With the NBA Finals beginning Thursday night, we did a Q&A with someone that knows the Warriors as well as anyone else, Andy Liu of WarriorsWorld. You can follow Andy on Twitter @AndyKHLiu. Here’s the Q&A:
Dylan Burd: If Chris Paul played Game 6 and 7, would the Warriors still be Western Conference Champs?
Andy Liu: I truly have no idea. Part of me thinks the Warriors come out feistier in both a Game 6 and 7 first half if they knew Chris Paul was healthy. I’d lean towards yes given the fact that they’d win a Game 6 regardless with Chris Paul playing and Steph and KD’s explosion in the second half in Game 7 was likely enough to get them over the hump. The more interesting question is why are we acting like the hamstring pull is a freak injury? For a six-foot point guard going all out on both sides of the floor, wasn’t this bound to happen?
Dylan Burd: What was your take on the refereeing of Game 7? Was it really as lopsided as everyone is saying?
Andy Liu: Sure. But for a team that has baited refs and looked for fouls all season, it feels a little like karmic irony that they went down blaming the refs. It’s a Game 7. If you’re trying to draw fouls and rely on officials to win you a ballgame, that speaks more to your gameplan than anyone else’s. Keep in mind too that the Warriors had Stephen Curry out early due to a few phantom foul calls in Game 4 that put the Rockets up big early. And Klay Thompson was in foul trouble in Game 7 and wasn’t even on the floor for most of the first half. It’s not in your control so why complain about the refs? Maybe make a few of those 27 3s? People always want to blame someone else when the fault is usually within the person talking loudest.
Dylan Burd: The Warriors opened -1100 for the NBA Finals. Too much? Too little? What’s your take on the odds?
Andy Liu: Unless something drastic happens, and I mean more than just injuries and suspensions, the Warriors should remain at whatever odds they are at right now. But with those numbers, it feels more like a stay-away given the amount of money you have to put down to return a profit.
Dylan Burd: If the Warriors do win the NBA Finals this year, how much longer do the 4 all-stars stay together? Do you see any of them leaving anytime soon? Is your answer the same if they lose?
Andy Liu: Steph and Klay aren’t going anywhere. Draymond Green likely isn’t either. For Kevin Durant, there were many moments during that series that made it feel like he was ready to bolt if and when the Warriors lose. Instead, he came up largest in a Game 7 and this team may have figured out a new pecking order, chemistry, and a longer dynasty than what it felt like just a week ago. The issues the Warriors ran into in Year 2 of the superteam should have come Year 1 but they couldn’t prolong the inevitable. Now that they’ve survived heartbreak, they may have figured something out, and here’s my guess that they do stay together for at least the next 3 years, into Chase Center.
Dylan Burd: NBA Finals prediction. How many games? Who wins MVP?
Andy Liu: Warriors in 5. Steph.