With their Game 2 win last night, the Warriors have taken a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series against the Blazers. But they also did something else: prove they can win without Steph Curry and with an 11-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter and against a red hot Damian Lillard.
No one doubted the Warriors could beat the Blazers with Curry and with Lillard struggling, and heading into the fourth quarter with a comfortable lead. But withOUT Curry and with Lillard EXCELLING, and heading into the fourth quarter with a sizable DEFICIT? No one was sure.
In fact many analysts have openly questioned Golden State’s ability to repeat as champions ever since Curry went down with a knee injury and the Blazers extended their lead in the third quarter and Lillard started to heat up.
But now they know better.
What those analysts missed is this Warriors team’s resilience.
They’re built for it: the deep bench and ball movement offense mean the team knows how to respond when their star is out and they’re down by 11 late and the opposition guard is firing on all cylinders. That’s why they’re the defending champs.
But if one other thing goes wrong, they’re fucked.