It wasn’t the quick-release first 3 he tossed up to start the game that signified the probably return of the two-time MVP. It wasn’t the step-back trey over NBA Finals victim Matthew Dellavedova that brought back memories of the greatest times and the triumphant comeback of the greatest shooter of all time. It wasn’t until Stephen Curry, near the end of the first half, launched a 30-foot bomb a step in front of the Golden State Warriors logo with 22 on the shot clock that finally affirmed his arrival.
During the 117-92 blowout many of what made the Warriors great throughout the past 2.5 seasons rang true yet again. Andre Iguodala was the sparkplug off the bench on both sides with 15 points and a +19. Draymond Green dominated on defense and finished with an 8-10-8 stat line that would make 2015 Draymond happy. Klay Thompson played the steadying force with 21 points and 1 assist. The rest of the team sprinkled in 30 assists and a Matt Barnes pump up the crowd moment that would make We Believe proud.
But unlike last game, it wasn’t until Curry resembled his old self that this team became the juggernaut it was made to terrorize the NBA. Just a week or two ago, the rest of the NBA gloated in the struggles of the Warriors. The cocksure team that had seen Kevin Durant go down with a knee injury, lose the first seed, and fail to see the Curry we were all accustomed to. The Warriors started losing and reports surfaced of the locker room turning on the coach. Like much of the history’s greatest basketball teams, the Warriors had hit a rough patch.
Fast forward to March 20th and the Warriors sit two games ahead of the San Antonio Spurs, Durant is back in shootaround and slated to return near the end of the regular season, and most importantly, Curry had refound the confidence and success that’s shaken the rest of the NBA landscape to its core.
The Warriors are back on top in the regular season. Perhaps it’s the competition. Maybe it’s the home-cooking. Whatever it is, this part of the season seems a tad more sustainable than what’s ailed them in the past month.