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What’s the most impressive thing about the Warriors’ undefeated playoff run?

The Warriors will enter the Finals having steamrolled their way through the Western Conference playoffs. Before fully turning our gaze forward, let's appreciate what's happened so far.

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NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

While the rest of the NBA universe debates whether the Warriors are boring, we here at Golden State of Mind have been sipping tea and just appreciating how amazing this team is.

Most of us on the GSOM staff are old enough to remember when the team needed 82 games just to earn a chance at winning 20 games. Now we’re undefeated on the way to a third straight Finals — something that only a few elite franchises have done — against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers! This is surreal and I think we're all trying wrap our heads around it.

But the journey to this point is worth appreciating on its own and as I've seen people point to the undefeated postseason, I've continued to think focusing on that doesn't really do their postseason run justice.

So here’s just a quick rundown of all the Warriors’ feats.

Draymond Green has cut down on the flagrant and technical fouls

Remember when Draymond Green was supposedly bad for the Warriors (or something) entering the season? I'm not going to bother giving any of those articles clicks, but we should probably at least acknowledge that he's shutting up his naysayers in a season that should conclude with a Defensive Player of the Year award.

So far through the playoffs, Green only has one technical foul and no flagrants, as noted by Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group.

...Draymond Green was suspended for Game 5 of last year’s Finals for accumulating his fourth Flagrant Foul point in the last minutes of Game 4, after accruing 3 points in the Western Conference playoffs.

Draymond currently has no flagrant foul points as this year’s Finals begin, and only one technical foul (his seventh technical would earn a one-game suspension but that’s hardly in view now). Last year, Draymond was called for five playoff technical fouls leading up to the Finals.

Okay, so this isn't really an “accomplishment”, per se, and certainly not a team achievement. But when considering how dire the consequences of his transgressions were in last year's Finals, it’s something to be happy about.

The Warriors were able to get through the Western Conference 12-0

So on to actual team accomplishments, the Warriors are the first team ever to go 12-0 entering the NBA Finals. But this accomplishment rings sort of shallow to me upon scrutiny.

First, previous teams didn’t have four best-of-seven series to even have a chance at this record; up until 2003, the first round was best-of-five. Second, I kind of agree with Green, as reported by AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today, about the significance of this feat:

"It means we got a little more rest, we played a few less games, but it's not like you get some trophy or something for being undefeated throughout the first three rounds of the playoffs. Like I've stated before, it's about winning the championship, and we're four games away from that. If that's 4-0, great. If it's 4-3, great. It doesn't matter how you get those four wins, as long as you get them, and that's our goal."

Had they gone 12-1, as the Cavaliers did, it's not like they'd somehow be less impressive or less in the Finals.

But the upside, according to Green, is that the Warriors enter the Finals well-rested. As described by Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group:

Draymond Green has played 239 fewer playoff minutes getting to the Finals this year than he did last season. Andre Iguodala has played 251 fewer playoff minutes through this point.

Curry would have played far fewer this year, excepting the five playoff games he missed due to injury last season and he is not limping into June this time....There might be some rust involved with the Warriors–as there seemed to be during the five-day break before WCF Game 1 against the Spurs this year–but I think the Warriors will take all this time off vs. all that desperation vs. OKC last year.

Again, in comparison to last season, that's really important. But I just think there are more impressive feats to be highlighted.

The Warriors are peaking at the right time

Remember when the Warriors lost consecutive games, power rankings dropped them from the top spot in the league and suddenly the sky was falling?

Yeah... about that...

Their impressive run over the last 82 DAYS probably won’t be honored as a milestone in anyone’s history book... but this is a team that is peaking and might still be peaking given how infrequently they’ve had their #fullsqaud together.

Last season, they started hot, won 73 games and then — for reasons that will be debated for eternity — flamed out over the final three games. This season, they come in on fire over an 82-day period. Which would you rather have?

The Warriors have a historic playoff point differential entering the Finals

Speaking of peaking at the right time, the Warriors didn't just win 12 playoff games in a row; they absolutely demolished everyone in their path with a historic level of dominance.

Their +16.8 point differential is the highest ever entering the Finals. Maybe some people are bored by this, but I look at this and see a historically dominant playoff run.

We are witnessing greatness. That they did all of that without coach Steve Kerr at the helm is even more impressive.

Warriors contending for greatest run of success in the Bay Area

This is more nostalgic than anything else, but is something I find worthy of more attention as a Bay Area sports fan. My first sports memory is of me sitting on my dad’s lap watching Roger Craig high step his way through the Miami Dolphins defense in the Super Bowl. My first sports heartbreak involved Kirk Gibson somehow getting the best of Dennis Eckersley. It’s hard to remember a more exciting time in the Bay than the Bay Bridge series. While the A’s have since fallen off, the Giants had that “even year” magic going that was really hard not to get wrapped up in, even as an A’s fan.

The Bay Area has a rich tradition of pro sports success with the Oakland A’s, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and San Francisco Giants all having iconic moments and runs of success in their respective leagues. I mean, those teams defined sports success for me growing up and it was hard to imagine the Warriors ever reaching that level. If the Warriors can win their second title in three championship appearances, they’ll have a much stronger argument for owning the greatest run in Bay Area professional sports history. That might not mean much to people outside the area, but it is once again one of those things that feels surreal because I have those other teams on a pedestal of greatness that seemed unattainable.

The 2017 NBA Finals will culminate in a meeting between two dominant teams

I’m just baffled at the idea that you wouldn’t want two dominant teams facing off for the championship. The Warriors are both favored and stacked, sure, but after last year can you really count James out in any rational manner?

Any real competitor wants to prove themselves against the best. NBA fans will witness two juggernauts facing off for an unprecedented third straight time.

How can you not be excited about that?

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