While the Cleveland Cavaliers have a huge Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight, on the other side of the country, the Golden State Warriors are eagerly awaiting their opponent in the NBA’s Championship Round.
The Dubs dispatched of the San Antonio Spurs in four games. Oakland’s squad was a heavy favourite going into that series, but became an even larger favourite after Kawhi Leonard injured his ankle by stepping on Zaza Pachulia’s foot in Game 1.
Golden State’s road through the regular season has been mostly smooth sailing as the star-studded lineup they boast featuring Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant proved to be too much to handle for most of the league.
Durant suffered a leg injury after the All-Star break and that moment seemed to put their title hopes in jeopardy. But, other than his injury, the season has gone about as close to perfect as one could imagine for the Bay Area club.
They won 67 games which is only six games off their league record 73 wins last season. There were some concerns early on about fit between Stephen Curry and Durant, but the injury to the latter has led to more impressive outings from the reigning MVP.
In the playoffs, the only thing on the entire roster’s mind was getting back to the NBA Finals for the third straight time and slaying the demons of last season. Draymond Green might be the most amped for his return to the biggest stage as his suspension proved to be a turning point last year.
His low hit on LeBron James landed him a single game suspension and changed the entire series around. Other antics seem to have followed Green throughout his career and this year was no different.
Just last game, Gregg Popovich of the Spurs seemingly laughed at a horrendous flop from the mercurial forward. The internet quickly pounced and it seems that any and all infractions like this get placed under greater scrutiny for Draymond.
One clever fan made a short claymation video spoofing Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar win for The Revenant about Green’s extra acting. The short clip has him accepting an award for his performances while some of his teammates and victims look on.
As things continue to heat up in the playoffs, every single move he makes will be under a microscope and the only way to atone for 2016’s failures will be to reach the mountaintop and emerge victorious.