For Stephen Curry and the Warriors, winning is in their DNA

For Stephen Curry and the Warriors, winning is in their DNA

Eight years have passed and yet the DNA of the Warriors dynasty continues to be preserved, with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green as magnificent guarantors.

“The foundation is the same, and it’s a solid foundation. You often hear it, the foundation determines the solidity of your structure. Steph, Klay and Draymond, what they’ve done in this league and the foundation that they’ve been able to build, you have to take your hat off to them.” explained Andre Iguodala after Game 6. “A hundred years from now, when there are discussions about the best players and the best teams, these three guys will be talked about as a building block for winning titles. »

It’s not about style of play, about 3-pointers crazier than each other. No, it is something that is difficult to explain or quantify but that you recognize immediately when you see it or when you feel it. These Warriors know how to win, and it comes from deep within.

Unwavering determination

“You won’t want to cross our path next season…” warned a bruised Stephen Curry last June after the Warriors lost in the play-in against Memphis. At the time, many laughed at the double MVP. Despite a good end to the regular season in 2021 and the planned return of Klay Thompson, it was difficult to see anything other than irrational confidence in Stephen Curry’s words. For the person concerned, his words were simply the manifestation of an unwavering determination to find the heights of the NBA.

After five straight Finals and a loss to Toronto that kicked off two years in purgatory, the Warriors could easily have lost faith. Players, coaching staff, managers, they could all have gone from believers to miscreants. It’s hard to know them.

“We had this mentality, this conviction, this faith in what we are capable of. We’ve been chasing it all year. Our experience, our DNA as champions, my leadership, that of Draymond, of Andre and Loon (Looney), of Klay, all of that counts,” described Stephen Curry.

“We clung to those beliefs for those three years, not knowing how it was going to end. But all the while, the only thing we could control was our faith and how we approached each day. You must embody this belief. »

The daily affirmation of this determination has not only kept the veterans on course throughout the season, but it has also shaped the newcomers.

“In this team, everyone is selfless and humble, and it starts from the top,” assured Jordan Poole. His rise was essential to Golden State’s success, but would it have been possible without the benevolence of Klay Thompson? Despite his injuries and the risk of seeing new blood take his place, the “Splash Brother” has put the collective interest above his personal interest.

“He took me under his wing,” shared a grateful Jordan Poole. “We train together, we send messages, we talk to each other whether in the locker room or on the phone. He taught me everything, he showed me the way, and I’m happy to be part of such a symbiosis. »

This also goes for Andrew Wiggins. The Canadian gained strength during all the playoffs, punctuating his campaign with a masterful final where he muzzled Jayson Tatum while playing his offensive role to perfection. The environment of Golden State has drawn the quintessence of its qualities to put them at the service of the collective.

Certainties to erase doubts

With two minutes to go in Game 6, Andrew Wiggins was seen sharing a moment with Andre Iguodala as the veteran returned to replace him. The same Iggy was on his back the whole series to push him to never relax his efforts, like a wise man guiding his students to the promised land.

“Draymond, Klay, Steph, Andre, all the veterans challenged me every day, every time I set foot on the court and that motivated me like never before,” explained an Andrew Wiggins transcended by the lure of victory.

“They are future Hall of Famers. Every time they ask me to do something, I want to show them that I can do it to earn their respect. »

One by one, all members of the workforce followed the veterans and fed on this contagious determination. We must also not forget Steve Kerr. “The way he challenges you while supporting you is amazing. He gives confidence to his players and he puts us all in an ideal position.” described Wiggins.

During each series of playoffs, the Warriors have found the balance between collective strength and individual achievement. Remember Jordan Poole’s flashes, Kevon Looney’s rebounding record against Memphis, and the small but all-important contributions of Otto Porter Jr and Nemanja Bjelica.

We almost forget that the Warriors started the playoffs with the only certainty of this internal belief that they could find their best level at the best time, despite injuries to Stephen Curry and Draymond Green during the regular season.

“I remember two months ago I was injured and our defense was in freefall,” laughed Curry. “We crawled in the playoffs and we knew we had to find a way to be at our best while not really knowing what our rotations would be and therefore the chemistry on the field between the different groups. »

Defense as one of the pillars of their dynasty

It was Golden State’s defense that got them off to a strong start to the season. The veterans and the coaching staff knew that the return of their defense would allow them to chain victories in the playoffs. Series after series, they found solutions to overcome double MVP Nikola Jokic, a tough Memphis team, and maestro Luka Doncic with his orchestra of shooters.

