enough of that, onto the series.
Game 1 of these finals saw the Celtics, like they have all season, make an improbable comeback led by Al Horford’s 26 points. The 4th quarter score tallied 40-16 in the comeback. The Celtics had stolen game 1 and now had home-court advantage, despite running a questionable drop coverage defense against the greatest shooter of all time in Steph Curry. The Warriors had to respond in game 2. And, in game 2, they did exactly that. Led by Curry’s 29 point performance, the Warriors ran the C’s out of the gym in the second half and evened up the series 1-1 going into Boston.
Boston was roaring for game 3. It was the first finals game they’d seen since 2010. The stars showed out for game 3, and the big 3 of Tatum, Brown, and Smart each tallied over 20 points in the win that came despite Curry and Klay Thompson combining for nearly 60 points. The Celtics had now proven they can win in multiple ways whether it be through their stars or their role guys. Things were looking up. But then, the Chef arrived.
In an all time great finals performance, Stephen Curry dropped 43 points, catapulting himself to #1 on the Finals MVP ladder and the Warriors to a tie series. It was now 2-2 heading back to the Chase Center.
Going into Game 5, many agreed that whoever won this game would win the series. The Celtics hadn’t lost two games in a row since late March. This was the make or break moment for both teams. Of all the names you would expect to show up in this game when the season started in October, Andrew Wiggins would probably be close towards the bottom of that list. However, Wiggins did indeed show up. The former Timberwolves wing put up 26 points and 13 rebounds, an insane stat line for a Small Forward in such a huge game. Boston’s role players failed to show up and support the Big 3’s efforts, and the Warriors took control, 3-2.
In game 6, experience simply won out. The Warriors went on a 21-0 run in the first half, and never looked back. The Celtics made a couple runs but never got it to a 1 posession game, mainly due to panic plays and over 20 turnovers as a team. The Warriors stayed calm, Steph Curry and Draymond Green did their thing, and GSW secured another championship for the Bay Area. Curry was then voted unanimous Finals MVP, averaging 31 PPG, 6 RPG, and 5 APG in the series, a historically great stat line.
So, through a Chef’s kiss, good defense, experience, and unsung heroes, the Warriors were able to secure yet another championship that means so much to them after the past 2 years of struggling and not seeing the playoffs. Defending the crown next year will be tough, but for now they celebrate as champions for the 4th time in 8 years.