It would be a mistake to think that the Warriors are going to go away with a whimper. They are, after all, the defending champions.
But they also must win three straight, given that they’re down by a 3-1 count in their Western Conference semifinal series vs. the Lakers. Game 5 is Wednesday night at Golden State.
And from the sounds of things, Hall of Fame center and TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal thinks the Warriors still have a fighting chance.
“Oh, it’s still great … You’ve got to put the champs away,” O’Neal said on Inside the NBA, via Aaron Abhishek of Fadeaway World. “Champs ain’t gonna lay down. This ain’t Memphis, the champs ain’t gonna lay down. Steph Curry, the greatest shooter in our game, missed those last two shots.
“You don’t think he’s gonna be pied off? And he’s a dog, when dogs get pied off, they come ready to play the next game.”
Perhaps. But as we learned last game, the Warriors will need someone, anyone to step up and give Curry some help.
Klay Thompson scored just nine points and looked old and worn down in Game 4. Jordan Poole had a nightmare of a night with zero points. Andrew Wiggins was good, but has been unsteady in the playoffs. Draymond Green hustles and plays defense, but he’s not about to light up the scoreboard.
For much of the season, the Warriors have resembled a one-man show. That’s not how they became a modern dynasty. The only way O’Neal will be right is if they go back to what won it for them last year — using chemistry, depth, defense, and yes, a whole lot of Steph.
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