Can Anyone Beat the Warriors?

After a sub-par (for him) regular season, Steph Curry has ramped it up so far in the postseason.

After a sub-par (for him) regular season, Steph Curry has ramped it up so far in the postseason.

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By Liam McKeone

After a sub-par (for him) regular season, Steph Curry has ramped it up so far in the postseason. (Courtesy of Wikimedia)

Everyone knew that the Golden State Warriors were going to be good. But through most of this season, we haven’t really seen the world-breaking, record-shattering team we anticipated when KD announced his decision. This was because of a couple things. First, it takes a while for teammates to mesh, especially such a high-usage teammate like Durant. Second, the injury bug hit. Third, other new additions JaVale McGhee and Zaza Pachulia were struggling to find their place. Then Durant hurt his leg in a nasty-looking injury and many fans believed we would never see the best possible version of the Warriors.

Well, if you were one of those fans, fret not. The Warriors are rolling right now, and it doesn’t look like anyone can stand in their way. The biggest change between the season and the playoffs is really just Steph Curry. It seemed to casual observers that he was hesitant to start the year; Curry has always been more of a shooter than a distributor at point guard, and he looked like he felt the pressure to pass it to Durant. Curry just playing his game had led to two consecutive MVP awards, including the only unanimous decision in league history, so we all know what it looks like when Curry is comfortable. We just didn’t see it for most of the season.

Once Durant got injured and Curry was back in his comfort zone as the only alpha dog in the lineup, he really took off. The end of his season was what we have come to expect from Curry, dropping 40-point games and hitting insane three pointers that are a staple of his game. This has rolled into the playoffs, where the poor Blazers ran into the buzz saw that is Golden State. Curry is averaging 30 points a game, to go along with six assists and five rebounds, Draymond Green is playing spectacular defense, and Klay Thompson is doing Klay Thompson things. Portland put up a good fight in the first half of the series, but the last two games weren’t even close. Kevin Durant wasn’t even 100 percent and they still won game four by 20 points.

For any basketball fan, watching the Warriors raises one question: can anyone beat them? It’s a legitimate question, especially for neutral fans who don’t want to see a blowout every game in the playoffs. But, man, it is hard to imagine any team this year taking down GSW. They have Steph Curry, a human torch, and Kevin Durant, a seven-footer who can shoot like Iverson. They have Klay Thompson, a lockdown defender on one end and one of the best shooters alive on the other. They even have Draymond Green, who can defend literally every position, and has done so—sometimes on the same possession. He will probably win Defensive Player of the Year, and he’ll deserve it. Andre Iguodala is the league’s best player off the bench. It’s just ridiculous.

Can any team beat Golden State (without one of their stars suffering a serious injury)? Yeah, probably. LeBron is still LeBron and can win games by himself. Greg Popovitch is still the best coach in NBA history, and D’Antoni’s Rockets are scary, too. But can any team beat the Warriors, not just once, but four times? No. Not without an insane amount of luck. Best wishes to Bron-Bron and any other would-be contender. Golden State is taking the ‘Ship.