The 2021-22 NBA season marked the fourth championship of the Stephen Curry era for the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics in six games. They won three straight against a Boston team that hadn't lost two straight games before the finals.
The triumph at TD Garden was perhaps the sweetest of their four championships, and embodied everything the Warriors had overcome after the 2019 NBA finals. Klay Thompson went through two grueling injuries, Kevin Durant left for Brooklyn, and the Warriors finished last in their conference.
Klay Thompson's father, Mychal Thompson, made an appearance on 95.7 The Game's "Willard and Dibs". He spoke about how the Warriors are just as hungry despite finishing a championship run:
“You’ve got three competitors leading the way in Draymond (Green), Steph (Curry) and Klay (Thompson). They’ve got four, but you know they want to get to five, they want to get to six.
Thompson talked about the added motivation of chasing down Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen's record of six rings:
“I can guarantee you -- they probably won’t say it publicly -- but I can guarantee you they’re probably thinking, ‘Man, if we could only match with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, that would be great.'"
"They’re going to be very motivated, and they’re going to be, I think, the favorites again because you’ve got them young guys now coming up behind them, ready to take the next step”
How likely is it that the Golden State Warriors make it back to the NBA finals next season?
Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson have a substantial challenges on their hands if they want to make a deep playoff run next season.
The Western Conference was plagued with injuries during the 2021-22 season, with the Clippers, Nuggets and Lakers all missing star players from their lineups.
The Phoenix Suns and the Dallas Mavericks aren't slowing down any time soon. The Pelicans, with Zion consolidating their big three, and the Timberwolves, with a big three of their own, are sleepers in the West.
Things will be more challenging for Golden State next season, but a large part of making deep playoff runs is maintaining a healthy roster. Come May, whichever team has their best players in one piece will eventually have an edge over more talented rosters.