NBA Finals 2022 – The seven moments which supercharged the return to the Golden State Warriors’ Dynasty

Stephen Curry wasn't sure whether to laugh at the clock or cry when it ticked down at TD Garden, Boston on Thursday night. Curry seemed elated — wide smile, exuberant — as if celebrating his fourth NBA championship. Curry collapsed to the floor in two seconds left in the 2022 NBA finals. Curry crouched down, lowered his head, and then cried.

Draymond said Curry would be angry when Curry took to the court in Boston on Thursday for Game 6. For a man who knows how to shoot basketball but keeps his emotions under control, 34 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds are a good expression of anger. The buzzer sounded and teammates, family, rivals, photographers, and even strangers poured onto the court. Curry stood up, put his hands on his forehead, and then he dropped it once more as the tears began to flow.

With a win in Game 6 of the Warriors' dynasty, Curry and the Boston Celtics were defeated 103-90 by the Warriors. But not since Curry's first title in 2015 had Golden State been more optimistic about the season. After Kevin Durant's departure, the Warriors endured a two year hiatus in the NBA wilderness. Klay Thompson was absent for extended periods due to injury. Curry had to deal with his own maladies. It is not surprising that the Warriors are returning to the top of NBA, but it was unlikely.

Curry was then surrounded by Jordan Poole and Damion Lee as well as rookies Moses Moody (who was only 12 when Curry won his first ring). Andre Iguodala marched over to Curry from center court, retrieved him from the scrum, and gave him the game ball. Iguodala, one of three current teammates who have played alongside Curry on each Warriors' championship teams, embraced his friend.

These are seven key moments that shaped the Warriors postseason run.

April 16, 2022 – Curry is on the bench to open the Postseason

Stephen Curry He was cleared to return for the Warriors' playoff runs in April. After missing the final month due to a sprained ligament/bone bruise in his left leg, he would be limited in Game 1 against Golden State to 20-25 minutes. Denver Nuggets. Curry and Warriors coach Steve Kerr faced a difficult task: determining Which Curry would play for between 20 and 25 minutes.

The Warriors had also imposed similar restrictions when they were in the Warriors' ranks. Klay Thompson After two seasons of being away, Thompson returned to action in January. Thompson decided to start in his usual spot and then take longer breaks throughout each game. Thompson was unable to sustain his rhythm after being subbed out. After that, he spent 12 minutes riding a stationary bicycle before returning to the game.

Kerr offered Curry two options. The first option was very similar to Thompson's. Curry would start, but would spend longer periods on the bench than he was used to. Curry was required to be on the bench for each half of the game, so he would spend less time on the bench.

Kerr states, “This may have been a daunting conversation for most star players but it was not the least bit daunting with Steph.” He makes it all easy.

Curry recognized that rhythm was his most valuable attribute as a basketball player and chose to choose the second option.

Curry decided to play the bench again after Game 2, when the Warriors went up 1-0. He raised his restriction to 28 minutes and 30 minutes. Kerr was happy with the arrangement. Curry told Kerr that he would be happy to sit on the bench while the Warriors prepare for Game 3. Kerr expressed his gratitude and called Curry the greatest sixth man in history. They agreed to continue the plan until the Warriors lose, which they did in Game 4.

Curry found himself in a strange spot while the Nuggets' public address announcer was performing player introductions. Curry stood next to Kerr on the bench, while Kerr was standing nearby. Jordan Poole They joined the four starting players near center court. Kerr turned to Curry as the teams prepared for the first tip. He told him that if he worked hard enough, he could one day start a NBA playoff game.

May 3, 2022 Gary Payton II After being struck by a car, he fractured his left elbow. Dillon Brooks

Payton is the Warriors' top perimeter defender, but he is also a fast athlete who can defeat defenses in transition. Payton was exactly doing that in the first quarter against Memphis. He breezed past backpedaling Grizzlies defenders. Draymond Green He was hit in stride by a pass. Brooks swung at Payton from behind as he approached the rim.

Payton fell to the ground, just below the basket stanchion. He grabbed his left arm, and let out an awful moan. Brooks was given a flagrant 2 and Payton would be sent to rehab for five weeks. The Warriors were outraged by the incident. Kerr described it as dirty.

Kerr stated then that Dillon Brooks had broken the code.

Payton, who had struggled for many years to find a place in the NBA, arrived at the Warriors as a consummate basketball adventureman. He'd even considered leaving a playing career behind to become a video coordinator. The dynamic Memphis All-Star was named a starter for one of the most difficult defensive positions in the NBA. Ja Morant The series finale should have represented the end of Payton’s long journey.

