The Golden State Warriors have appeared in six of the last eight NBA Finals and won four titles along the way. The 2022-23 version of the team didn’t look like a contender or even an NBA playoffs team early in the season, but they are now playing well, suggesting a vintage Warriors playoffs run could be on the horizon. Can Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Steve Kerr make yet another Warriors NBA Finals appearance?
Here are three reasons the Warriors can shock the world and not just make the 2023 NBA Finals but win it.
3. The Western Conference is as weak as it’s been in a long time
When the Warriors’ NBA Finals run started nearly a decade ago, the team had to run the gauntlet in the Western Conference NBA playoffs every year.
They had the Tim Ducan then Kawhi Leonard-led San Antonio Spurs, the Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder, the Chris Paul and James Harden Houston Rockets, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, and Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks to go through, just to name a few.
This season, the teams at the top of the West don’t inspire anywhere near the fear that the teams mentioned above do. Sure, Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets and Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies are good, but neither has been to the NBA Finals, and both have struggled at times in the NBA playoffs.
The third-place team, and the Warriors’ first-round opponent if the seeds stay as they are with five games to play, is the Sacramento Kings. The Kings are young and exciting, but the franchise hasn’t been to the NBA playoffs since 2006, and as exciting as the 2022-23 version of the team is, they play no defense which is a postseason must.
Golden State is battle-tested, and with Steve Kerr at the helm, they know how to navigate the postseason tournament and it to the Finals. No other team in the West has that, and that gives Steph Curry and company a huge advantage.
2. Golden State is gelling at the right time
The Warriors have been in playoff mode for week-plus now, and they are showing the kind of grit and fortitude that earned them their four championships in the last eight seasons.
With a spot in the play-in tournament vs. the actual 2023 NBA playoffs on the line, the Warriors have won four of their last five and are currently in the No. 6 spot, which would ensure them a true first-round series.
Stephen Curry has scored over 20 points in every game of this run while dropping 39 in a massive comeback over the New Orleans Pelicans. Klay Thompson is shooting 42.3% from three, and Draymond Green is a +52 on the court in these games as well.
Even Jordan Poole is getting into the act, dropping 33, 27, and 21 in the last three NBA playoff-like contests.
The Warriors are coming together at the right time, and last year’s Warriors playoffs star, Andrew Wiggins, could come back any day after being out since February 15 to take care of an undisclosed personal family matter.
April is the time when NBA teams need to put it all together, and that’s exactly what Golden State is doing now, which is why a Warriors NBA Finals run isn’t out of the question.
1. The Warriors are a dynasty
Since the Warriors dynasty (and yes, it is a dynasty) started in 2015, the only other teams to win NBA championships were the Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers, and Milwaukee Bucks.
Of those teams, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving have left Cleveland, Kawhi Leonard left Toronto, and the LeBron-Anthony Davis Lakers are a shell of the team they were in The Bubble. The Bucks are still mostly the team they were when they hoisted the trophy, but they are in the other conference.
The 2022-23 season could be a prime time for a new team to win the title, but if NBA history tells us anything, it’s never count a dynasty team out when their core is still intact.
Golden State no longer has Kevin Durant, and the team is a little older nowadays, but is anyone willing to fully bet the house against Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Steve Kerr?
When the 2023 NBA playoffs or (especially) the 2023 NBA Finals comes down to one series, one game, one shot, no one in the league has earned our trust in those situations more than the Warriors.
And in the end, that’s the biggest reason why Golden State will shock world and win the 2023 NBA Finals.
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