Golden State Warriors: New and improved, and back in the conference finals

Golden State Warriors huddle (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)
Golden State Warriors huddle (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /

With a slightly adjusted roster, the Golden State Warriors are back in the Western Conference Finals. 

The last time the Golden State Warriors were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs was back in 2019. It was pre-pandemic and before Kevin Durant had decided to leave the franchise. Roughly three years later, the Warriors are back in the conference finals. But this is far from that same team.

When the Warriors lost in Games 6 of the NBA Finals to the Toronto Raptors in 2019, there were real questions surrounding that core. Kevin Durant had suffered a significant injury and was an impending free agent, Klay Thompson had also suffered a significant injury, and was on the other side of 30.

Even though the Warriors were coming off a stretch of winning three championships in five seasons, it was beginning to feel as if their loss to the Raptors in the Finals was the beginning of the end of a dynasty.

And the start of the offseason certainly felt that way. Durant eventually left Golden State and decided to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, Thompson would go on to miss the next two seasons with back-to-back significant injuries, and Curry also battle injuries issues during the 2019-20 NBA season.

During the 2020-21 NBA season, the Warriors (technically) didn’t qualify for the postseason. They lost in the Play-In Tournament.

Nevertheless, the 2021-22 version of the Warriors is a much different team but they’re just as dangerous as the 2018-19 version of the Warriors. Over the past two offseasons, the Warriors have done a great job of rebuilding the roster around Steph.

Since Durant’s departure, the Warriors have added Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga, Gary Payton II, and Otto Porter Jr. What they lost in Durant (and two playoff appearances), the Warriors gained in depth.

Now, as they clinched a trip to the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors are arguably the deepest team left in the league. With the same top-tier punch of Stephen Curry, a rehabilitated Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.

Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat continue to dominate under the radar. dark. Next

They may have taken a couple of years off, but now that the Warriors are making a deep run in the postseason again it appears that the dynasty is back on.