If the Warriors complete sweep of Cavs, five things become true

If the Warriors complete sweep of Cavs, five things become true

In the brand new world in which the concept of history isn’t really what happened but what we’re pretty sure is about to happen, the Golden State Warriors are all about that history on the hoof.

Friday night they are confronted with the grandest closeout of them all because if they beat the Cleveland Cavaliers one last time, they will become (a) NBA champions, (b) the best playoff team ever, (c) the dynasty best positioned to threaten the 1960s Celtics, (d) the team that broke the NBA, and (e) the new galactic standard in all sport.

And all that history makes general manager Bob Myers just the teensiest bit nervous. 

“I try not to take notice of a lot of external stuff,” he said Thursday, “but I know it’s all around right now. To me, (talking about) history makes more sense after it’s done. Maybe that’s because right now we’re just in the middle of it, but we know we’ve been on both ends of history in the last couple of years, so I guess we won’t really comprehend it until we’re all looking back at it.” 

That’s all well and good, him acknowledging that being in the middle of the maelstrom inures him from the buffeting without, but it is unavoidable. Even the historical bits that could have been – like if the Warriors hadn’t taken Game 81 Utah so lightly (no Klay Thompson at all, almost no starters in the fourth quarter, nobody else playing 30 minutes except Kevin Durant, who needed the reps), they could be aiming for their 32nd consecutive victory going back to the middle of March

The NBA record for consecutive wins is 33, by the 1971-2 Los Angeles Lakers.

In other words, numbers whores everywhere would be looking at a team with the best postseason record ever, and the longest winning streak ever. If that’s your idea of history, they’d have run the table.

One more missed opportunity for true definable metric greatness, ignored by the old fusspot Steven Douglas Kerr, who was with the 1996 72-win-and-take-no-prisoners Chicago Bulls, who went 15-3 in the postseason. 

“Yeah, I remember that well. We were up 3-0 in the Finals, too, and then we lost the next two games in Seattle. It's hard. In the playoffs, every team is good. Particularly as you go deeper, it gets tougher and tougher. So what this team has accomplished is remarkable.

But . . . ?

“You don't really stop and think about it until after. I think we swept Orlando in the conference finals, which was probably the biggest accomplishment, because that was a loaded team. Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal) and Penny (Hardaway), and we took care of business. And then went up 3-0 in The Finals, and had a little bit of a letdown. That was a great team, too, with Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp, Hersey Hawkins, that group. But in the end you just want to win. The other stuff doesn't really matter. People can talk about it in historical context, but you just get it done, win the series and let everybody else talk.”

[RELATED: Is it fair the Warriors signed Durant? LeBron: 'I think it's great']

All true, as far as it goes. This Warrior team is about the oppressive now even more than the potentially dictatorial future. You aren’t a dynasty until you are a dynasty, and the Warriors even with a win Friday would only be a dynast-ette.

But they also look like they have the stuff to win several more if they can avoid the greed/ego/credit deprivation/injury/plain old crazy-for-the-sake-of-being-crazy landmines along the way. They look so much like The New World Order to the point where even LeBron James looked wistfully at the team that is about to elbow him, his mates and his adopted city in the throat and evaluated the Warriors not emotionally but clinically and expansively, and even with admiration.

“Oh, I mean, it’s part of the rules,” he said when asked if the Warriors acquiring Durant was good for the league or even, well, fair. “The best thing with Golden State’s situation is a lot of their guys are drafted. They drafted a lot of their guys. Three of their best players were already drafted, so they were able to hold on to them because they own the Bird rights, if everybody knows the CBA. So they’re able to keep Steph, Klay and Draymond and able to go out and sign someone else like they did this past summer by just getting rid of a couple pieces in Harrison Barnes and not re-signing Barbosa and Bogut and guys from last year's team. So that allowed them to go do that.

“But is it fair? I don't care. I mean, I think it's great. It's great for our league. Right now, look at our TV ratings, look at the money our league is pouring in. I mean, guys are loving the game, our fans love the game. I mean, who am I to say if it's fair or not? No matter who I'm going against, if I'm going against four Hall of Famers, like I said before the series started with Draymond, Klay, Steph and K.D., or if I'm going against two or whatever the case may be, I'm always excited to play the game, and I'm not one to judge and say if it's fair or not if guys are adding players to their team.”

This is the equivalent of being run over by a truck and admiring the high-pinion Dana 70 axles as it passes overhead.

That’s where the Warriors are leaving us, though, and even if they don’t finish the deal Friday, Monday looks no less foreboding. 

So if you’re reveling in the history, and the triumph of perfection in construction, you win, as long as you don’t mind endless arguments with birdbrained recidivists who think Durant should have signed with the Philadelphia 76ers and built a team from scratch. 

But for them, there’s this, from James.

“That's what you want to do,” he said completing his soliloquy on how the Warriors were built. “Is it fair that the New York Yankees in the '90s was adding piece after piece after piece after piece? I mean, if you have the opportunity to do that – is it fair that the Cowboys added Deion Sanders? I mean, listen. It happens. It's sports. You have an opportunity to sign one of the best players, and you can do it, go ahead and do it. Why not?”

