Given the NBA season suspension, what better time to look back at the 2015 NBA Playoffs run, which ended the 40-year title drought (and what a drought that was… where the greatest GSW team in living memory only made it past the first round). I’ll post a game every day, which should last us 21 games. Come watch along with me! These articles will be written as if the events were unfolding in real-time.
The Series So Far
2015 Playoffs Preview
2015 Playoffs Preview
The Warriors beat the odds this year. It wasn’t completely unexpected, but was still surprising. In 2013, they came from nowhere to upset the Nuggets and almost knock out the eventual finalist Spurs in the second round. In 2014, they took the juggernaut Clippers to Game 7. But however you slice it, nobody publicly expected them to win 67 games, with the betting over/under at 52.5 wins, so the Warriors literally beat the odds this year.
And let’s look at the before-season 2014-15 NBA Predictions by ESPN:
Only one person was nuts enough to vote for a Warriors championship. and that, suspiciously enough, was Ethan Sherwood Strauss, the Warriors writer. [2020 Note: this would end up being one of the greatest called shots in the history of sportswriting.]
Now the experts expect the Warriors to make a deep playoff run, but are skeptical of the Warriors' chances to win the whole thing. After all, as the experts say, no small jump-shooting team has ever won an NBA championship. Except for LeBron James’s Miami Heat who ruined the league with their superteam of LeBron, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, and, despite stacking the deck, barely won in 2013 and were exposed in 2014. And the last team to really play fast and shoot lots were the Seven Seconds or Less Phoenix Suns, and they never could make it past the Spurs.
“He’s a terrific defender, but he’s going to be undersized against guys he’s playing with down low,” Barkley said of the 6-foot-7 Green. “I think that’s the problem that Golden State has. … He’s going to be trying to guard Anthony Davis, LaMarcus Aldridge, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. That’s the problem I think Golden State is going to have when they play against big, physical teams that pound the ball down low.”
Still, Barkley said the Warriors are “a legitimate contender” and a “lock for the conference finals.” He said Cleveland would beat Golden State in the NBA Finals if the two advanced, but he’s not so confident the Cavaliers would beat the Spurs, Clippers, Grizzlies or Trail Blazers.
So buckle up, folks. This should be an exciting run for the most exciting team in recent memory! If the experts are right, the Warriors have a great chance to make it to the Western Conference Finals, where they haven’t been for 40 years! But first, let’s make it past Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round.
See your tomorrow!
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