A lot has changed since the Warriors’ epic 2015 title victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Now, it’s a familiar, if not necessarily pleasant, situation.
This season, the Warriors have the NBA’s best record.
They’re in a tie with the Spurs for the best record in the NBA.
They are tied with the Clippers for the second-best record in NBA history.
And they are in the top five in the league in points per game.
But there’s more to it than that.
The Warriors, as usual, have been an elite team this season.
They’ve scored more than 30 points per 100 possessions in four of the past five games and have scored more points than the Clippers in five of the last six.
They have played a more balanced and disciplined style of basketball than any other team in the modern NBA era.
They rank in the Top Five in points scored per 100 minutes and have been more efficient offensively than any team in NBA playoff history.
Now, the big question is, will they continue to play the way they have been or will they get even more creative?
They are one of the most efficient teams in NBA Playoff history.
They have a top-five offensive rating in the postseason.
They lead the league with a 112.7 point differential.
The only teams they are more efficient at?
The Clippers, Spurs, Golden State and Oklahoma City.
The Warriors’ offense has gone from being a weakness to a strength.
They led the league last season in points allowed per 100 plays.
But now they are starting to look like the most lethal offensive team in basketball.
They average 116.3 points per 50 minutes in the playoffs, according to Basketball Reference.
The Thunder, Warriors, Clippers and Thunder are the only teams that average more than 117 points per half in the regular season.
With the Thunder’s offense, the Thunder are averaging just 87.3 possessions per 48 minutes.
In a season in which the Warriors are the league’s best team, that’s an average of just 16.7 possessions per game, according the Elias Sports Bureau.
On defense, the Clippers and Spurs are the most effective teams in the Western Conference.
They allow the fewest points per possession.
The Clippers have the best defensive rating in NBA Playoffs history.
The Spurs allow the second fewest.
But they are still among the league leaders in points surrendered per 100 shots.
When you think about it, that means that the Warriors could be a very dangerous offensive team.
What’s even more impressive is that they’ve been able to maintain their dominance in the Finals, despite being one of four teams that didn’t make the finals last season.
There are two teams that could be in that conversation this season: Golden State (top four in the West) and the Thunder (middle of the pack).
That dominance has come to a halt for the Warriors as they enter the final stretch of the season.
The Cavs are in their fourth consecutive conference finals appearance.
That streak has resulted in the Cavs dropping the first two games of the series.
They had the lead going into the fourth quarter, only to come back and defeat the Warriors 110-110 on Sunday.
How the Warriors got here is a story in itself.
It’s the story of two teams who have both experienced major upsets in their careers.
“We’ve seen it happen before,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
“This year we’ve seen two teams in particular, the Spurs and the Clippers, who have really shown us how to play with a sense of urgency.
So we know what it takes to play at this level.
We have to have that confidence, and we have to play as if we’re going to win.”
The last time the Warriors were in the finals was 2010.
It was the last time they made it to the NBA finals.
They went on to lose to the Lakers in seven games.
This year, they are a team that is coming off a title and is looking to bounce back from an embarrassing season.
The Spurs are another team that has been around the block before.
They won the 2011 title and were runner-up to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2014 playoffs.
This season, they have a better record than the Warriors.
They also finished second in the East.
It’s the Warriors who are looking to return to their Finals glory.
And if they can keep the Spurs at bay, they should be able to put together another incredible run.