After shooting in Memphis in the Western Conference semifinals, Clay Thompson kept talking about having something to prove. He, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, along with Golden State, went through so many playoff fights and won three championships, but still felt something was missing.
“I think we still have to prove that we want to be some glorious,” Thompson said. “And the greats have won for many decades, and we still do not have to win in the 2020s. So it’s just for us. “
Not sure this year, but the next step in their search begins on Wednesday when they face the Dallas Mavericks in the first game of the Western Conference Finals.
Dallas and Golden State defeated the top seeded teams in a tense conference semifinal series. No. 4 seed Dallas defeated top seed Phoenix Suns, dominating Game 7. The Mavericks led by 46 points in the second half. No. 3 seeded Golden State won a close-knit match against second seed Memphis Grizzly in a six-game physical series.
Here’s what to expect in the Western Conference Finals.
Which player is important to watch?
Karim, Thompson and Green have spent their entire careers in the Warriors, observing the prospect of a defining legacy postseason. Karim has scored the most 3 points in the NBA this season, 285, despite missing 18 games. In the fall, he became the league career leader with 3-point points alongside Ray Allen.
Golden State also has third-year defender Jordan Poole, who has thrived this season and started in 51 games. He even started a few games in front of the door in the playoffs, and Kari escaped after an injury. Golden State also has forward Andrew Wiggins, who plays better than he often enjoys. He was an effective lift for Golden State and an important defensive figure.
Maverick is led by Luka Doncic, who averages 31.5 points per game in the playoffs and 45 points in the first game of the Dallas series against the Phoenix. He closed the series with 27 points in the first half of Game 7 – as much as the Suns scored. Point Defender Jelen Brunson also had an outstanding post-season. He averages 22.9 points per game in the playoffs, up from an average of 16.3 in the regular season.
Do these teams have a playoff history?
The Golden State 2006-7 team is known as the We Believe Team in Warriors Science. Led by Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson, it took him late to reach the playoffs. There Golden State met the top-seeded Dallas team that advanced to the NBA Finals last season and lost to the Miami Heat.
In the 2006-7 season, Dallas overcame and finished 67-15, which was the league best record. Dirk Nowitzki won the Most Valuable Player award in the league. The Mavericks have not lost a single game in February. This made it even more shocking what happened next.
Golden State, seeded No. 8 in the playoffs, defeated Dallas in six games. The magic was short-lived as the Warriors lost their second-round series to five games against the Utah Jazz, but we believe the team season remains important to Golden State fans. It was also the last time Golden State faced Dallas in the playoffs.
What is Golden State doing after its title?
After five consecutive NBA games, luck has run out since 2019 – at least for now.
Thompson and Kevin Durant had serious injuries in the 2019 final against Toronto. Thompson tore the left anterior cruciate ligament, Durant tore the right Achilles tendon, and then left the net with a free agent. Kari broke his left hand in the fourth game of the 2019-20 season and played only one game that season. Without Kari and Thompson, Golden State missed the playoffs.
Then, when Thompson healed from an ACL injury, he broke his right Achilles tendon and also missed the 2020-21 season. Golden State was slightly better last season, finishing eighth in the West but missed out on a play-off after losing in the playoffs.
Before the Warriors waited, they added talented young players like Poole, James Weissman and Jonathan Cumming to fill their stars. Weissman came out with injuries, but Poole and Weissman were important players. Gary Peyton II, who is superior to Cumming, Poole and Wiseman but eventually got a steady job in the NBA this season at the age of 29, was a disgusting defender until his elbow broke in the conference semifinals with the Grizzlies. Golden State’s two-year absence from the playoffs has given its stars a big thank you for coming back this year.
What’s new in Mavericks?
They have a new coach in Jason Kidd, who has played twice for the Mavericks, including since being drafted for the second time in 1994. He was head coach in Brooklyn and Milwaukee, spending one year at the Nets and four at the Bucks. Kidd spent two seasons as Lakers’s assistant coach before Dallas hired him last summer to replace longtime coach Rick Carlisle.
The Mavericks have also shaken up their list this season, with Kristap Porzing replacing witches for Spencer Dinvid and Dave Bertans. It was an obvious indication that they were giving Donchich the reins of their team. Dinvid also became an important part of the 7th game in Dallas against Suns, who scored 30 points.
What gives Golden State an advantage?
The team is an association of veterans who have a playoff experience that is unmatched among the rest of the team and the youngsters who are in the post-season for the first time. Competing against this combination is tough: Kari, Greene and Thompson give Golden State junior players the chance to crash to win the playoffs. Young players are offered a pillow when veterans need recharging.
Not to mention, Carrie and Thompson are still playing at all-star levels when they are healthy.
What gives Dallas an advantage?
It is tempting to just write “Luka Doncic” and call it a day, but that does not give enough credit to the well-rounded Mavericks team that put Sans on guard in the conference semifinals. Although Dallas’ defensive rating was similar to Golden State’s in the season, the Mavericks closed the year with a strong defensive performance.
Stopping Donchich will be a challenge for Golden State as the Dallas attack goes almost entirely on him. This season, Doncic finished third in the NBA in points per game and assists in the fifth game. He is the talent of a generation that welcomes pressure, followed by great moments.