And in closing:

“If I become an owner, I'm going to try to sign everybody. Appreciate it.”

He is, clearly. Even if he is doing it between clenched teeth.

Four things we learned while Steph Curry dealt with fourth ankle injury

Four things we learned while Steph Curry dealt with fourth ankle injury

UPDATE (2:40pm PT on Tuessday): Steph Curry has been cleared for full team practices with the goal of playing this week, the Warriors announced.


The Warriors’ usual late-spring sprint toward the postseason, already slowed to a limp, deteriorated into a forlorn crawl Monday night in San Antonio as they were losing for the fourth time in six games.

Draymond Green, the only “healthy” member of the team’s All-Star quartet, left the game in the second quarter with a pelvic contusion and did not return.

Though Green said after this 89-75 loss to the Spurs that he doesn’t consider this a serious injury, it’s abundantly clear reinforcements can’t arrive soon enough.

Stephen Curry, a profoundly superior reinforcement, may return as soon as Friday.

Curry’s tender right ankle is scheduled to be reevaluated Tuesday, after which the Warriors will establish a timeline for his return. He could, according to team and league sources, be back in the lineup Friday night when the Atlanta Hawks visit Oracle Arena.

That would provide a massive injection of talent for the Warriors, who lost of three games during a four-day stretch in which they were forced to rely heavily on reserves and role players.

“We’re already shorthanded and then we lose another All-Star, the glue to our team, Draymond, at halftime,” said Quinn Cook, who in scoring 73 points over the past three games did an admirable job of trying of producing Curry-like numbers.

As good as Cook was on Monday, scoring 20 points, it’s a bit much to ask Cook to lead the Warriors past a San Antonio team fighting to extend its 20-year streak of consecutive playoff appearances.

The Warriors are built around their four All-Stars -- Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Curry and Green. They usually can withstand the loss of one, and they can often are OK missing two. But when it’s three, and possibly four, the defending champs are a home without a foundation.

As the Warriors were losing four of six games, and two of the last three, we have learned four things:

1) Cook is an NBA keeper.

The point guard from Duke, who turns 25 on Friday, has proved not only that he belongs in the league but also that he can survive in the rotation of a championship contender. He’s considerably more effective than Pat McCaw. Even if everybody were healthy, it would be hard, maybe foolish, to deny Cook minutes.

2) Kevon Looney continues to smooth the rough edges of his game.

The Warriors opened the season uncertain what they could expect from a forward that has undergone surgery on both hips. Month after month, though, he has done most everything they could have asked. He operates well in their switching defense, is effective in traffic and now he’s blocking shots and raining jumpers. At this rate, the Warriors would be delighted to have him back next season.

3) David West and Jordan Bell are in search of rhythm.

West was reliably excellent, at both ends, prior to missing five games with a cyst on his right arm. Since returning last Friday, there have been visible signs of rust. He’ll be OK in time, but at 37 likely needs another game or two to rediscover his touch.

Bell missed 14 games with a left ankle sprain, returned briefly, sustained a sprain of his right ankle and missed three more games. In the three games since his return, he has yet to look comfortable. It’s not just rust; it’s also the team around him. He’s at his best when supporting the stars. It may take him a while before he shines again.

4) Postseason minutes may be scarce for Nick Young

The Warriors hired Young to score while not embarrassing himself on defense and he has had good moments on both ends. But his inconsistency -- partly attributed to unspectacular conditioning -- grates on coaches and sometimes teammates. As much as he wants to enjoy the postseason, he’s playing his way toward an insignificant role unless injuries dictate otherwise.

Source: Warriors, Curry aiming for Friday return


Source: Warriors, Curry aiming for Friday return

UPDATE (2:25pm PT on Tuesday): The Warriors announced that following an examination by the team's medical staff, Steph Curry has been cleared to participate in full team practices beginning on Wednesday. The goal is for Curry to "play later this week."

The Warriors return to action Friday when they host the Hawks. They face the Jazz on Sunday in Oakland.


The Warriors have been without Stephen Curry for six full games and all but the first two minutes of a seventh. The last three were less out of medical necessity than an abundance of caution.

Curry could, however, return as soon as Friday when the Atlanta Hawks visit Oracle Arena, multiple sources disclosed to NBC Sports Bay Area on Monday night. ESPN, citing league sources, was first to report the team’s plan.

The two-time MVP’s right ankle is scheduled to be reevaluated Tuesday, after which time a firm return date is expected.

Curry was physically able to play -- and actually pushed to return -- last weekend, according to league sources. But the Warriors, looking ahead to the playoffs and seeing diminished value in the remaining regular-season games, opted to continue rehabilitation in hopes of maximizing support for the area around his ankle.

The Warriors have described Curry’s injury not as a sprain but a “tweak,” implying less severity.

Though the Warriors won the game in which Curry was hurt, 110-107 over the Spurs on March 8, they have since lost four of six, including 89-75 on Monday in San Antonio.

The Warriors arrived early Tuesday morning and won’t practice Tuesday afternoon and are contemplating skipping an official practice on Wednesday.

The Warriors, averaging a league-leading 115.5 points per game this season, saw that figure drop to 103.3 during Curry’s six-game absence.