The Demise of the Golden State Warriors
By: Bobby Gerity
The dynasty of utter dominance through finesse and grace officially met their demise on October 31st as their leader, the man who orchestrated the entire operation, broke his left hand on an Aron Baynes ballscreen. This injury of Stephen Curry was followed by the sharp cascade of consequential wounds that destroyed this team. Specifically, Kevin Durant’s Achilles tear, DeMarcus Cousins’ groin issues, and Klay Thompson’s ACL tear. These injuries, along with Durant and Cousins’ departure, led to the assured death of everything that the Warriors created and embodied in the Association, a topic in which I will divulge in this next paragraph.
The Golden State Warriors reigned over the entire NBA for five years between 2014 and 2019 by revolutionizing the game of basketball with their style of play. It began in 2014 as they won 67 games, on their way to the dynasty’s first championship disposing of our King, LeBron James, in the finals. This season truly displayed the Dub’s ability to change the game in two ways: Their ability to shoot and play “smaller” lineups. Shooting the basketball has always been a valuable component to the success of any basketball team, yet naysayers adamantly argued that a team based around three point shooting could not win a championship. They had always been correct. Yet, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson proved these “truisms’ to be false, as the duo made a combined 525 three pointers in an efficient manner, proving to be incredibly hard to guard. By the end of their reign, Steph and Klay combined for over 2,700 threes at an above 40 percent clip. Throughout their dynasty, the Warriors increased their amount of threes taken by over eight percent, while the entire league increased threes taken by over nine percent. No longer is basketball played like a 90’s Knicks-Heat Bloodbath, or even a Dwyane Wade/LeBron James mid range centric game, but instead a game that relies on your ability to make the deep shot.
For the next four years, the Warriors would win three championships, adding superstar, Kevin Durant, on Independence Day, ironically expanding their dominant, powerful empire. The second key to the Warriors' success, was their institution of the “Death Lineup”, a smaller lineup which must be credited to coach Steve Kerr. Of course, my friend and fellow writer Grace Policelli would tell you “six foot seven isn’t short, Bobby.” Yet, when compared to seven feet tall, it definitely is. The Warriors would finish games by bringing in a smaller lineup known as the “Death lineup” against bigger teams in order to create matchup issues and an ability to switch everything on defense, leading to concordant success. Just as three point shooting became a trend, basketball also adopted short lineups into important moments of games just as the Warriors did in order to be successful. Players such as Shaquille O’Neal and Ben Wallace would no longer be as effective late in the game as the necessity for quickness and shooting is needed.
Whether you loved or hated the Golden State Warriors, their reign is finally terminated as they are now 2-9, the worst record in the league. They are survived by Steve Kerr, D’Angelo Russell, and whatever part-time garbage man that tragically dons their jersey. Yet, we, those who play and love basketball also survive the legacy of the Warriors. Basketball has drastically changed because of the Warriors demonstration of shooting and small lineups. Watch as March Madness rolls around how many teams move towards smaller lineups in important moments. See how Conard Basketball wins due to the amount of threes shot by your victorious Chieftains, and remember who inspired these actions.
P.S Don’t sleep on a resurrection of this God squad.