The Golden State Warriors seem to be heading for the race for their fourth NBA Championship in eight consecutive seasons.
They sidelined the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs in five games with an average of 118.0 points per game and 51.5 percent off the field and 42.2 percent from the 3-point range.
Some hailed Golden State’s success in that series as the crop of only one injured Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., although Denver won 48 games in the regular season without the two of them, just five less than Golden State.
But in the second round, the Warriors shifted things to a higher gear against the young and hungry Memphis Grizzlies.
Stephen Curry and company are beginning to show the strength of their championship, especially with close victories in Game 1 and Game 4.
On Wednesday, the Warriors started without a sweat with a 112-87 win over Luka Donsic and the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Final.
The best for the Golden State still seems to be coming.
Scattered luminosity, trend upwards
During the regular season, the Golden State was apparently never complete.
Clay Thompson missed the first half of the season after recovering from a torn Achilles, Drymond Green was out for 36 games and Curry missed the last 12 games of the schedule due to a foot injury.
After winning 18 of their first 20 games, the Warriors fought for most of February and March and finished third at the end of the season.
Curry is back for their play-off opener vs. Nuggets, and Golden State is starting to look strong for the first time this year while being completely healthy.
Against Ja Morant and Grizzlies, the Warriors look strong at times, but they mostly win the series based on their skills and experience rather than their skills and coordination.
This was evident in Game 1 when it was a defensive stop at Morant who won the game for the Warriors.
Stef Curry Block vs. Ja Morant
Warriors takes Game 1 vs. Grizzlies 6
– Frenzy NBA (renfrenzynba) May 1, 2022
Then in Game 4, it took a 39-point fourth quarter for them to scream 101-98.
– SportsGrid (portsSportsGrid) May 10, 2022
Morant suffered a knee injury in Game 3 that knocked him out for the rest of the series, and some think Memphis would have taken the series if not for that injury, especially considering how outstanding it was to look defensively without him.
They certainly gave the Warriors what they could handle in Game 5 by losing 134-95.
Against Dallas in Game 1 of the West Final on Wednesday, the Warriors played a tough game, but they probably only brought their B-game.
Their defense was outstanding, but they could have done better than shooting 34.5 percent from downtown and 7-of-16 from Curry Field and 3-of-9 from outside the arc.
What would it be like to see this Warriors team in peak performance?
To get a glimpse of the best version of the 2022 Warriors, check out Game 3 against the Grizzlies when they scored 142 points, shot 62.4 percent off the field and scored 53.1 percent from 3-point land with 34 assists in a 30-point win.
It’s a new team for the Warriors who haven’t been together before this season, and all their injuries in the regular season prevent them from making their initial chemistry.
They had to fly and do it, but it started to happen slowly.