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SECOND OVERTIME: Keeping the faith on these weary Warriors


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- To those with deep religious roots, faith is the belief in something they don't see. In sports, faith is the belief in something that's already been seen.

Through the course of this immensely challenging season --- a spate of injuries, a renewed threat from the Houston Rockets, internal strife, among other distractions --- my faith that the Golden State Warriors will win another NBA title has never wavered.

I saw them do it thrice in the last four years. I see them doing it again this June, this time in a historic three-peat that hasn't been accomplished since the 2000-02 L.A.Lakers that were headlined by the jarring and sometimes warring duo of Shaq and Kobe.

Which brings us to the ongoing 2019 NBA Finals, a bare knuckled and extremely physical brawl against the relentless Toronto Raptors.

Currently tied at 1-1 heading into Game 3 Thursday morning at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, doubt has once again accompanied these Warriors. And for good reasons.

Kevin Durant, the team's playoffs leading scorer with 34.2 points per, is out with a calf strain. Kevin Looney has been ruled out for the rest of this championship series with a rib injury. Klay Thompson hurt his hamstring late in Game 2. Andre Iguodala is banged up and DeMarcus Cousins is still working to find his sea legs after a long layoff.





Photos: The author chats up with the Warriors core of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and coach Steve Kerr.

But as the injuries pile up and the pressures rise, I still think Golden State will come out on the bright side. Warts, Kawhi Leonard, and all.

Steph Curry is on a mission and he will not be denied. With Durant reduced as cheerleader, Curry has quietly assumed the leadership mantle to the tune of 27.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists per.

Klay Thompson, the other half of the Splash Brothers, has awoken from an early postseason slumber and is hitting 41.1 percent from 3-point range.

Draymond Green continues to be a conveyor belt for triple-doubles, averaging 13.6 points, 9.9 boards and 8.3 dimes an outing.

Andre Iguodala is norming what appears to be a harmless 9.7 points per, but he remains lethal in the clutch, while the reserves have answered when the going rough, especially in that Game 2 where Golden State had to climb out of a 12-point hole.

Another added ace that reinforces my faith upon these Warriors is head coach Steve Kerr.

The 53-year old has come a long way from being a former Bulls reserve to team executive, to TV analyst, and now one of the brightest minds to ever straddle the NBA sidelines.

Playing under both Gregg Popovich and Phil "The Zen Master" Jackson, Kerr has applied his acquired knowledge well, devising winning schemes on both ends of the floor while spectacularly managing the egos of a team loaded with All-Stars and future Hall-of-Fame inductees.

With Kawhi Leonard and a band of fearless Raptors on the other side, the Warriors will be tested. And they will pass with flying colors.

Another June. Another championship.

How sweet it is.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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