There's still a chance the Warriors could face the Portland Trail Blazers in the play-in tournament, and you can be sure that's an outcome the Blazers would like to avoid. The two sides have met in the playoffs in three of the last five seasons, with Golden State winning all three series and 12 of the 13 games between them.
Yes, the Warriors and Blazers' rosters have changed around the edges since the last time they met in the postseason, but their respective cores remain intact. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have been around for all of it, as have Steph Curry and Draymond Green. And both sides hold the other in extremely high regard.
Just like anyone with a pulse, McCollum has been wowed by what Curry has been doing this season. On the latest episode of the "Pull Up with CJ McCollum" podcast, he called Curry "the best pure scorer in the league right now," and then took it a step further to frame Curry's historical greatness (h/t NBC Sports Northwest).
"He has changed the game for the better, but has also changed the game for the worse," McCollum said of Curry. "A lot of kids are trying to replicate some of the things that he’s doing, and some of that stuff isn’t virtually possible for kids. You have to get the reps in and really practice your game."
"He’s just a wizard,” McCollum added. “He’s someone you have to look for at all times. He does things and you literally think, ‘How is that possible?'"
Anyone who has watched the show Curry has put on all season long can relate to that sentiment. He has put the Warriors on his back and outperformed any reasonable expectation.
That he has changed the game is an undeniable fact at this point. After all, how many players throughout NBA history have been routinely triple, or even quadruple-teamed?
As for better and/or worse, well, that depends on how you look at it. But there's one thing that is not up for debate.
Because of Curry, the game will never be the same.