The Warriors will play in their fifth straight NBA Finals starting on May 30 after sweeping the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals.
Portland's star guard Damian Lillard, however, believes one player changed everything.
No, not Kevin Durant.
"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."
Draymond Green's mother, Mary Babers-Green, responded to Lillard's claims Tuesday on Twitter. And she's not wrong.
And if we had KD, Demarcus and Andre...— Mary B (@BabersGreen) May 21, 2019
The Warriors beat the Blazers in four games while missing Durant (right calf strain) and DeMarcus Cousins (torn left quadriceps) for the entire series. They were also without Andre Iguodala (calf tightness) in Game 4.
Oh, and the Warriors became the first team to overcome three consecutive 15-point deficits in the NBA playoffs in two decades.
Missing the 7-foot Nurkic, who averaged 15.6 points and 10.4 rebounds, was certainly a big loss for the Blazers. Durant, Cousins and Iguodala were ... well, a lot bigger losses.
It's not even apples to oranges. It's Warriors to Blazers. One team is elite, the other is just good.