Programming note: Watch the NBA Finals pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday, May 30 at 4:00 p.m., streaming live on the MyTeams app.
The Golden State Warriors swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals.
The Dubs won Game 1 by 22 points, Game 2 by three points, Game 3 by 11 points and Game 4 by two points in overtime.
Damian Lillard believes one variable changed everything.
"I think going into the Western Conference finals, in my mind this was a shot for us to win it all," he told reporters on Tuesday. "I really felt like we could have beat the Warriors and went on to win it all.
"I think we have Nurk (Jusuf Nurkic), it's a completely different situation. And that's not a crutch or an excuse, I just think with him out there our season would have probably been extended a little bit longer."
"Completely different" as in Portland wins the series?
"Probably been extended a little bit longer" in that the series goes to six or seven games?
Is this the moment when somebody tells Dame that the Warriors were missing Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins all four games and didn't have Andre Iguodala in Game 4?
Not having Nurkic -- who averaged 15.6 points and 10.4 rebounds before suffering a season-ending broken leg on March -- was absolutely a big loss for the Blazers.
[RELATED: Iguodala doubles down on opinion about Curry's all-time rank]
But let's just make sure we keep in mind the full context when discussing hypotheticals.
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Kevin Durant. Andre Iguodala. DeMarcus Cousins. Shaun Livingston. What do they have in common?
None of them play for the Warriors anymore.
Klay Thompson is expected to miss a large portion of the season as he recovers from a torn left ACL. Combine all of this with the fact the Western Conference is insanely loaded, and you got people who believe the Dubs will either struggle to make the playoffs or miss the postseason altogether.
Steph Curry played in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe over the weekend, and had the following interaction with Marcus Thompson of The Athletic:
The break in the action on the 16th hole was coming to an end. Curry’s turn was near, leaving time for one final question.
Are the Warriors making the playoffs?
He was almost through the word “facts” when he realized it was a question and not a statement. Suddenly, his calm expression disappeared. His face scrunched and his voice elevated above a whisper, adding a shriek for emphasis.
“What?!” he said, playfully agitated by the sheer audacity of the question. “What?!”
The Warriors have reached the playoffs seven straight years. They've appeared in five consecutive NBA Finals, winning three titles.
Curry is a two-time MVP and is on the short list of best players in the NBA. Draymond Green is incredible and always will be underrated.
Golden State added 23-year old D'Angelo Russell, who averaged 21.1 points and 7.0 assists last season en route to making his first All-Star Game.
[RELATED: Warriors didn't sign Russell just to trade him, Myers says]
Head coach Steve Kerr and general manager Bob Myers still are onboard.
Be careful doubting the Dubs.
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Who is the best player in the NBA?
If you asked five different people, you might get five different answers. But where's the fun in that?
Enter the NBA2K video game series.
The ratings for the top 20 players in the new NBA2K20 game were unveiled Monday, and while it's hard to argue with the players that were included, there's naturally plenty of controversy regarding their respective rankings.
For instance, Warriors fans might feel like Steph Curry belongs in the top five. NBA2K20 disagrees.
Curry came in as the No. 6 ranked players in NBA2K20 with an overall rating of 95, just behind Houston's James Harden and Brooklyn's Kevin Durant (both 96 overall).
Rounding out the top three: reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounpo (96 overall), reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard (97 overall), and finally, the Lakers' LeBron James (97 overall).
Just like his fellow backcourt mate, one could make the case Golden State's Klay Thompson is underrated as well. With an overall rating of 89, Thompson comes in at No. 14 in the player rankings.
While you can quibble with the Splash Brothers' overall rankings, you can't when it comes to their specialized skill sets. Out of all the players in NBA2K20, Curry and Thompson are ranked as the two best 3-point shooters, respectively. Curry has the maximum 3-point shooting rating possible (99), while Thompson isn't far behind at 97.
Now, the most pressing NBA2K20 ratings question remaining: Where the heck is Draymond Green?