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Pulling for Golden State’s Golden Triangle

May 28th, 2019 · No Comments · Basketball, NBA

Most NBA fans/observers are probably not interested in this. I am.

I want the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA championship, over the Toronto Raptors, and I want them to do it with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green running the show.

I want the return of the Big Three that carried the club to the 2015 championship.

Meaning “pre-Kevin Durant”.

Durant joined the Warriors for the 2016-17 season, and it just seemed like overkill.

It also was something resembling the death knell of the team that won in 2015, and set an NBA record for regular-season victories (73) in the 2015-16 season.

The one led by one of the great trios in NBA history: Curry, Thompson and Green.

Adding Durant to the mix seemed somehow wrong. Sure you could sign him, but should you? Especially when those three home-grown players were changing the game of basketball with their pace and space and quickness — and a rain of three-pointers.

This season, Durant suffered a calf injury early in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals, and the Warriors did just fine without him: They took Game 5, finished off Houston in Game 6 and swept Portland in the conference finals.

I want to see if they can complete a threepeat without Durant, whose leg injury will keep him out of Game 1 (at the least) later this week. (And Boogie Cousins, Warriors center … you also need to stay away.)

There is something sweet and wonderful about the way the Warriors’ key three play together. Something still breathtaking, still wondrous about what they do and how they do it. Something like the Star Trek’s “Vulcan mind meld”.

(And, yes, I am OK if the Warriors do it with a “core four” — adding Andre Iguodala to the trio — because he was with that 2015 championship team. Iguodala is nicked up, but is expected to play in Game 1 two days hence, and his contributions have been significant.)

But, really, it is about the Big Three — running all over the court, dazzling defenses, raining in triples from Curry and Thompson while Green rebounds and spends a lot of time running the office.

That team made watching marvelous fun, Something New and Exciting — and it took a stylistic hit with the addition of Durant, which had a mercenary feel to it. It was unnecessary, because the Warriors would have won the 2016 title if Draymond Green had not been suspended for Game 5, in Oakland, with the Warriors leading Cleveland and LeBron James 3-1.

That semi-fluky situation did not need Durant to fix.

Instead of sticking it out in Oklahoma with Russell Westbrook, Durant jumped to California.

He has not quite taken over this Warriors team — it belongs to the trio I have been writing about — but having another elite player on the roster has led to the Warriors of old (the pre 2015-16 crew) sometimes sitting back a bit, slowing down, maybe too aware that if things get rough they can throw the ball to KD.

I hope KD recovers from his injury soon — just not in time to play in this series.

Here’s hoping for One More Time for Seth, Klay and Draymond. Four championships in five years and two with them running the game.



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