Historical narratives often have the effect of washing away the fine details of events in favor of overarching stories of heroism or tragedy.
When Stephen Curry when down with a knee injury in Game 4 against the Houston Rockets, the odds makers immediately made the San Antonio Spurs the favorites and some people (briefly, particularly before the unfortunate injuries to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin) doubted whether they could even make it out of the second round. And that set up arguably the biggest postseason test that the Warriors have faced in their recent postseason history: what is this team without two-time MVP Steph Curry?
Nobody can truly claim that they knew for certain what this team could be entering a series without the benefit of Curry's swagger, which set up a performance that might have been more illuminating than any we've seen recently.
We knew the Warriors would play differently without Curry, but over the course of the series against the Rockets and Blazers, we might also have learned that the Warriors still have yet to reach their peak potential as a unit — in some ways, playing without Curry showed us just how much everyone else can do when forced to step up and possibly what type of potential could be unlocked if they could find a way to get more out of everyone else when Curry is around.
In the end, of course, Curry came out and saved the day by putting up the kind of legendary performance (while being awarded a unanimous NBA MVP award) that tends to hasten the washing away of find details — when we look back at this series, we're far more likely to remember Curry's record 17-point overtime performance than Klay Thompson's 31 points per game on a .652 TS%, Draymond Green's triple-double in a Game 1 win and career-high 37 points in the Game 3 loss, or Festus Ezeli saving the day in Game 2.
There was a lot that happened in the course of this series. So much so that it's hard to just move on without taking some time to fully appreciate it and reflect on all that happened. So, I close with two simple questions: what impressed you most? And who was your series MVP, taking into account that the Warriors earned two wins without Curry before he came back and closed the deal?
Check out the series stats from Basketball-Reference above, vote in the poll below, and let us know your highlights from the series in the comments.