“All Good Things Have To Come To An End” | Monica McNutt Says Door Is Shut On Golden State Warriors Championship Run

(Screenshot/FT)

The Golden State Warriors looked like a title favorite for parts of this season. But they’ve gone 5-10 in their past 15, and with two-time MVP Stephen Curry injured and the team not playing as well as it did earlier in the season, the dream of a title might be dead. That’s what basketball analyst Monica McNutt thinks.

“The door is closed. This is not about anything that these guys can or can’t do. It’s just the reality of the league. All three of the guys that are at the center of what the warriors have done, have missed a notable amount of time injured,” McNutt said Tuesday on ESPN’s “First Take.”
“That’s just a part of the game. It would be different if these guys were 24-26 dealing with these injuries. They are all plus-30, they’ve all been injured and now the rest of the league, because they have been a gold standard for so long, have worked diligently and literally built rosters so that they can contend and catch up with this squad, and as you look around the West it seems it’s working. All good things have to come to an end.”

From 2015-19 the Warriors made five straight trips to the NBA Finals, winning three titles. They played 93 playoff games over that stretch. That’s an extra season-plus of hard miles on the body.

The core of Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson are all 32 and older. You can still play elite level basketball into your 30s, but the recovery is harder, and if you’ve been injured future injury chances increase exponentially.

Over the Warriors’ last 15 games they are 5-10. They have the 18th-ranked offense and 19th-ranked defense during that time. A far cry from the No. 1-ranked defense they had for most of the season.

A key piece of that defense is Draymond Green, who prior to his injury was the runaway favorite for defensive player of the year. Since his return he hasn’t been as elite. Still good, but not all-time good.

For the Warriors to win a championship their defense has to be elite, and they need the offense to be the fast-paced, read-and-react explosive force that it was during the title runs.

McNutt’s point is right about the rest of the league catching up. The Warriors were the gold standard, and teams have built rosters to beat them.

Last season in the play-in tournament the Memphis Grizzlies went into Chase Center and beat Steph Curry and Draymond Green. This season’s Grizzlies team is much better than last season, as evinced by their 3-1 record against the Warriors and pushing past the three-time champs to hold the No. 2 seed in the West.

That’s just one team.

The Warriors are currently the third seed and only one game up on the Dallas Mavericks in fourth. With the way the Mavericks are playing on defense and Luka Donic’s sublime brilliance they could overtake the Warriors and grab the three seed.

Winning a title as the four seed is not impossible, it’s just harder.

The hardest thing to do in this league is win consistently. The reason dynasties are so revered is because winning multiple championships over a five-year span is extremely difficult. Scaling the mountain is one thing. Maintaining your spot atop when a bunch of other teams are coming for you is something else entirely.

A healthy Curry changes everything. But guaranteed health for your three most important players who are all over 30 and have been previously injured isn’t likely.