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The Golden State Warriors era of NBA dominance from 2014 to 2019

The core of the Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green
The core of the Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green
Arjun Julka
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 08 Apr 2021
Feature

The last decade of the NBA was undoubtedly dominated by the Golden State Warriors. The Dubs boasted a stacked team led by a great coach and management. The team played in a way that was very unorthodox and different from the principles of old-school basketball.

The Warriors were in the process of rebuilding when they drafted a young Stephen Curry from Davidson college as the 7th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. The sharpshooter would soon become the face of the franchise and the golden boy of Dub nation.

The recruitment of Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to the Golden State Warriors

With the selection of Klay Thompson in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors suddenly had what many people considered to be the best shooting backcourt in the league.

Draymond Green, who was the 35th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, initially received only a few minutes but as his game developed his playing time also increased. Known to be a great rebounder in his early days, Green soon became the perfect pick-and-roll partner for Stephen Curry.

Chapter 1: The dynasty's first NBA Championship

2015 NBA Champions Golden State Warriors
2015 NBA Champions Golden State Warriors

Before the start of the 2014-15 season, the Golden State Warriors signed Steve Kerr as their head coach. Kerr was a 5-time NBA Champion and was considered one of the best 3-point shooters in the league during his time.

By the time Kerr arrived at the Golden State Warriors, they already had an effective bench with the likes of Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala.

The Golden State Warriors completed the 2014-15 season with a 67-15 record, which earned them the top position in the Western Conference. Stephen Curry was named league MVP, becoming the first Warrior to be bestowed that honor since Wilt Chamberlain in 1960.

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The Golden State Warriors had a smooth run to the NBA Finals, which included a 5-game series against the Houston Rockets. In the Finals, Steve Kerr and his team came up against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were led by LeBron James.

The Finals went down to 6 games with the Golden State Warriors coming out on top to win the 2015 NBA Championship.

Andre Iguodala was named the NBA Finals MVP, which was completely unexpected at that time considering the season Stephen Curry had prior to that series.

Chapter 2: Stephen Curry's unanimous MVP and the Golden State Warriors' record 73-9 season

The defending champions began their season by winning 24 games in a row, which had never been done in the league's history.

Steph Curry had his best year averaging 30.1 PPG and was crowned league MVP for the second time. He became the first player in league history to win the MVP award unanimously. One of the most astonishing stats from that season was his 402 three-pointers that broke his own record from the previous season.

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Apart from Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green also had special seasons. Green finished with 13 triple-doubles, breaking the franchise record of 9 in a season.

Another major highlight was Klay Thompson's iconic 37 points in the 3rd quarter against the Sacramento Kings. During that phase, Klay went a perfect 13-for-13 from the field and 9-for-9 from the 3-point line.

On April 13th, 2016 the Golden State Warriors broke the NBA record for most number of wins in a regular season. They secured a total of 73 wins going past the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls who had a regular season record of 72-10.

The 2016 NBA Finals saw the Golden State Warriors go up against the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers once again. The subsequent series was undoubtedly the greatest in NBA history. Even though the Warriors took a 3-1 lead at the start, the Cavs bounced back to secure what was an almost impossible NBA Championship.

Game 7 defeat at the Oracle made the Golden State Warriors the first team in NBA history to lose the Finals after going up 3-1.

The historic 73-9 record held by the Warriors
The historic 73-9 record held by the Warriors

Chapter 3: The Golden State Warriors sign Kevin Durant and go on to become back-to-back NBA champions

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During the 2016 offseason, Kevin Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors, which made the team stronger than ever.

Durant was heavily criticized for joining the Warriors, to whom he had just lost to in the Western Conference finals. Many fans and analysts consider the 2017 Golden State Warriors team to be the most stacked side in NBA history,

However, Durant proved his critics wrong when the Warriors went on to become back-to-back champions in 2017 and 2018 and Kevin Durant was crowned Finals MVP both times.

On their quest for a 3-peat, the Golden State Warriors had a successful 2018-19 regular season, though Kevin Durant suffered a calf strain against the Los Angeles Clippers and missed a couple of games.

But there was no stopping the Golden State Warriors, who went on to sweep the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA Western Conference Finals and proceeded to the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.

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With the series tied at 1-1, the Toronto Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors to take a 2-1 lead. This was when Kevin Durant decided to return and within a few minutes, he looked to be at his usual best. However, tragedy struck and KD was forced to leave the game with a torn Achilles injury.

To top things off, Klay Thompson tore his ACL in the pivotal Game 6. The crippled Golden State Warriors fell to the Toronto Raptors 4-2, marking the end of their incredible run.

During the 2019 offseason, Kevin Durant announced that he would be taking his talents to the Brooklyn Nets. The superstar's departure saw the end of the GSW dynasty.

Looking back, it is undeniable that the Golden State Warriors revolutionized the game of basketball. Their unselfish style of play that revolved around three-point shooting was something the league had never seen before.

The foundation of the GSW dynasty Stephen Curry is regarded as one of the most influential players ever to play the game.

Back to Back NBA champions the Golden State Warriors
Back to Back NBA champions the Golden State Warriors
Published 08 Apr 2021, 22:02 IST
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