2. Golden State takes out Portland in the conference finals
In the Western Conference Finals, Golden State found itself matched up against the Portland Trail Blazers. Riding high off a thrilling seven-game series against Denver, the Blazers were looking to capitalize on the absence of Kevin Durant and turn this series on its head.
After a blowout loss in Game 1, Portland looked the part of spoilers in each of the next three games, building up leads as high as 17, 18 and 17, respectively. As we’ve come to see, however, no lead is truly safe against the Dubs.
In Games 2-4, the Warriors managed to come all the way back from their double-digit deficits despite having to re-accustom themselves to playing without Durant. It was just like old times, with the Big 3 of Curry, Thompson and Green all chipping in to complete the four-game sweep.
It was Draymond who appeared to be the most empowered in the absence of KD. With more control of the ball and his defensive energy continuing to rise, he put together stellar averages of 16.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 2.8 blocks and 2.3 steals a game.
Even with Durant out, the Warriors always seemed destined to advance to their fifth consecutive NBA Finals. How they got there was a journey made all their own, another testament to their talents and ability to power through and thrive during even the most insurmountable of deficits.