HOUSTON – That was not as easy as the basketball world would have projected. That was sweat. That was Seven, because in games they had to play deep into May. So the defending champions, who have been humanized by cold stretches and careless games last month, are hardly a finished product.
But for the fourth time in a row, they are a product of the NBA finals.
Isn & # 39; t what matters? In the end, the sheer power of their four All-Stars was too much for the Rockets, who had their own star in the game that won the Western Conference crown. The Warriors, who rose no less than 15 points in the first half, rode another deadly third quarter, reaching 1
Therefore, the task of finding this stubborn Golden State dynasty is left again to LeBron James, the only person who has done so since the Warriors became a big deal.
"We have a series ahead of us," said Kevin Durant.
What the Warriors repeatedly did when confronted twice were eliminating in the West Series was fast enough to save themselves. In the first half of games 6 and 7, they fell back double-digit and fought back with killer shots desperate and determined. The Warriors turned the result into favor within minutes, a secretive reaction only they are capable of. It helped that every time Houston was without Chris Paul, injured with a strained right hamstring, and therefore the western title comes with the unfavorably attached asterisk. Yes, it was about luck.
Still, champions did what champions do.
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were both heavily involved in these rescue attempts, and they ended the Rockets with a rat-a-tat episode of big buckets. It was a quick and painless ordeal, and the Rockets were simply exhausted to prevent the retaliation. Finally, they gave way.
James Harden was poisoned when he tried to shoot a solo scoring number with Paul on the bench, and as a team, the Rockets only shot 7 of 44 deep in Game 7 – miss an amazing 27 of each other following 3-pointers at one point. So it was this combination of a strong response and a defeated victim that made Golden State a conference rogue and Warriors Vs. Cavaliers, Part IV, produced.
"We'll see what happens," said Kevin Durant. "Hopefully we will find out and do it."
What makes the Warriors so unique is of course their wealth of stars in their prime. Which other team can play for Durant, Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green? More importantly, the A-List depth allows the Warriors to survive when one or two have a lousy night. When Durant was stunned by Rocket's defense of the defense, Thompson took over the cargo. When Curry turned into steam for a while, Green took over as a playmaker.
And when Andre Iguodala suffered a knee injury and missed the last four games, these stars simply worked longer and harder to hide his absence. This is luxury on a historical level, perhaps unseen since the loaded title contenders in the Golden Eighties.
So they go into the final with the same core as last summer, just a little bit more with dog-ears around the corners. The next series will show if the Warriors' problems were due to a team from Houston that had the best record in the West, or to its own self-imposed problems. Or maybe just too much LeBron.
He will not test it. They have already been tested.
The Warriors fell back by 15 in the first half of Game 7 on the road described by Kerr as "bizarre". This is usually deadly. And it was also the way they fell into a hole; The Warriors had four fouls in the first 55 seconds, Thompson drew two and then a hard time. P. J. Tucker and Clint Capela punched her in the stomach. The urgency and the burden clearly weighed on the warriors.
"There was a moment in the first half when Draymond turned it over in transition," Curry said. "This is a point where you can make guys who make a lot of pointing and blaming. [But] Everyone was like, let's move on." It was quiet at halftime in the locker room because we knew how badly we were playing [but] We were in this situation before.
"I think it was a degree of experience and maturity from our group that helped us to the finish line. "
Kerr said," Shots are harder to do, harder to execute. It's a game 7. Everyone is tense. We have lost our composure. Houston surpassed us and competed with us. I did not recognize the group we saw. [But] we have three of the best shot putters in the league. "
The third quarter quickly became the Warriors, Curry scoring 14 of his 27 in the third and giving the Warriors the lead for one of his four threes in time, the Warriors scoring 35 points with Thompson on the bench for all but three minutes How many teams can do that? In the second half, the Warriors shot 53 percent and 55 percent from a distance. It was an ambush.
Oh: Thompson returned in the fourth quarter, quickly drilled a threesome, and that was one Wickel.
"Our talent took over," Kerr said. "Just like that."
Well, well, we've seen this movie before, the Warriors defeated LeBron and the Cavs in five games last summer because of Durant In the fourth episode, LeBron plays better – at the age of 33, not less – and the Warriors, who have lost only once in the 2018 playoffs, may be more vulnerable
Durant fought against the Rockets by about 60 percent of the series and a pair of fourth quarters where he scored 1 for 8 Englisch: emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/art … = 157 & lang = en The Houston defense all that he did not solve until the second half of Game 7, where he scored 21 of his 34 points. Can Cleveland set up a similar Durant Proof system? Sure, Cav's spy department has cable TV. You've seen the last two weeks and the fog in which Durant was trapped.
"When I just decided to forget it and just play and play ball, tonight I just tried hard to go down the defensive side of the ball and let my insult get around," he said. "Mentally, I just tried to think of myself."
There is also the question of Iguodala, who would normally draw the first line of defense against LeBron and win the Finals MVP for this work three years ago. Kerr was not sure if or when Iguodala would return to the action and when asked about his status for the final after the game on Monday, Iggy said, "I do not know."
Without Iguodala against the Rockets, the Warriors sifted by Jordan Bell, Quinn Cook and Nick Young with mostly mild results.
But what the warriors showed here in the spring of 2018 is their ability to survive imperfection. They were not solid in 2017, not even close by. And the Rockets were probably a bigger threat in the West Finals than the Cavs in the NBA Finals. Perhaps the worst is behind the Warriors, but LeBron will have the ultimate say.
Today, the Warriors are excited to see LeBron. Yes, the West has not become easy.
"This is a true testimony to how hard it is to reach the final, how hard it is to have the chance to play for a championship," said Curry. "The fight that [Houston] threw up this whole series to really challenge us until the fourth quarter of a game 7 … we had to work for it, it's really hard."
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