“Defense wins championships”. In the collection of NBA shots, this one is perhaps the most important. It happens almost every season but it’s rare to hear why defense is so crucial. It’s not just about stopping your opponent. A good defense allows you to find rhythm in attack. A good defense demoralizes the opponent. A good defense allows you to travel and win away from home.

Golden State’s streak of 27 consecutive series with at least one away victory is no coincidence, but we forget that the foundation of their identity, for years, has been built on defense. They proved it against Boston, with a collective demonstration, led by the inevitable Draymond Green, a Stephen Curry now more ready to take up the challenge and a Klay Thompson who has regained all his impact on this side of the field.

“When you have such a sexy offense, with shooters like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, and Jordan Poole, people are drawn to that, but our defense is what we beat that team (Boston)” hammers Draymond Green. “We kept them under 100 points in four of the six games in the series. We beat them thanks to our defense and that’s a constant for us. You can’t win the title without a super defense. We know it. We understand it. It’s a source of pride and we know that our defense allows our offense to catch fire. »

Fullness Stephen Curry

Not all good defenses end up being champions. The Celtics are the perfect example. A leader is needed. Of a player who transforms determination into an absolute refusal of defeat.

“You won’t want to cross our path next season…” We come back to this sentence that Stephen Curry said a year and six days ago. It would be too simple to think that the Warriors had no doubts that they could rise to the top of the league again, but Curry’s perseverance was stronger than any doubts that have surrounded Golden State since the Game 6 loss. NBA Finals 2019 against Toronto.

“Somehow you have to manifest your destiny and that stubbornness…I like that word. This stubbornness to know who we are and what we are capable of mattered much more than what people could say. That’s why we’re here tonight.” hammered Stephen Curry.

In addition to words and attitude, the leader has proven time and again during these playoffs that he can step up to take responsibility on the field. In the first three series, he finished the job by attacking the circle. His performance in Game 4 of the Finals, however, remains the most striking symbol of this stubbornness. Back to the wall, in a hostile environment, he released the best match of his career in the playoffs, with disconcerting calm and accuracy.

During all of these Finals, Stephen Curry has been in control. We knew him all crazy, but in these last six games, he was all fire. He had that gleam in his eye. A mix of determination, confidence and poise. When it came time to deliver the thrust during Game 6, he again preferred to be aggressive to finish in the circle rather than taking refuge in risky stepbacks, even for him.

The one that is described in a reductive way as the best shooter of history has reached its fullness. He’s certainly never been stronger and has cemented his place in the Hall of Fame just a bit more. players Of the history. His attitude rubbed off on all his teammates. Like him, the Warriors played down mistakes, wearing down the Celtics both physically and mentally. Stephen Curry never released the pressure on his prey, punishing all defensive strategies, and his teammates got in tune.

The Tim Duncan of the Bay

“I’ve said it many times, Steph reminds me a lot of Tim Duncan” said Steve Kerr, who played and won two titles with the Spurs legend. “Two totally different players but humanly, in terms of talent and confidence, they are similar. This marvelous combination makes everyone want to win for him. Without Steph, none of this would be possible. »

His personality and perspective helped build the Warriors we’ve known for eight years. They are altruistic, because Steph is. They are determined and stubborn to win, because Steph is. They’re carefree, because Steph is. They accept their roles because Steph is able to start a whole series of playoffs on the bench for the good of the collective.

For eight years, the players have followed one another at his side and the result remains the same. Whether it’s “Strength In Numbers,” cohabiting with Kevin Durant, or leading the way for a younger workforce, the outcome remains the same because Stephen Curry has put his historic stamp on Golden State’s DNA.

Thanks to this foundation and these convictions, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson believed in their chances of bringing the Larry O’Brien trophy back to the San Francisco Bay Area. During three years, “They Believed” while everyone was talking about them in the past tense. In Boston, all his beliefs came true again.

“This title tastes different because of everything that’s happened in the last three years. From injuries to the reconfiguration of the workforce, the arrival of Wiggs (Wiggins), the young people who accepted to believe that we could return to this level and win, even if at the time for them, it probably did not want say nothing. But it’s all important.” described Stephen Curry. “All the work we’ve done, the faith, the conviction, and all the people who are drinking champagne in the locker room, I’m proud of everyone. And here we are with four titles. Me, Dray, Klay, and Andre… It’s special… it’s special! »

Interview in Boston.

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