There was a reason why I said over a week ago before it was made official that a Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Western Conference Final was going to give the defending NBA Champions more of a challenge in a seven game soiree’ than what anything the 67 win San Antonio Spurs were going to offer.
Most people laughed at me.
After three games into the Western Conference Finals, my point has been proven right. Furthermore these record breaking Warriors are on the brink of panic.
However there is no need for full blown panic meter at a ten. Not just yet.
It’s only a 2-1 series right now in favor of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. Many will say that last season’s championship run, the Warriors face similar odds and yes that is indeed true.
In their second round series with the Memphis Grizzlies the Warriors faced a similar 2-1 deficit before realizing it was pointless to pretend Memphis G Tony Allen was actually an offensive threat and a simple matchup tweak which saw Andrew Bogut guarding Allen in fact changed that entire series.
Then in the NBA Finals a 2-1 deficit flipped into three straight wins and an NBA title because as great as LeBron James was, the one man show could not stop the Warriors attack minus Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.
You could say the Warriors on many occasions caught lady luck and good fortune.
This is different. The Oklahoma City Thunder are fully healthy. They contain two of the five best players in all the NBA. Even while losing all three regular season matchup against the Warriors, OKC did play tooth and nail alongside Golden State and pushed the record breaking 73 win team as much as they could’ve been pushed in each matchup so what everyone is witnessing right now through three games should not come as entirely shocking. Oklahoma City has proven it can run with the Warriors.
It’s also very possible and more than likely that the Golden State Warriors will
flip this series back in their favor in a mere 24 hours. In fact I will stick to my Warriors in 7 prediction. It is however safe to say Oklahoma City is indeed in Golden State’s head. If Game 1’s shocking win was any clue where this series was headed then Game 3 should serve as a reminder that this is a fight the champs are going to have to have all hands in.
And who’s to say all hands will be even available if Draymond Green is actually suspended (which I don’t expect) for his nut shot in the 2nd quarter on OKC’s Steven Adams. The NBA is expected to rule later today on their decision involving Green’s Game 4 status.
The Thunder have more than brought the fight to the Warriors. They have shown how to close out a close game, something they were more than horrific at doing throughout the regular season. And in Game 3 they made a huge statement by blowing up Golden State’s spot with a 28 point win.
Now it’s Golden State’s turn to respond. No reason to panic yet Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have been good but not great in this series.
That needs to change. And fast.