Sure, the Warriors lost by 40 points in their regular-season finale. And yeah, they lost 10 of their final 17 games, and played awful defense during that stretch, and bickered publicly.
Like the time Steve Kerr blamed his players for not playing hard enough. Or, the time Kevin Durant blamed Kerr for hurting team morale by not making better game plans and not settling on a starting rotation.
For more than a month, the Warriors seemed to be collapsing without their best player, Stephen Curry.
But, that month doesn’t matter anymore.
The Warriors are in the playoffs now, and will turn things around and beat the San Antonio Spurs, who aren’t that good.
The Warriors lucked out drawing the Spurs in the first round.
Let’s break down the matchups and find out.
Point guard: Dejounte Murray vs. Quinn Cook.
This would be a big advantage for the Warriors if they had Curry, but he’ll miss this series with a sprained MCL. His replacement, Quinn Cook, started the season in the G League, has played only 47 games in the NBA and has no playoff experience.
Cook’s strength is his shot. He made 44.2 percent of his 3-pointers in 33 games with the Warriors this season. His counterpart, Dejounte Murray, made only nine 3s all season. Cook has the shooting advantage in this matchup.
But Murray is an excellent defender, and he’s 6-5. Cook is only 6-2. Cook could struggle shooting over the bigger, longer Murray.
And Cook could struggle guarding him. Murray is a terrific ball handler who’s extremely quick. Cook is not so quick. If Cook can’t keep Murray out of the lane, the Warriors may keep Cook on the bench and use a better defender in his place.
Shooting guard: Danny Green vs. Klay Thompson
Green and Thompson are similar players.
Both are big guards — Green is 6-6, Thompson is 6-7. Both shoot well. And both play good defense.
But, Thompson plays better defense, and Thompson shoots a higher percentage, and Thompson is a four-time All-Star, while Green is a no-time All-Star.
Small forward: Kyle Anderson vs. Kevin Durant
Let’s see, the best small forward in the Western Conference versus Kawhi Leonard’s backup. Hmmm.
Durant averages 26.4 points and makes 41.9 percent of his 3s. Leonard's backup averages 9.7 points and makes 33 percent of his 3s. Hmmm.
This matchup would be interesting if Leonard were in it. He probably won’t be, although the Spurs haven’t ruled him out. He missed 73 games this season. He is the Spurs' best offensive and defensive player, and he gives Durant problems. Kyle Anderson will not give Durant problems. He will give Durant open shots.
The Spurs will have to try to guard Durant with someone other than Anderson.
Power forward: LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Draymond Green
This is the most important matchup on the court.
Aldridge is the Spurs' best offensive player while Leonard is out. And Green is the best Warriors defender. Whoever wins this matchup very well could decide the winner of the series.