Following the success of last season, the Golden State Warriors haven’t really received the credit they deserved. Many have tried to diminish what they’ve accomplished by calling their season “lucky” and putting an “asterisk” besides their championship victory.
This discussion has been rooted from the fact that the Warriors didn’t have to play the San Antonio Spurs or the Los Angeles Clippers in the playoffs. The Spurs lost to the Clippers in the first round and the Clippers gave up a 3-1 lead to the Houston Rockets in the following round. Then Golden State defeated a Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving-less Cleveland team which also added fuel to all of the Warrior detractors.
Doc Rivers was apart of this narrative, calling the Warriors lucky for avoiding his team as well as the Spurs:
You need luck in the West,” he says. “Look at Golden State. They didn’t have to play us or the Spurs. But that’s also a lesson for us: When you have a chance to close, you have to do it
He later back-tracked about a week later after a few players took offense and stated that he felt they were the “best team” and that they “deserved it”.
Doc’s words along with doubt from other analysts sparked responses from a few of Golden State’s players.
Klay Thompson: “If we got lucky, look at our record against them last year. I’m pretty sure we smacked them.”
— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) October 9, 2015
Klay: “I wanted to play the Clippers last year, but they couldn’t handle their business” — Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) October 9, 2015
Following Thompson’s comments, both Draymond Green and Stephen Curry added to the dialogue, defending all they accomplished last season.
Curry gives us sarcasm, Draymond compares it to a bitter female, and Thompson just states facts. What a media week for the Warriors. This just goes to show how people take shots at whoever is on top, but I believe these guys are 100% correct in defending themselves.
Golden State had no control over who their opponent was in the playoffs, their only job was to play who matched up against them. It’s quite blasphemous to me for people to defend this notion that the Warriors got “lucky”. It’s not their fault San Antonio lost, Los Angeles blew a 3-1 lead, and Cleveland faced unfortunate injuries. At the end of the day, they were the better team during the regular season and the playoffs, and on opening night, they will be getting their rings and that’s all that matters.