When we talk about the best dynasties in NBA history, we immediately think of the Celtics of the 1960s, the Lakers and Celtics of the 1980s, the Bulls of the 1990s or the Spurs of the 2000s.
Today, it is completely legitimate to think of the Warriors of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Steve Kerr, who played no less than six Finals between 2015 and 2022, for four titles!
But what makes the ultimate crowning of Golden State players very special is that, unlike Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago or San Antonio, they went through a descent into hell, synonymous with an absence from the playoffs, in the middle of middle of their period of dominance.
Unheard of for the troops of Bill Russell — John Havlicek — Sam Jones, Magic Johnson — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — James Worthy, Larry Bird — Kevin McHale — Robert Parish, Michael Jordan — Scottie Pippen or even Tim Duncan — Tony Parker — Manu Ginobili, who have never missed the playoffs between their different titles!
By taking into consideration the ELO formula (as in chess), calculated by FiveThirtyEight, we see for example that the Celtics of the 1960s, the Lakers and Celtics of the 1980s, the Bulls of the 1990s or the Spurs of the 2000s have not never really weakened sportingly over time. For information, this formula measures the dominance of a team, according to the results of its matches (point differences in wins/losses), the level of the opponent and the place where the match is played.
An average team is at 1,500. The higher this threshold, the better a team performs. The longer the period extends in time, the more a team dominates its era. And none of the great dynasties in history came under the one of the 1500 during his period of reign.
A historic rebound
For their part, 2015 champions, 2016 finalists, 2017 then 2018 champions and 2019 finalists, the “Dubs” became the worst team in the league in 2020, also missing the playoffs in 2021. The fault of Klay Thompson’s two serious injuries in June 2019 and November 2020, as well as that of Stephen Curry in November 2019.
All of this also combined with the departure of Kevin Durant in the summer of 2019, but also the transfer of Andre Iguodala for financial reasons or the retirement of Shaun Livingston.
Starting from scratch, or almost, the Warriors have come back from (very) far and this historic rebound, which we were already talking about at the end of May, is impressive to say the least. Especially since, over a period of five years, it has only been successful by a single franchise in the history of US sports: the Detroit Lions (American football), champions in 1953, worst NFL record in 1955 and champions again in 1957.
In the end, against all odds (or almost, since they were however the fourth highest rated team in the bookmakers, in July 2021), Steve Kerr’s men regained their throne four years after giving it up. And, in four years, a lot of things have obviously evolved, as explained by the man with nine NBA titles (player + coach), before the start of the playoffs.
” I think four years ago I expected to win a title, but we are a different team now. I have no expectations, I don’t go into the playoffs saying to myself: ‘Very well, we’re going to do this or that’. It’s something really nice. Maybe not as much as having one of the best squads ever assembled, but it’s a unique challenge. »
The quest for titles is not over…
A unique challenge for a coronation that is both unforgettable and moving, after so many obstacles have been overcome. ” most unlikely of all the titles won by Golden State, Steve Kerr even said. A title that is also reminiscent of that of 2015, given the atmosphere that reigns in the group.
” I talked to the players about the concept of “Strength in Numbers” and the context we were in six years ago. This season’s squad is built on the same mould.” confessed the coach of the “Dubs” last fall. ” The culture starts with us, but everyone benefits, everyone can shine and that’s what’s great “confirmed Stephen Curry for his part at the end of May.
And it could be that this Warriors ring calls for more in the 2020s, when we remember the words of owner Joe Lacob at the start of 2022, just after the return of “ the last piece of its construction “Klay Thompson.
” Our goal is to be a great team in this decade. We had a great 2010 decade, and now we want to do the same again. We have Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson for a few more years at a very high level. Andre Wiggins has only  years and, with Jordan Poole, James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, we have a lot of talent to develop. »
Especially since, as Draymond Green likes to remind us, ” no one has proven that [Golden State] could be beaten completely “. That is, when the Curry—Thompson—Green trio is on its feet. ” Everything is built on years and years of experience. The chemistry we have speaks for itself. As soon as we were able to get together on the field, it was like the good old days “, explained Stephen Curry, concerning the triplet that he forms with Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
Because as Thinking Basketball explains, with the most dominant defender of his generation (Draymond Green) but also the most influential attacker (Stephen Curry), the Warriors have the basic ingredients for success.
|Gary Payton II||71||17.6||61.6||35.8||60.3||1.0||2.5||3.5||0.9||0.6||1.4||0.3||1.8||7.1|
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