Stephen Curry became a household celebrity because to the NBA’s newfound emphasis on the three-point shot and the defending champion Golden State Warriors. However, on Friday night, they were unable to produce a final, decisive barrage of three-pointers and lost the Western Conference semi-finals in six games to the Los Angeles Lakers.
When Stephen Curry faced up against Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James in the playoffs for the first time since the 2018 NBA Finals, when James was still playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, it was one of the most eagerly anticipated matches in years. A exciting Game 1 victory for the Lakers was followed by blowouts in Games 2, 3, and 5 that failed to live up to the series’s billing.
Golden State didn’t seem like themselves at all in Game 6. The Lakers got out to an early 24-9 lead. Golden State’s Klay Thompson went 0-for-10 to start the game, while Stephen Curry shot 0-for-5. Then, with a few seconds left in the half, Lakers guard Austin Reaves hit a last-ditch 3-pointer that drove Crypto.com Arena into a frenzy and gave the home team a 10-point advantage going into the locker room. James spearheaded the effort in the third quarter that resulted in a 19-point Lakers advantage heading into the final frame. The Golden State was doomed to fail.
The Warriors’ four-year championship run behind Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green might be coming to an end, or at least undergoing a major overhaul, if this trend continues. With one of the league’s priciest rosters and a new CBA geared at limiting the spending of big spenders, the Warriors will undoubtedly look for ways to cut expenditures. Given that the club moved from being a directionless middle-of-the-road organisation to one of the most financially valued ones with Curry at the helm over the last decade, this change might be a huge shock for everyone involved.
However, Golden State had a tough season overall. It had one of the worst road records in the league at 11-30, finishing with a 44-38 overall record and the sixth seed in the Western Conference.
There were, however, times when the team dug deep and delivered classic efforts.
In the playoffs’ first round, Curry played perhaps the best game of his career. Game 7 was played between the top-seeded Warriors and the third-seeded Kings in Sacramento. Curry made seven three-pointers and scored 50 points, both record highs for a Game 7. It brought back all the good feelings that made his squad successful.
When the second-seeded Warriors faced the seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers in the conference playoffs, they did it at home. However, the series’ tone was established by the loss of Game 1 at home. Golden State seemed to be in control of the series after winning Games 2 and 5 at home, but the series turned in Game 4, when the Warriors committed many unusually careless errors down the stretch and fell into a deep 3-1 deficit.
Green has a player option for next season and is likely to explore free agency. He’s having one of the best years of his career, but he’ll be 34 in March, so the Warriors could be hesitant to give him a max deal. Green has a history of acting rashly, like as when he punched teammate Jordan Poole during training camp. He also finished the regular season with the second-most technical fouls in the NBA.
Five-time All-Star Thompson still shows flashes of becoming one of the league’s top shooters, but the 33-year-old’s defence has slowed considerably after two serious injuries. After the next season, his contract will be up.
Developing its young players while pursuing a championship has been criticised for putting undue pressure on Curry, who is now 35 years old, thus the Warriors must determine what to do with them. In particular, 23-year-old guard Poole had a terrible postseason, which was a bummer considering that Golden State had just signed him to a four-year contract extension worth up to $140 million back in October. Both 20-year-olds Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody saw considerable time on the bench during the season.
Bob Myers, the team’s general manager for the last decade, will also not be returning next season. It’s possible that a new architect will be tasked with bringing the dynasty into its next phase.