After being diagnosed with a fractured left arm in the FedEx Forum X-ray, and having a cast fitted while his team fought yards away, Payton II decided to cancel that trip. Following the Warriors' loss to Game 2, Payton II was able to return to the locker room where he met the team.

He said, “The team was down following the game.” “We lost, but Coach Kerr and my teammates were there for me after the game. The way they felt about the play, and the way they communicated it to me, was very meaningful.”

In Game 2, Payton was back and he drained all three of his shots within 25 minutes. In the Warriors' crucial Game 5 win, Payton scored 15 points and had three steals. Jaylen Brown Marcus Smart.

May 13, 2022 Kevon Looney In the starting lineup

A team's 39-point playoff loss can cause them to make significant changes. The Warriors lost Game 5 to the Grizzlies 134-195 in the conference semifinals. Mike Brown, the assistant coach and acting head coach for COVID-positive Kerr, texted Kerr with a suggestion.

It is suggested that the Warriors start Kevon Loyol in lieu of Jonathan Kuminga Game 6.

Brown, the Warriors' defensive brain, had been watching the Grizzlies' massive win against the Warriors in Game 5. Memphis ate up 18 offensive rebounds and the Warriors' defense was a sieve. Kerr was grateful for the suggestion and instructed Brown to rest on it until the next staff meeting.

Brown informed the group that Curry, Draymond Green had told him on board that Looney was the best candidate to launch Game 6. There was not much else for a staff that loves thoughtful debate. The endorsement of two of the team's most prominent players and Brown's defensive instincts made it clear that Looney would be starting.

This move would not be without complications and risk. The Warriors had refused to play their big men together for long periods of time. Looney and Green don't shoot with range. Looney has never been a good rim-roller. Looney is agile but could still be vulnerable on the perimeter for pick-and-roll coverage.

Looney dispelled all doubts immediately. He was a skilled defender who scored 22 rebounds as well as 5 assists in the Warriors’ Game 6 win. He's been an unstoppable source of screens since then and is now a pro at the Warriors hit-and-handback action that creates so many shots for Thompson, Curry, and Poole. Looney is the epitome of a team that values selflessness and a style of play.

The Warriors' coverage against the Grizzlies' young point guard was governed by the “Ja Rules.” Although the words were not as clever as the predecessor, the Warriors' coaches created the “Luka Rules” that would decide whether Golden State would return in the Finals.

Jama Mahlalelah is assistant coach and works closely with Wiggins in the finer points of the game plan. “With Luka it all starts with, ‘Bother him as long as you can basketball game.’

Wiggins understood that this meant putting as much pressure as possible on Doncic. This meant that Doncic was constantly turned as he moved the ball upcourt. As a rule, Doncic should be exhausted as much as possible. Wiggins needed to expend a lot of energy in order to execute this strategy.

Following Game 1, Wiggins stated, “Just make him do it.” “That was the key thing — 94 foot to make him work.”

Doncic had an effective field goal percentage (46.7) over the course of the series. Doncic also recorded an identical shot quality percentage per Second Spectrum with 3.5 turnovers for 100 possessions and 4.6 assists when Wiggins was guarded.

Mahlalelah states, “I thought that he'd manage it for 30% of the game.” “He did that for 85 percent of his game.”

Wiggins is the Warriors' most effective matchup defender. However, he has been an efficient shot maker on the wing, which has helped the Warriors to win the playoffs. His performance in Game 5, on a day when Steph Curry was suffering from one of his worst shooting attempts in recent memory, was the difference in victory for the Warriors.

Wiggins is one of the most remarkable redemption stories in spring for a player who was considered an empty-calorie supplier and player with a competitive deficit during his first six NBA seasons.

May 26, 2022: Klay has 32 points in the clinching win that sends Warriors back to Finals

941 days.

It's a common figure in Warriors' numerology: The time between the moment Thompson tore the ACL in the 2019 Finals and when he returned to the court on January 9, 2022.

Thompson's postseason saw a lot of ups, downs and changes. In Game 5, Thompson was shooting 29.2% from beyond his arc in conference finals. And he hadn't recorded a 20-point series. It was Vintage Klay who won the clincher. He ran around the perimeter screens in search of catch-and-shoot shots. When the Mavs chased his car off the arc, he drove to a nice spot for a midrange leaper. After the match was over, he had scored 32 points. This included 8-for-16 at distance.

