The Golden State Warriors may have been the favorites in their West Finals series against the Dallas Mavericks, and they definitely looked the part, but don’t get it twisted — they overcame some obstacles in punching their ticket to the title round.
No less than three of the team’s key cogs in Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr. and Andre Iguodala dealt with injuries throughout the Mavs series. As a result, Steve Kerr found himself scrambling at times to find a winning mix off the bench.
In the end, the Warriors were still able to get the job done (and in just five games, no less). Whether it’s the Boston Celtics or the Miami Heat who they have to face in the NBA Finals, though, the Dubs will have a harder time winning the series and bringing home the chip should they continue to be so shorthanded.
That said, Golden State may be on the verge of seeing some or even all of the aforementioned ballers jump back into the fray.
Report: Payton, OPJ & Iggy to Practice
On Sunday, the Warriors dropped an update on all three of their injured players. No new timetables were revealed, but the team did disclose that Payton, Porter and Iguodala have been “progressing nicely,” as relayed by ESPN’s Kendra Andrews.
Additionally, it was revealed that they would be reintegrated as practice participants this week. Again, no official return dates have been announced, but the fact that the trio will be resuming some level of on-court work seems to suggest that comebacks are fully on the table.
Thankfully, Game 1 of the Finals on Thursday, June 2 is still four days away as of this writing. So Golden State has some time to heal up before the big battle starts.
Payton last played during Game 2 of the second round when Memphis Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks’ flagrant foul caused him to fracture his elbow. Porter missed the Dubs’ last two games with lingering foot soreness. Iguodala, meanwhile, hasn’t appeared in a game since Round 1 against the Denver Nuggets due to a disc injury.
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Wild Steph Curry Stat
Much has been said and written about Steph Curry’s legacy as relates to playing both with and without Kevin Durant. However, a stat that was just fished out by hoops analyst Tom Haberstroh may represent the final word on just how incredible Curry has been as the clear-cut lead dog.
“If you take out Steph’s games with an NBA75 teammate (KD), Steph’s Playoff Win% is 48-26 (.649), which is still better than Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Larry Bird’s career rate — with all their NBA75 teammates.”
Meanwhile, Curry’s total playoff winning percentage of .695 also tops the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and LeBron James.