Kurtenbach: Don’t take Curry, the Warriors’ unprecedented success for granted, Dubs fans

Don’t take this success for granted, Warriors fans.

What this team is doing is anything but normal.

Now, I’m not saying that the Warriors’ success is going to be short-lived. Far from it, in fact: the Dubs’ best might be yet to come.

But having the best record in the NBA after 25 games, with Steph Curry again in the MVP conversation, Draymond Green in the running for Defensive Player of the Year, and Steve Kerr a top candidate for Coach of the Year, all without Klay Thompson or former No. 2 pick James Wiseman in the fold?

That’s ridiculous.

The Warriors were in the wilderness for the last two years. The first season, post-Kevin Durant, was a catastrophe. Last year, the Warriors had to work hard all season to simply find one effective brand of winning basketball.

The Warriors’ days as the league’s top dog were over, it seemed. Such a decline would have been natural and expected.

What’s not expected is a team with the same core — in fact, less of it to date — repeating the title-winning magic of seven years ago.

They’re turning back time, defying the laws of nature and Naismith in the process.

Look at the Warriors’ opponent on Wednesday, the Portland Trail Blazers. (But don’t look too long, it’s an ugly sight.)

In the last normal playoffs in the before times, the Blazers were the Warriors’ opponent in the 2019 Western Conference Finals. Now, they were smoked in four games, but that team still fancied itself a title contender.

Now they’re a team in complete disarray. It’s a toxic situation.

And while not all of that regression we’ve seen from our friends up north is natural, a lot of it is.

Even the LeBron James-led Lakers have struggled to repeat success. They won their Mickey Mouse championship 14 months ago, and yet they are now a shell of the team they once were.

This is what happens to teams — they reach a peak and then complete the parabola with a decline.

The Warriors’ advantage was that they had arguably the highest peak in the history of the NBA. It held for a long time, too.

But this team’s arrow is pointing up as of late.

It’s abnormal. And forgive me if I missed something, but I can’t find a precedent for this.

Now, we’ll have to see if this revival results in the same kind of postseason success as the original team.

But when other teams re-started dynasties, they’ve done it with reinventions.

I’m not sure the 90’s Bulls count as a reinvention. Yes, they added key role players — Dennis Rodman, Toni Kukoc, Ron Harper, some guy named Kerr — but the reason their dynasty took a two-year hiatus had to do with Jordan leaving the game altogether. That’s a special circumstance, though perhaps you can make the parallel with Curry and his hand injury in 2019-2020.

The Lakers of the first decade of the century stand as a testament to the need to recreate. They won three titles with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, but then reinvented themselves as a more athletic squad, with Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, and Lamar Odom teaming up with Bryant. That edition won two more rings.

The Spurs had two distinct eras, too. They won three titles (2003, 2005, 2007) with the same, steady core of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan.

When they went to the NBA Finals in 2013 and 2014, the Spurs had added Kawhi Leonard, whose emergence in both seasons lifted the Spurs — in 2013 to the Western Conference crown, in 2014 to the title.

Yes, the core was the same, but there had been step-change.

Where’s the step-change with this Warriors team?

It’s already happened — Durant — and reverted back.

Forgive me for thinking that Jordan Poole does not rise to that standard of a Kawhi Leonard, but I don’t think his emergence counts as a valid reason why the Warriors are the team to beat in the NBA again.

And yes, Andrew Wiggins has been a revelation for the Dubs as of late, he’s simply playing the role of Harrison Barnes from 2015, albeit perhaps a smidgen better.

The Warriors went as far as to bring back Andre Iguodala for this 2015 revival.

Not someone who plays like Iguodala.

Actually Iguodala.

(Though that is debatable, as he hasn’t played in a long, long time. I joke, but is he Memphising the Warriors?)

I know retro and vintage are in these days, but the Dubs can’t win a title using a nearly decade-old playbook, right?

We’ll find out in a few more months.

But what the Warriors are currently doing is so incredible, I can’t help but laugh.

How great is this?

Too great to take for granted.

Yes, the Dubs have gone back seven years and are still setting the pace.

Maybe they were lightyears ahead back then.

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