The Toronto Raptors’ 114-110 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday marked the end of the 2019 NBA Finals, but Draymond Green cautioned against those who thought it marked the end of his team’s dynasty, as well.
“Everybody thinks it’s kind of the end of us,” he said, per Reid Forgrave of CBS Sports. “That’s just not smart. We’re not done yet.”
Stephen Curry echoed that sentiment:
Reid Forgrave @ReidForgrave
Steph: “I wouldn’t bet against us, being back on this stage next year.”
It’s hard to bet against Golden State considering it won three of the last five NBA titles and a record 73 games during a regular season in that span. It is one of the best runs in league history and didn’t feature a single postseason loss before the Finals while rostering a combination of future Hall of Famers in Curry, Klay Thompson, Green and Kevin Durant.
However, there are plenty of question marks surrounding the team after this loss.
From a pure health standpoint, Durant ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 and will likely miss the entire 2019-20 season. Thompson suffered a knee injury Thursday and was seen on crutches. Kevon Looney and DeMarcus Cousins also battled through injuries in the postseason.
“What matters is Kevin Durant is going to miss next season with an Achilles tear,” head coach Steve Kerr told reporters . “What matters is Klay suffered a knee injury. We’ll know more later. But it’s just brutal, just brutal what these guys have had to deal with.”
It goes beyond the physical concerns, though, as Durant has a player option for next season and Thompson can become an unrestricted free agent. Cousins and Looney can also become unrestricted free agents.
What’s more, key role players Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston will be 36 and 34 years old next season, respectively. Both looked significantly slower during the Finals than they were at the start of this Warriors run and figure to take another step back by next playoffs.
Golden State showed the heart of a champion by battling through so many setbacks in these Finals and still pushing the Raptors to a nail-biter in Game 6. It will have to show that type of heart again to overcome so many question marks and keep the dynasty rolling.