Back in mid-October, a week before the regular season started, the new-look Golden State Warriors were given just a 22-percent chance to clinch a playoff berth, and less than a 1-percent chance to reach the NBA Finals, according to FiveThirtyEight's projections. The slimmest of odds, as the franchise had won only 54 games across the past two seasons. But, sometimes, odds are meant to be defied and used as motivational fuel.
When the 2022-23 campaign begins, the Warriors will be considered favorites to claim the league title. For on Thursday inside TD Garden, they restored their dynasty by outlasting the Boston Celtics, 103-90, in Game 6 of the NBA Finals and capturing their fourth championship since 2015. The Warriors are the first team to win four rings in an eight-season span since the 1990s Chicago Bulls, and NBA on TNT analyst Kenny Smith believes their run is far from finished.
"They played well, I didn't think they played great at times... But they were the best when together," Smith explained to The Zach Gelb Show on Friday. "They have such a continuity, that it's always going to allow them to be around. And, because they have Klay and Steph, they have two closers -- when the game's close -- who have no anxiety of taking big shots and making big plays...
"The one thing they've got going for them is youth that hasn't played much in their run. That's Wiseman and Kuminga. Those two guys, on bad teams, would play a lot of minutes... It's going to be interesting to see, next year, how great they can become when they have the young players and young talent ready... Without question, they have an opportunity to win multiple rings."
The entire Finals conversation between Smith and Gelb can be accessed in the audio player above.