The Golden State Warriors have not put up the best title defense effort; throughout the 2022-23 season, the Warriors have dealt with inconsistencies, particularly on the defensive end, but it never seemed like the Warriors were out of the title-contending picture at any point in the season. And their championship mettle certainly played a huge part in them outlasting the Sacramento Kings in an enthralling seven-game first-round series.
But now, the prospect of the Warriors’ season — or perhaps even their dynasty — coming to an end feels more real than ever, as the Los Angeles Lakers need just one more win to dispatch of the reigning champion in the second round of the 2023 NBA playoffs.
The Warriors had a golden opportunity to tie the series, as they entered the fourth quarter of their Game 4 tilt against the Lakers leading by seven. In the fourth quarter, the Warriors did a good enough job slowing down LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but in an unfortunate turn of events for the Dubs, it was Lonnie Walker IV who stole the show with an incredible 15-point fourth quarter especially with points coming at a premium.
Stephen Curry, in particular, had two chances to give the Warriors a late lead, and yet he ended up clanking two very difficult pull-up shots over the outstretched arms of Anthony Davis.
The Lakers, through four games, simply look like a bad matchup for the Warriors. Their blend of physicality and speed have proven to be too much for the Warriors to defend without fouling, and the Warriors simply haven’t been able to manufacture easy looks consistently due to the Lakers’ defense. But as the old adage goes, “it’s not over until the fat lady sings.”
Here are two reasons why the Warriors, against the odds, will come back from 3-1 down against the Lakers.
They have been in this position before
There is no such thing as a safe 3-1 series lead. The Warriors know this firsthand. Almost seven years may have elapsed since then, but the memory of their inexplicable collapse in the NBA Finals against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers remains fresh in the minds of almost every NBA fan. The tides can change easily in a seven-game series, whether by making a few rotation adjustments, catching a few injury breaks, or by simply taking advantage of a team that’s wilting under pressure.
But what some fans forget as a result of the Warriors’ 3-1 choke job, is that they were also on the other end of a 3-1 meltdown. The Warriors came oh so close to not even being in a position to choke away a commanding lead in the 2016 NBA Finals, as the Oklahoma City Thunder, through four games of the 2016 Western Conference Finals, looked like the hungrier, more athletic, and more locked-in team.
But Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green were not going out on a whimper.
The Warriors’ Game 6 comeback against the Thunder is still the stuff of legends, with Thompson going berserk late in that game, and Curry being the reliable flamethrower he usually was. With the Thunder rattled, the Warriors went on to complete the comeback.
And this is not an isolated case; during the 2019 NBA Finals, with the Warriors down 3-1 heading back on the road against the Toronto Raptors, they managed to stave off elimination with a stellar showing in the clutch, with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson dealing the decisive blows in that contest. In fact, if it weren’t for Thompson going down with a torn ACL in Game 6, the Warriors looked like they were at least capable of setting up a winner-take-all Game 7 back on the road.
Of course, this Warriors team is different; all three of their foundational stars are older, their supporting cast has been extremely inconsistent, specifically Jordan Poole, and they may not have the personnel to keep up with the Lakers for three more games.
But on a mental level, the Warriors should remain laser focused on the task at hand, as they have been in this kind of position before.
The Warriors have Stephen Curry
Sometimes, the Warriors’ playoff hopes simply boil down to the fact that they’re boasting the services of Stephen Curry. Curry is the fuel that powers the Warriors’ well-oiled machine, and with the Warriors’ backs against the wall, the greatest shooter of all time always manages to show up. Who could forget his 50-point masterpiece against the Kings in Round 1, and who could forget the best game of his career when he turned the tables on the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Finals?
The Lakers’ defense, particularly Anthony Davis’ looks like it’s a conundrum that the Warriors will have difficulties solving. But it’s not wise, at all, to count out Curry’s capability of solving whatever defenses throw at him given the basketball wizardry he has shown throughout his illustrious career.
The post 2 reasons Warriors will turn tables with miracle 3-1 comeback vs. LeBron James, Lakers appeared first on ClutchPoints.