By: Chris K Singh
Point guard of the Golden State Warriors, Stephen Curry, even breaks records when winning awards. Curry was named the first player in NBA history to win the MVP award unanimously, winning 131 votes out of 131 votes with Kawhi Leonard coming in second followed by Lebron James.
When the playoffs began, the Golden State Warriors suffered a tough loss when Steph Curry was forced to sit out due to a sore ankle, which has hobled Curry in the past. However the Warriors did not allow the absences of the back to back MVP affect their winning. Without Curry, the Warriors went 4-1 against the Houston Rockets in the opening round, then 4-1 against Portland Trail Blazers in the semi-finals of the tough Western Conference.
Golden State; a team that is known for their run and gun, fast paced offense, dismantled most of their opponents this season with ease as they accumulated a NBA record 73-9 during the regular season.
Whether it’s Curry’s insane ball handling skills that allows him to get to the basket or his limitless three point range, it seems that his confidence to do whatever he pleases with the ball is evident .
Warriors secondary star Shooting guard Klay Thompson is averaging 27.2 PPG this postseason and has been doing most of the heavy lifting with Curry being sidelined. Thompson, who is known for his deadly accuracy from behind the arch, has had all the tools working in these playoffs. Known as a three point specialist, Thompson has actually been killing most teams from mid-range this season. Shooting an astounding .473 percent from the field.
Before the postseason began most analysts assumed that the Western Conference Finals would be a collision course between the history chasing Warriors and the aging San Antonio Spurs.
However the Oklahoma City Thunder had more than just a little to say about that as they sent the Spurs home in the semi-finals winning the series 4-2.
With both teams playing very different styles of basketball this collision could be one of the better matchups fans have seen in recent years. The Warriors, who are known for their chemistry on the court primarily because of their ball movement. And the Thunder who have two of the more dynamic players in the league in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.This matchup is definitely going to be something special for the NBA.
York student, Preestely Daniel said the following about the Warriors and their style of play.
“Their use of pick and rolls are probably the most effective I’ve seen in the league. You get lost watching them, they’re so fast. Let’s not forget the fact that shooting is definitely one of the warriors forte. Steph Curry broke his own previous years record of most three points in a season from 286 to 402. Alongside Curry, shooting guard, Klay Thompson, made 276 this year from the 3 point range. With a team that can shoot far range or pummel through the paint, their spacing is what creates remarkable plays” said Daniel.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the two leading scorers on OKC, will be an exciting matchup for the splash brothers. York Alumni, Raymond Mora, briefly spoke about the Thunder and their style of play.
“Isolation basketball is what’s preventing them from winning. When you look at OKC, Durant shooting, Westbrook’s shooting, Durant’s passing, Westbrook’s passing. Not everyone is getting the ball” said Mora.
Throughout the season, OKC has been criticized on their lack of ball movement. Therefore, having guards with their size and drive to get to the basket will be tough for the Warriors.
With OKC being a big men team, they must use their size to advance. In the three games of the season, Coach Donovan of the Thunder, shortened the playing time for both centers Enes Kanter and Steven Adams because he believed their size wouldn’t be needed. However, together this postseason they have averaged about 17 rebounds. Their size has allowed OKC more possessions along with second chance points. With Bogut being a vital big man for the Warriors, he is still questionable for play time which can definitely give the Thunder advantage.
As for OKC, York student and co host of the Corner on YC radio, Jonathan Rios, advises, “You can’t make them shoot three’s. You gotta limit their three point shooting and you just have to make them score two pointers.”