The Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers needed seven and six games to get past a couple of young, athletic teams in the first round of the 2023 NBA playoffs, and set up a best-of-seven series between two giants in the Western Conference semifinals.
While the Lakers sent home Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State came back from a two-games-to-none series deficit to end the Sacramento Kings’ season in Game 7 at Golden 1 Center.
Can anybody ever write off the Warriors?
“Not as long as I’m still breathing,” Golden State guard Steph Curry said to Yahoo Sports before the Warriors’ 120-100 victory over the Kings on Sunday.
Draymond Green, who scored eight points and was a plus-25 in plus/minus rating in Game 7, offered a similar message after his 153rd career playoff game.
“Stop trying to turn the page on us so fast. Stop trying to turn the page on [LeBron] so fast,” Green said Sunday. “We get so caught up in what’s the next thing that we don’t appreciate the current. And then you get to the next thing, and you’re like, ‘Man, I wish we still had that. I wish we could still see this.’ ”
Curry is 35 years old. Green and Klay Thompson are 33. Andre Iguodala, who won four championships with the Warriors and likely played his last season in 2022-23, is 39.
That core will go up against the 38-year-old James for the rights to advance to the Western Conference finals. It will be the fifth time the Warriors face James in a postseason series, and the first that’s not an NBA Finals matchup.
There’s plenty of young talent on the rise in the NBA. The Grizzlies and Kings are leading that charge. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.
“For me and our guys,” Green said, “we’re going to appreciate this every step of the way.”