In the autopsy of the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead to the Cavaliers last Finals, a number of things came up: Draymond Green‘s suspension for Game 5, Andrew Bogut’s injury for the last few games of that series (a vastly underrated issue), and just how healthy was Stephen Curry.
Also, did the push for 73 regular season wins wear down Golden State down?
Speaking to the media Wednesday in Cleveland, Draymond Green said it was an error, in the context of being asked about the team “circling” a 16-0 playoff record.
“No, we made that mistake of circling 73 and worrying about the wrong thing before. It don’t matter,” Green said.
However, Stephen Curry saw it differently.
“I don’t know,” Curry said. “In the moment you obviously want to — that was a decision that we had talked about and we had discussed as a group and answered questions from the media pretty much from January on about that being a possibility, so I don’t know if there may be have been a little bit of a mental fatigue when it comes to just how much it took to get that 73 done and then having to restart and go to the playoffs.
“But honestly, I wouldn’t regret those decisions at all. We were one game away from winning a championship, so you can — I don’t think you can second guess that that much.”
It’s hard to say how much it mattered. Not as much as the Green suspension. But did the extra wear-and-tear impact Curry’s injury recovery, or other aspects around the team? We will never know, but most Warriors players and those around the team seem to think it played some role. Notice how it was very much not on the table this year? Not a coincidence.
It’s also not the big difference between these finals and last year’s — that would be one Kevin Durant.