Thompson is described by the Warriors' staff and team as someone who is a man of deep self-possession and has an instinct for finding contentment. While there is a wide range of interests among the Warriors' players, Thompson is passionate about sun, his bulldog Rocco, and most importantly, basketball. Thompson is the Warriors' heartbeat and Steph Curry are their DNA, as Steve Kerr says often.

Thompson gained a deep sense of inner peace and reflection from his long absence. He was a 29 year-old, in his prime. On Thursday night, he was a 32 years old veteran still trying his best to recover muscle memory. He conjured up Klay in Game 5, as the Warriors secured passage to the NBA Finals.

Thompson stated that he likes to believe there aren’t any differences between who he was and who he is now, just a few days prior to the victory against Dallas. “But there is.”

Thompson is an introvert and needs to be away from the noise of an NBA dynasty. He needs to be fed and cared for in his outside world. He has a passion for free-diving in Richardson Bay, Marin County.

Thompson said, “It's magic.” You can swim through 50-foot kelp stringsers. These little rooms appear when you reach under the kelp. It's like watching NatGeo on your own. It makes you feel small.

June 10, 2022 – Steph Curry scores 43 Points in the Warriors' win over Boston to tie the Finals at 2-2.

Steph Curry arrived to the TD Garden in Boston for a practice session and a media session. Curry is known for his well-organized shooting sessions, which he has organized thousands of times. Curry, however, decided to add an extra twist to his sessions on Thursday.

Curry added an additional volume of rhythm shots to specific spots. As well as his regular routine of rhythm shots, Bruce Fraser and Curry created a series of one shot-at-a time attempts to run out of specific Warriors actions. Fraser would call out an old set with the assistance of Lainn Wilson as the head video coordinator. Curry would then move through his choreography, catch the pass, and put up the shot.

Fraser stated that it is different when you only get one shot from one play and not 10, Fraser added. “Each shot puts on more weight. It changes the mindset a little.

Curry scored 43 points in the crucial game against the Warriors, where he shot 7-for-14 at deep. It could have been the difference in Curry's routine or the alkaline that Curry ate during lunch. Only the basketball gods could know that.

Curry put together one of his finest Finals games, no matter what the inspiration. Curry displayed all of the tricks, feathery touches and twisting contortions that define his game, in addition to seven make from beyond the arc. Curry carried a heavy load in a Warriors offense where he was being hunted by the Celtics on the other side. Curry's fourth-quarter field goals, the one-legged driving teardrop and the clever step-back jumper that bought just a little bit of space, were a signature of his dynasty.

Curry's tribute performances and singular gravity on Finals court aside, Curry had never been awarded Finals MVP honors for any of the Warriors titles he won over the past eight year — those awards went instead to Andre Iguodala In 2015, Kevin Durant In 2017 and 2018. There was not much suspense in Thursday night's announcement. Although there were many moments that could be used, Game 4 was undisputed the topline success.

June 16, 2022: Warriors beat Celtics in Game 6, to win their fourth title after eight seasons

Although the Celtics could not have planned it that way, Marcus Smart gave Al Hoford his worst assignment — to guard Curry in open space. Horford, in an era where mobile big men are valued because of their ability to protect the perimeter, is among the most valuable players, but this was a huge task.

Horford was Horford's little brother at 34, but Curry is still America's little brother. Curry faced Horford with just a few staccato shots in a tight spot, while the Warriors were leading 91 to 81. Curry increased the area of engagement with each successive dribble. He stutter-step right, crossed a few times, and watched Horford.

Curry was soon dancing in space. He made Horford, one of the league's most respected veterans, suffer an infliction. Curry dropped his left hip and drove straight right as Horford put his right foot down. In a flash, the hummingbird was transformed into a bowling-ball. Curry, facing the NBA's best defense made his approach to basket and leaned forward. He then kissed the ball off of the window in the upper-right corner for a layup. The Warriors created a brand new NBA basketball, putting a premium on spacing and versatility eight years ago. They took inspiration from the Spurs' motion set and the triangle offense, and created an operating system around Curry.

This system has been updated by the Warriors over time. They accommodated Kevin Durant. In return, they were given a couple of titles. They had to take into account less artillery and the wear and tear that comes with age. Curry was there, regardless of any adjustments or contingencies. Curry is the only player who has had such a remarkable ability to overcome a system and thrive within it.

The Warriors' power as an dynasty surpasses the sum of their hardware. The Warriors have influenced the way NBA basketball is played for generations. They also have a unique style that no other team can match. While rivals may be able to create similar defensive schemes or a roster with players of similar size and multiple skills, one thing is certain: These teams don't have Stephen Curry.

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