Golden State Warriors Show What “Strength In Numbers” Is All About After Reaching Fifth Straight NBA Finals
Five years following their first title in 40 years, the remaining ball clubs scrambling below Steve Kerr’s Warriors continue to shuffle about, all taking their turn attempting to solve the puzzle that is the Golden State Warriors, and time after time, failing abruptly. With the exception of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ historic 2016 Finals comeback victory, the Warriors have displayed nothing other than complete dominance no matter those standing opposite them on hardwood. Recently catalogued onto Golden State’s laundry list of conquered opponents now stand the Portland Trail Blazers.
Despite CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard at the helm for Portland, both enjoying career years, Golden State completed a 4-0 series sweep of the Trail Blazers last night as the scoreboard flashed 119–117, sending home the Portland faithful disappointed. Despite losing key players such as former MVP Kevin Durant and four–time all–star Demarcus Cousins, the Warriors last night appeared as dangerous as ever. The team displayed impressive resilience during each contest, coming back from 17, 18 and 17-point deficits during the series’ final three games. Stephen Curry flooded highlight reels each night, averaging 36.5 points per game alongside eight rebounds and 7.3 assists. Splash brother Klay Thompson got in on the action as well, averaging 21.5 points per game during the series while also displaying some of his finest defensive work we’ve ever seen.
While Curry and Thompson rarely fail to dazzle us with their deep three-pointers, shutdown defense, or head–twisting ball movement, their supporting cast’s involvement and impact remains a key contributing factor to Golden State’s success, while simultaneously putting the team’s “strength in numbers” slogan into action. The phrase once quietly introduced in the Golden State locker room by Kerr can now be seen all over Warriors t–shirts, posters, and most importantly, in the way Golden State plays the game of basketball. Players mentioned less often such as Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, Jonas Jerebko, and Alfonzo McKinnie all played key minutes last night, providing assistance often off the bench and steadily contributing to Golden State’s victory. Each player filled holes perfectly, often providing exactly what Golden State seemed to need at the time.
This series victory stands as a momentous achievement for Kerr, as his orchestration of the team’s lineup and game plan set up Golden State’s seemingly unchallenged march through Portland despite carrying the burden of an injury-plagued roster. Warriors co–owner Joe Lacob described Kerr’s involvement as he stated, “It was amazing. Everyone made contributions. If ever there was a testament to what we call ‘Strength in Numbers’, this was it. Steve did a wonderful job finding the right players at the right time and they played with a lot of heart and got it done.”
Although one more team stands before Golden State and yet another parade through the streets of Oakland with the Larry O’Brien trophy, this squad seems poised to bring a seventh title to the Bay Area. With star players such as Curry and Thompson accompanied by a supporting cast proved capable of filling any role the team requires, the Warriors’ “strength in numbers” identity may propel them to their third title in a row, and fourth in five years.