Dubs’ Dynasty 2.0

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Updated: June 17, 2022
2.0

Younger—Stronger—Faster: it was only days ago that this sentiment rang through the countless rails of mainstream telecasts and independent pods alike that the best defense in basketball by Boston was simply too much for Golden State. Up 2-1 and the weight of the world on the Warriors’ shoulders and Wardell Stephen Curry illustrated a highlight reel deep enough to build a Sears catalog in Game 4 alone of what his arsenal of weapons looks like when he’s guarded like a mere mortal. Right on schedule, Game 5 came the traps and triple teams, and the Steve Kerr movement offense picked apart the Celtics on the back of a 26 and 13 performance which now will be cemented in stone as the Andrew Wiggins Game 5.

As Jason Tatum sat on the bench imagining his face cut and pasted over Wilts holding the infamous handwritten 100 points sign with the caption, “Jason goes for 100 {turnovers}” no one came to console him. They tried the drop the coverage and dared Curry to kill them and he went for 50%+ from distance on a high clip. They blitzed him from start to finish and the others of Golden State swallowed them whole. The Celtics came out hopeful in the 1st quarter, young and spry, filled with dreams of game 7 success on someone’s floor. But as the 3’s start to rain in Boston in Golden State’s favor and their number 1 option in Jason started to shrink, all the old heads in the Garden could sense a distinct scent that uniquely showers over the end of a series. Despite the telecast’s predictions and The Hoop Collective Pods’ prophecies for a stretched-out series, the Boston Celtics had zero desire to head back to San Francisco against what clearly was the better team.

Boston had broken the paradigm in Milwaukee, where the team with the best player lost in the Bucks’ absence of closer and primary wing defender, Chris Middleton. They waxed KD in 4, Giannis in 7, and Butler’s 3 on tired legs a centimeter off buried a 7 gamer in Miami. But the distance between The Baby Faced Assassin and anyone else on the Celtics squad was bigger than the Bay between Chase Center and Oracle Arena.

In the non-Curry minutes, the Celtics looked as advertised, with a Warriors’ offensive rating of 88.6. To put in perspective, the two worst offensive ratings this year in the regular season were held by the tanking Magic and Thunder at 104.5. With Curry on the floor? 115.8

Only the Jazz and Hawks, two teams who simply only play one side of the ball had offensive ratings a hair higher at 116 and that was in the regular season. This is a near 116 rating against the #1 defense, one which many called a historic defensive squad in these Boston Celtics. It answers the question of how the Warriors could possibly win game 5 without Curry making a single shot from distance—it is because his presence is the system. If a team dares to treat him like any other top-tier guard in this league, he’ll average 35 on historic efficacy. If the defense obsesses over his constant routes around the court, with or without the ball, he will produce wide-open jumpers and red carpet cuts for uncontested layups.

The 2.0 Window

 The most terrifying thing about this squad though is unlike the 2020 Lakers and 2021 Bucks, the Warriors still have not only the vast majority of their draft capital as spare ammunition but also one of the most promising young cores in the association. Second pick in the draft James Wisemen didn’t play a single minute in the 2021-22 season and will enter his first fully healthy offseason since becoming a Warrior. Kuminga and Moody, both who have already shown flashes of bright futures will play their first minutes next season as non-teenagers in their sophomore years. Kevon Looney is only 28 years old and appears to have unlocked something this postseason under the development of Nikola Jokic’s old Serbian coach Dejan Milojevic who was specifically hired to blossom the wings of young James Wisemen.

The new confidence in Jordan Poole by Steve Kerr at only 23 years young is unthinkable for a team still sporting the Splash Brothers. And speaking of Klay, this also will be his first healthy offseason since 2018, and surely will benefit from either slimming down or beefing up depending on what position solidifies for him this offseason as a defender with the new transformation of the league he is reorientating himself with since his 2-year hiatus.

Maybe the most terrifying thing though for the West is there is no going back from a playoffs like the one former #1 pick Andrew Wiggins had this summer. There were games in this Finals, against two of the most highly prized 2-way wings in all of basketball, where Wiggs looked right on the level of Jason and Jalen. As blasphemous as it would’ve sounded 365 days ago, moving forward, he is the new second option behind Curry and an iron man built to play heavy minutes as their primary defender against the elite wings of the West.

But most importantly, this run, especially after the near series-ending foot injury, has proven the Steph Curry window is LeBron-like. The era and life expectancy of our superstars are changing, at least for those who are meticulous about how to arm themselves for war in the offseasons. At 34 years of age, this may be the most elite version of Stephen Curry when it comes to overall impact. He has now mastered the art of being the greatest play creator in the history of basketball without being the primary playmaker. And though most analysts stubbornly peg him as a point guard and continue to compare him to Magic, his most potent position is off-ball at the 2, scattered around the floor like a tiny tornado sucking up space and subconsciously pulling triple teams into his orbit. But even without a single additional minute added to his résumé, Curry has now solidified himself as the 3rd Greatest 2-guard of all time, just behind His Airness and The Black Mamba.

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