The Golden State Warriors sweep the Portland Trail Blazers to reach their fifth straight NBA Finals. Their latest accomplishments prove why they have been the most dominant team in the league for a while. Now they just await the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks and the Toronto Raptors over in the East to see who they face in the Finals.
Warriors Sweep the Trail Blazers
Trail Blazers vs Warriors
The Golden State Warriors swept the Portland Trail Blazers and it felt like it would go that way after game one. The Warriors lost Kevin Durant in the second round against the Houston Rockets and he hasn’t been back since. It didn’t seem like that mattered at all. The splash brothers had to be dominant again and they were. In games three and four, the Warriors had to come all the way back from a 15+ point deficit to win it. Game four took overtime to finish the Blazers off.
Trail Blazers Falling Stars
The big name players on the Warriors showed up when they needed them to. Not so much for the Trail Blazers. Damian Lillard led the team with 22.3 points per game. Although he led the team, that is not close to what he needed to do as the star of the Blazers. The points might be there but he didn’t have a good shooting performance from the floor this series. Lillard shot only 36 percent from three and 37 percent overall. He claims he was dealing with an injury but we won’t know officially or if at all for a while but he wasn’t the only one responsible for his team’s loss. CJ McCollum scored 22.0 points per game which is good for a co-star but his other stats were almost identical to Lillards’. He shot 35 percent from three and 39 percent overall. He had under three rebounds a game and under five assists a game. This is nowhere near what their two stars are capable of. They needed more from them and they failed.
Warriors Rising Stars
On the other side, the stars shined. Kevin Durant went down so the others needed to step up and they did. Stephen Curry was amazing, especially down the stretch of games when they needed him. He averaged 36.5 points per game, shot 46 percent from the floor, and averaged eight rebounds and seven assists. He played like the start he is and showed why this is his team and always will be until he leaves. Klay Thompson struggled in some parts of the game which brought his overall numbers down but he made shot after shot when they needed a bucket. He averaged 21.5 points per game although the shooting percentage isn’t there, it’s an outlier for what he did for this team. Draymond Green stepped up for this team and looked like the leader out on the floor. He almost averaged a triple-double with 16.5 points per game, 11.8 rebounds per game, and 8.8 assists per game. The stars stepped up for the Warriors in the absents of Kevin Durant and showed why they still are the team to beat.
Why They Didn’t Need Kevin Durant
The Warriors lost Kevin Durant for a series and a half and maybe more. The Warriors are still the Warriors without him. They didn’t have Kevin Durant in 2015 and 2016 but they still were dominant. In 2015, they won the NBA championship against LeBron James and in 2016, even though didn’t win a championship, they made it to their second straight finals at the time and set the record for the most wins in the regular season with 73. The next two years they won the championship with Durant but this postseason and the past shows that they didn’t need Kevin Durant these past two series. Will they need him in the finals? I don’t think so. Would it be nice to have him? Most definitely. We will see how they adjust in the finals without Durant whoever the opponent is.
The Warriors are a great team and reaching the NBA Finals for a fifth straight time is a great achievement. Whoever their opponent is will have their hands full. It will be a great finals no matter if it’s the Bucks or the Raptors. The Warriors are already dangerous but if they get Durant back, DeMarcus Cousins, or even both then this team will be way more dangerous.
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