Column: The Golden State Warriors reboot in the NBA Finals is a must-see TV

Column: The Golden State Warriors reboot in the NBA Finals is a must-see TV

Column: The Golden State Warriors reboot in the NBA Finals is a must-see TV

Steph Curry leads the Golden State Warriors against the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, a matchup pitting one of the league’s most popular teams against its most iconic franchise.

It’s up to the Warriors to save the NBA playoffs, which began with so much promise but quickly faded after one-off games.

The league couldn’t have asked for a better Finals matchup—and it took a shot when the talented, but deadly sluggish, Miami Heat didn’t show up on their home court in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the trio of Warriors stars who won three titles in five finals from 2015–19, with the emergence of Jordan Poole and Kevon Looney, and the addition of Andrew Wiggins, have seemingly rejuvenated.

Winning without Kevin Durant, who just hopped on the championship bus and earned Finals MVP honors in two of the Warriors’ three titles, would be especially sweet for threesomes, not to mention Andre Iguodala and coach Steve Kerr.

Iguodala returned to Golden State last season on a veteran minimal deal, while Kerr is rarely mentioned among NBA coaching greats, despite his three rings as Warriors coach. Maybe the fourth time will be the charm?

Like their last five Finals appearances in 2010, the Warriors face a player in Jason Tatum who can handle a game. The Celtics guard has grown into a quiet superstar, looking unruly in November, only to dominate the second half of the season.

Golden State lost to Leonard and the Toronto Raptors in 2019, going 3-1 against James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, leaving behind LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard in their five-year final.

Experts are divided with their 2022 choice, which can only mean that the series is a tossup that should go into six or seven games. Or a sweep.

For what it’s worth, Las Vegas has turned the Warriors into a bit of a favorite.

But with two equally matched teams, it’s anyone’s guess. Both suffered a playoff defeat in which they were toast shortly after the national anthem and won the game by defeating their opponents in the first quarter.

The lack of down-to-the-wire games as well as nonstop video reviews of out-of-bounds calls have made watching the 2022 playoffs an exercise in vain. But all the NBA needs to redeem itself is an entertaining final, and with so many interesting storylines and two iconic franchises going head-to-head, expectations are high that it could become a classic.

At least we won’t have to hear about Kyrie Irving’s stance on COVID-19 vaccination or see Spike Lee jump up and down his court seat. And the only way for James to appear is through Twitter or Instagram.

Curry will be shooting for his first Finals MVP after Durant and Iguodala took first honors for the Warriors. And you know, Curry will definitely go on shooting and shooting and shooting some more, no matter where it is on the court.

As the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers, and in an era in which everyone shoots him without regret, Curry has helped change the game as much as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did almost five decades ago. Did it with Dunk. Although he led the league again with 750 3-point attempts, Curry took only .380 shots from behind the arc – career-low in the entire season and 58th overall in the NBA. He was ranked 23rd in the player efficiency rating (21.4), which measures output per minute, suggesting that the two-time league MVP is still valuable but not as difficult to defend in his 12th season.

But the Warriors’ 116.1 offensive rating in the playoffs is still at the top, which means Marcus Smart and the league’s best defensive unit will have their hands full.

She’s still Steph Curry, probably the league’s favorite star after Michael Jordan, who should be good for ratings. James and Durant may be among Jordan’s all-time greats in the area code, but both signed on to win their rings elsewhere, while Curry does all of his ring shopping with one team.

Kerr, in search of his ninth ring, has received more credit for speaking out against the country’s gun laws after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, after leading a team to the NBA Finals only two years after a 15–50 season. For. It’s hard to imagine the Warriors without their coach, who won five rings as a player, including three in the Jordan-led Chicago Bulls dynasty.

The Warriors are a distinct organization from top to bottom and are so analytically driven that some might get the wrong impression that this team can run on auto-pilot. Before a game against the Bulls last November, Kerr explained how the Warriors’ practice and rest routines are guided by the physical and mental needs of the players.

“Our entire training staff looks at that stuff from a scientific point of view, from a healthy perspective[with respect to mental health],” Kerr said. “So we have a bunch of smart people basically telling me what our schedule is going to look like and I’m fine with that.”

Players wear heart monitors during practice and are monitored by Dave Taylor, the team’s director of player health and performance research and development. Kerr said that Taylor “sits at her computer and looks at everyone and their loads and what they are doing” during practice.

Kerr said: “I go upstairs and say to David, ‘Just tell me when it’s time to stop. Don’t give me any numbers because they mean nothing to me. I don’t know what that means.’ ‘ Every exercise has a goal of how hard we want them to work. They figure out all that stuff. It’s a little different from the old days… five years ago.”

The NBA is all about change. Five years earlier, the Warriors had taken a 16–1 lead in the playoffs – one of the most dominating postseason runs in NBA history – to avenge their loss to James and the Cavs in the 2016 finals, which saw their record-setting run. Married to a 73-win season.

The 2022 Warriors reboot might not be as groundbreaking as the original, or as talented as the guys with Durant.

But many of the same stars are back in action. And when Golden State is in the NBA Finals, it should always be watching TV.

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