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Warriors establish dynasty

Posted by Eric Fisher On June 9

With three NBA titles in four seasons, the Warriors are officially a dynasty.

The Warriors wrapped up their latest championship Friday with a 108-85 victory over the host Cavaliers, completing an impressive sweep over LeBron James & Company.

With their Big Four of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green signed for at least one more season, and with all of them between 28 and 30 years old, this dynasty may have a few more years left.

Who wouldn’t want to play alongside Curry, who is signed through the 2021-22 season? The contracts for Durant and Thompson expire after next season, but it’s difficult to imagine Durant wanting to leave after the success he’s enjoyed since signing with the Warriors.

The Warriors have won back-to-back titles and have been in the finals four straight seasons. That makes them an attractive destination for potential free agents. The Warriors don’t have the room under the salary cap to sign a superstar such as James or Paul George — unless they trade Thompson and his expiring contract — but they can attract quality role players to fill in around the core of their superior team.

The Cavaliers certainly didn’t have any answers for the Warriors. After missing a golden opportunity to win Game 1, an opportunity squandered when J.R. Smith inexplicably dribbled away from the basket in the final seconds of regulation instead of attacking the basket or putting up shot, the Cavaliers were no match for the Warriors. The Warriors won the next three games by 19, 8 and 23 points. Even the overtime of Game 1 was lopsided, with the Warriors immediately jumping out to a big lead and winning by 10.

The toughest challengers for the Warriors are the Rockets, who took them to seven games in the Western Conference Finals. If Rockets weren’t missing injured point guard Chris Paul for Game 7, we might not be talking about a Warriors dynasty. Other than the Rockets, though, there doesn’t appear to be many obstacles in the Warriors’ way. The three games they lost to the Rockets was one more than they lost in their other three series combined.

It seems as if the only thing that could interrupt the Warriors’ dynasty is James. After losing to the Warriors in the finals for the third time in four years, James could alter the balance by joining a Western Conference team. Imagine the Rockets with James. Or the Pelicans. Or the Spurs. If James joins a Western Conference team, that team would immediately become a prime threat to the Warriors’ dynasty.

If James signs with either the Celtics or Sixers, that team would be elevated to the top of the Eastern Conference. With a relatively smooth path to the NBA Finals, the Celtics or Sixers would become legitimate challengers to the Warriors’ throne.

But all of that is speculation. What the Warriors made clear with their sweep of the Cavaliers is that they are still the kings of the mountain — and may remain there for a few more years.

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