Things didn’t start great for the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. In front of a hostile Boston crowd, they saw the Celtics quickly build a 12-2 lead. However, the Warriors didn’t waste any time fighting back as they flipped the deficit into a 27-22 lead by the end of the first quarter.
It felt like the Warriors just wouldn’t be denied after that first quarter. At the start of the second quarter, they forced the Celtics to burn two timeouts early as they pushed their lead to 15. While the Celtics were able to cut the lead to single digits multiple times, they never got to within one or two-possessions before eventually falling 103-90.
Winning the title this time around likely felt special for the Warriors, though, considering the adversity they’d faced in the last few seasons. Here are a few of my thoughts on how this particular title helps shape a few legacies.
The Warrior’s ‘big three’ have a crazy record
Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have been the core of this Warriors team during the championship runs. While no one questions their first title, people always liked to talk shit about the two that they did win with Kevin Durant, as if it was their fault that a spike in cap space put them in a position to land one of the best players of all time.
Winning this year should now put those haters to rest, as it showed that Green was right after all. They didn’t need KD to win another chip.
Green picked the perfect time to hit his first three of the NBA Finals in game 6, which was part of the 11-0 run that gave Golden State the lead for good. The Warriors were 19-1 this season in games that Green hit a three in, and it seemed fitting that he pushed that record to 20-1 as they won another title. His 12 points, 12 rebounds, eights assists, two steals and two blocks were good enough to give him the best plus/minus amongst the starters with +16.
Steph Curry’s legacy was also vindicated with his first Finals MVP award, which was well-deserved considering how he truly led the Dubs throughout six games in the NBA Finals. His 34 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block on 12 of 21 shooting was a thing of beauty. Curry averaged 31.2 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals during the finals.
Klay Thompson didn’t have as great a showing in the Finals, especially in Game 6, where he shot 5 of 20 to finish with 12 points and five rebounds. However, he did contribute to the title with some good games in previous rounds of the playoffs.
The trio of Steph, Klay and Dray have still not lost a series where all three started every game. That’s saying something, considering how often they’ve been in the playoffs in the last eight years. When the three are together, they win. It’s as simple as that.
Andrew Wiggins’ career-changing postseason
Andrew Wiggins was legitimately the Warriors’ second-best player in the NBA Finals, in my opinion. He came up big when it mattered most, and was always willing to contribute where it was needed – be it rebounding, defending, or scoring buckets.
The Canadian, who never seemed to live up to the #1 pick that was used to draft him, or the max contract that the Minnesota Timberwolves gave him, showed the world that he was more than capable of answering the call for a great team and great coach. Wiggins averaged 18.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks through the NBA Finals.
Andrew Wiggins isn’t the only player that benefited from Dubs culture. This coaching staff seems to always pry the best out of their entire roster.
The list is long, starting from Jordan Poole, who looks like the heir apparent to Curry. There’s also players like Kevon Looney, who had some superhuman performances in the Grizzlies series.
Add the success story of Gary Payton II to the mix, and how Otto Porter Jr. was able to finally win a ring after spending most of his prime being overpaid on mediocre teams, and you can see that the Warriors have a key blueprint to success.
What’s scary is they they have even more young talent to develop, like Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and, if he can get healthy, James Wiseman. The fact that they may be able to bridge this generation with the next one almost seamlessly is a scary thought for other NBA teams.