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FutureStarrGolden State Warriors Can't Miss Moments
After a championship, emotions often run high. But this title and its celebrations felt different than any other.
Kerr has lamented the loss of trust that his team has experienced in recent years, something which must be repaired both on and off the court.
Established in 1946 in Philadelphia, the Warriors are one of the founding members of the Basketball Association of America (BAA). Led by early scoring sensation Joe Fulks and future Hall of Fame forward Paul Arizin, they won their first championship during BAA's inaugural 1946-47 season. Later that same year, they joined NBA competition and went on to win another championship against Chicago Stags four games to one the following year.
In 1962, the team relocated to San Francisco and played as the San Francisco Warriors until 1971 when they changed to Golden State. For most of that time, they played most of their home games at Oakland Arena with some games also held in San Francisco and Daly City.
In their early years in the NBA, the Warriors only made it to the playoffs a handful of times. They reached the Conference Finals in 1975 but lost to Cleveland Cavaliers. On their next trip to the NBA Finals in 1980, they faced off against Chicago Bulls for the first time and again fell short against Cleveland.
After returning to the playoffs in 2012-13, they dominated the league and advanced to the Finals for the first time in 40 years. Unfortunately, they lost in six games to Cleveland Cavaliers; however, under Steve Kerr's guidance Stephen Curry led them back to victory in 2014-15 when they won an NBA record 67 games before defeating Houston Rockets in six games for their first title as a franchise ever.
The Warriors are commonly referred to as the Dubs, a nickname that evolved from fans mispronouncing their initial letter "W" as "dub-a-u." According to Dunk or Three website, this term originated when fans mispronounced the Warriors' initial letter "W" as "dub-a-u."
For eight years, the Warriors have reigned supreme in NBA basketball with a style no other team can duplicate. They took established trends like small ball and switch-heavy defenses and amplified them, creating an entirely new brand of basketball that emphasizes versatility and spacing.
They've created the three-point era and Stephen Curry has been its face, revolutionizing how the game is played. Additionally, as a leader, Curry motivates those around him to work hard and compete passionately.
He's a leader who never misses an opportunity, which is why he's the best player in the world. From scoring 30 points for the first time to winning an MVP award five times, he has made the most of each opportunity presented to him.
No reason to doubt Curry leading the Warriors back to the Finals for a fifth time. His name has already become part of basketball history, and it only gets better as an athlete.
However, teams should still remember some things if they want to beat the Warriors: most notably, taking their time against Steph Curry.
The Warriors have earned a reputation for having one of the NBA's most potent offenses for over a decade. To remain at this dynastic status, the team not only plays some of the best offense in the league but also prioritized defense.
One of the keys to their offensive success is their willingness to utilize smaller lineups that can confuse defenses. They employ a variety of pick-and-rolls and screens, counting on their quickness to make opponents react while surrounding themselves with lethal shooters.
For instance, the Warriors often employ a double drag screen strategy, which involves two players not involved in the action positioned along the perimeter on the weak side. The first screener will roll into a post up (post player) and the second screener will pop to one wing.
Another key component of the offense relies on Stephen Curry's ability to create chances. He excels at setting screens and drawing in teammates.
Moreover, Curry is an inspiring leader for his teammates. His success inspires them to work harder and lift him up in success.
As a result, Curry has been able to inspire the Warriors' younger players. He has implored them to keep their bodies strong and work on improving their shot selection.
When Curry is sidelined due to injury, it's a major blow for the Warriors on offense. But they still have other pieces in place that they can rely on when Curry returns.
Draymond Green has been an invaluable player since Steph Curry's injury. His impressive numbers on both ends, along with his flexibility and length have made the Warriors much better defensively. Furthermore, he's even coaching the younger Warriors to be more aggressive on offense.
The Warriors depend on a lot of veteran players to be dominant, but they also possess some very young pieces. If they want those youngsters to step up and contribute, then they need to improve defensively as well.
Golden State's defense that led them to their fifth NBA title was built upon a group of intelligent, like-sized wing defenders that knew their way around the league. It formed the basis of an innovative switch-everything defense that other teams tried to replicate but never quite succeeded.
Curry, Thompson and Wiggins were undeniably the stars of that defense, but Green was just as instrumental. His impeccable instincts on switch and roam made him an essential cog in that defensive powerhouse; plus his superior center-playing skillset made him even more valuable to their success.
If the Warriors can replicate that same defensive mastery this season, who knows how good they'll be? But one thing is for certain: They will do everything possible to ensure they're defending at an elite level.
In this clip from their win against Denver, Green's defense against SGA showed just how important it is for him to read a switch. Williams set up a side drag screen with the intention of forcing Curry into a switch, but Green quickly reversed course and kept his foot on the gas.
No small feat for Green to have his team in the playoffs, and it appears he must be at his peak to ensure they reach the Finals. Despite their recent struggles, the Warriors should have enough depth on defense this season to keep up with any challengers they come across.
Special teams units are essential to any team's success, even if they don't always get the recognition that other units get. Though they may only be called upon for a few plays per game, how those plays unfold could decide the outcome of a contest.
On a typical special teams play, the kicking team will line up at the snap with a long snapper and three blockers at the point of the ball. These guardians help prevent opposing players from blocking in on either kicker's or punter's attempt.
Another key member of the kicking team is the holder, who places the ball on the ground for the place kicker to kick a field goal or extra point. He typically stands 7-8 yards from the line of scrimmage and must possess incredible accuracy in order to be successful at his job.
The Golden State Warriors boast one of the most talented and experienced special teams units in basketball. They boast a veteran punt returner, expert gunner, and excellent kicker.
At the time of their fourth consecutive NBA title celebration, the Warriors were still coming off an injury-riddled season and faced a challenging schedule. Indeed, they were only 12-9 as of early December.
Kerr was confident that the Warriors' young players could handle the demands of the NBA. So he filled his bench with promising young talent.
They began the season with some promising signs, but injuries and an uneventful start ultimately cost them their chance at an NBA title. After falling behind the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round, they went on to lose that series - an implosion which marked an unfulfilling end to their dynasty.