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Friday, April 13, 2018

Can the Warriors Repeat?

Can the Warriors repeat as NBA champs? Yes. Will they? Probably not. Why? Ever since they experienced a rash of injuries in the second half of the season to their four key starters -- Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green -- not to mention those to two of their best players off the bench -- Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston -- the Warriors have been unable to regain any rhythm to their play. All but Curry have returned, but they aren't playing (together) up to the level that one would expect.

Some believe that once Steph Curry returns (which won't happen until the second round of the playoffs), all will be right with the world. That's possible. Curry brings a level of "fun" to the game that is infectious to those around him. Plus, his passing abilities are among the best in the league, so it's not unreasonable to believe that if the Warriors survive the first round, they have a good shot at repeating.

Still, I am skeptical. When Curry was injured early in the regular season, the Warriors managed to win most of their games without him. That was not the case late in the season when he was reinjured. Over the last few weeks of the season, they have looked lost and out of sync, and I'm skeptical as to whether Curry's return will right the ship in time. Eventually they will rediscover their rhythm, but it might not happen until next season.

The one hope I have for this year's playoffs is that they rediscover it before Curry returns. If they do that, then they might discover a way to win the 3rd championship in 4 years. Put another way, they need to do more than survive the series against the Spurs. They need to be hitting on all 8 cylinders by the time Curry returns. This is not an unreasonable hope. After all, they do possess an incredible amount of talent, and they have one of the best coaches in the NBA. We'll just have to wait and see if they can pull it off, or rather, pull it together before it's too late.

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