After the Warriors pushed LeBron and the Cavs to the brink with a heart-stopping 110-102 victory in Cleveland, Golden State is one win away from a 3rd Championship in four years. We can officially stamp the word dynasty on the Warriors, for those who were reluctant to do so.
If Golden State finishes off LeBron with a sweep Friday, they’ll have accomplished a second thing that Michael Jordan’s Chicago dynasty in the 90s couldn’t – swept a team in the Finals.
Jordan’s Bulls beat Magic’s Lakers 4-1, and then won the rest of their Finals matchups 4-2. The Warriors defeated the Cavs 4-2, then beat the Cavs 4-1, and with a win Friday in Game 4, will sweep them 4-0.
Sweeping an all-time great player in the Finals would be the 2nd notch the Warriors accomplished that the Bulls didn’t. The first was eclipsing Chicago’s 72-win season by going 73-9 in the 2015-2016 season.
Assuming Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant don’t leave next summer – technically, Durant could opt-out this summer, though there’s no indication he’d leave the Warriors if they win back-to-back titles – the Warriors dominance could last several more years. Curry is 30, Durant is 29, and Draymond Green and Klay are 28.
Houston, the only team to play the Warriors tough since Durant got to Golden State, could be a much different team next season. Even if they somehow keep the core together, three of their important players will be 33 when next season starts (Chris Paul, PJ Tucker, Trevor Ariza).
I believe Boston could challenge the Warriors next year, when Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward are healthy, and I believe LeBron’s best chance to take down the Warriors would by teaming up with Paul George on the Lakers.
The next hurdle for the Warriors: Whether or not they could become the first team in the modern era to get to the NBA Finals five years in a row.