How the Warriors benefited from losing the Orlando bubble to the NBA in 2020

SAN FRANCISCO – From 2015 through 2019, the five-year span in which the Warriors reached five consecutive NBA Finals – winning three of them – Golden State played an additional 105 games in the playoffs. This is an additional regular season, plus 23 more games.

They were worn out in every sense of the word.

Kevin Durant tore his Achilles in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, and Klay Thompson tore his Achilles in Game 6. The Warriors ran out of gas and watched another title slip out of their grasp for reasons they couldn’t control.

Then came the 2019-20 regular season.

Durant had already left in free agency for the Brooklyn Nets. Thompson was scheduled to miss the whole year. Four games into the season, Steve Curry has broken his hand and will be playing another game along the way. The Warriors finished the NBA’s worst record at 15-50, before the league was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This season has been nothing short of a new low for these Warriors, and they are now reaping huge rewards as they return to the Finals. Players like Jordan Paul had to learn quickly during that season. He struggled without Curry and Thompson by his side, just like most beginners. Now as the third Splash Brother and integral to Golden State’s success, Poole sees the bigger picture.

“It was huge,” Paul said on Wednesday when asked how important it was to have time to play as a rookie. “Being able to pick and choose my spots, feel the flow of the game and notice the difference between the college and the NBA. Finding ways to combine that to improve my game with my 15-win season.

“It was definitely a blessing in disguise.”

Another blessing in disguise was the loss of the Orlando Bubble Warriors in the NBA once the season resumed.

The bubble consists of 22 teams, 16 of whom are already in the playoff position and another six are in the six playoff matches. Obviously, the warriors weren’t one of them. For three months, with boot camp starting on July 9 and the finals set to run through October 11, the National Basketball Association self-isolated at Disney World.

Kerr couldn’t be happier because the warriors weren’t a part of him. This is the last thing they need.

“I think the pandemic year when we had the worst record in the league I think it was very helpful not to go into the bubble,” Kerr told reporters on Monday. “I think our guys honestly were kind of emotionally frustrated with that five-year run to the finals every year and got injured. I think being away was the best thing for the players to sort of revitalize.”

There were talks about the Chicago bubble for the eight teams not being invited to Orlando, but that never turned out to be a reality. More than six months after the shortened regular season of the pandemic ended, the Warriors gathered as a group for the first time at Chase Center for a voluntary small camp from September 23 to October 6. Kan, which was a spectacle of what the Warriors could be up to in the near future before he unfortunately tore his Achilles in late November of 2020.

But Kevin Looney looked as healthy as ever after making just 20 appearances during the 2019-20 season, and Paul was eye-opening during the junior camp with his work ethic.

The last four teams from the Orlando bubble were the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, and Los Angeles Lakers, with the Lakers beating the Heat in six games in the Finals. Anthony Davis has averaged 25.0 points and 10.7 rebounds per game for the Lakers in those six games.

In the past two seasons, he’s been limited to just 76 games, which isn’t even one full season.

The Lakers had to beat the Warriors in the season-playing championship after winning the championship, then lost to the Phoenix Suns in the first round. The Nuggets defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round over six games before being swept away by the Suns. The Celtics and Heat lost in the first round – Boston to Brooklyn in five games, and the Milwaukee Bucks swept Miami.

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Over the past three seasons, the Heat have played 43 playoff games. The Celtics played 40, and the Warriors played 16 games. The Celtics were finally shot in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals, and rest, recovery, and health can play key roles in the Warriors and Celtics fighting for the ultimate prize. .

Entering the finals, the Celtics had to endure a seven-game winning streak. Their superstar, Jason Tatum, spent more than three hours on the court than Curry. As the Warriors hope for the return of Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr. And Andre Iguodala, with the three entering Game 1 as dubious, Marcus Smart and Robert Williams II also dubious to unlock the series is expected to be the day-to-day rest of the way.

The Warriors would never trade in any of their previous five trips to the Finals or the additional 105 games they played in that period. But taking a break and being able to re-evaluate from top to bottom brought them back to the top of the mountain. Maybe resting is really good every now and then.

This word is about to be an afterthought. Especially if it means another tournament in The Bay.

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