By Lamar Battle
Looks like we got the icing on the cake, The Golden State Warriors vs The Toronto Raptors in what amounts to climax to a great season…Well at least until free agency starts.
The Warriors are still great with or without All World Kevin Durant who is out with what has been characterized as a calf strain. To be honest Kevin Durant is pretty much unstoppable and with him in the line-up so are the Warriors.
The Raptors are an intriguing group, a team with a history of failure in the playoffs but recipients of what may be the best fan base in the NBA.
Length and talent are long held characteristics of this team but they also have experience and grit so what’s been missing?
Enter The Dragon….
And I don’t mean Drogon, Kahwi Leonard, a certifiable superstar albeit one that given issues (health related) with former team the San Antonio Spurs has operated more or less under the radar. However, Kahwi with his no nonsense/old school approach has managed to achieve what is usually reserved for the greats…Kahwi has made his teammates better and lifted them up by the sheer force of his essence.
How else could the Raptors have defeated both the Celtics and Bucks in successive series ? We are witnessing probably the most Zen Like team (mindfulness, embracing of the moment) since maybe the 98′ Bulls. The Raptors are not the best shooters or defenders but what they are is relentless.
What Do The Warriors And New England Patriots Have In Common?
It’s in the system ! The Warriors have revolutionized the game of basketball with a lethal combination of shooting, ball movement and defense. Most of the league adjusting to Golden State have stocked their teams with shooters without understanding the requisite amount of intelligence and character needed to seize control of most games by putting opponents on a yo- yo string.
What In the Hell does That Mean?
The Warriors use 3 point shooting to open up the floor for layups and they use layups to open up there shooting game.
So, which do you choose to stop? Can you stop all of it? Nope, you have to choose.
The Patriots are similar in that they have a system and culture set up for interchangeable parts. The Patriots wait until postseason where they engage you not unlike Ali in Zaire until you overthink the process and ultimately…make a mistake. Golden State will normally take your best shot until the 3rd quarter when they start to come back. Weak minded teams at this point will start to second guess themselves and tighten up.
The Warriors are great because of the melding of ownership, management and players that fit together like fingers in a glove and it will take a mighty effort to beat them because mostly they do not beat themselves.
The 2018-19 NBA Finals will be popcorn worthy and one of the best in recent memory.
On one hand we have the All Time greatness and will of Stephen Curry and on the other hand we have the All Time greatness and will of Kahwi Leonard.
Take it from me, you will be entertained.
P.S….. Raptors in six.