Thursday, May 28, 2015

Warriors advance again!

For the first time in the 30 years that I've lived in Northern California, the Golden State Warriors are in the NBA finals!

The series against Houston was funny: there were 3 very close games and 2 massive blowouts. For some reason it felt like the series against Memphis was more challenging for the Warriors; I think that was partly because Houston was exhausted after the effort they had to produce to get past the Clippers, and partly because the Warriors, being a very versatile team, match up better against Houston, who have trouble adjusting as rapidly to different styles as do the Warriors.

Now comes their hardest test, playing the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, who is as dominant and magnificent an individual player as has ever existed in the NBA, at least since Wilt Chamberlain was playing. (Pretty-well-known trivia fact: when Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points that strange night in Hershey Pennsylvania, he was playing on the (Philadelphia) Warriors team.)

Although the media will be all about Stephen Curry vs. LeBron James, that's not really how the finals will play out.

The real issue will be LeBron James versus the Warriors defense, which means the players you need to start getting familiar with are the ones you might not have paid so much attention to: Draymond Green, Andre Iguadala, Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli, Klay Thompson.

There is no single player who can come close to guarding LeBron James, but the Warriors don't play defense with a single player, so I think there is hope.

We'll have to wait a week to see; the finals start Thursday, June 4!

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