And, oh, yes, that 21-point loss to the Cavaliers in Game 4 was the loudest alarm the Warriors have heard since opening night of the regular season, when San Antonio Spurs barged into Oracle Arena and impolitely reminded them that, no matter the number of stars on the roster, victory on most nights in the National Basketball Association is not given but taken.
Irving scored 40 points in the Game 5 win at Golden State past year, hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer in the final minute of Game 7 and scored 40 more on Friday, raising his average in those elimination games to 32.5 points per game.
From Curry's perspective, it simply about being more assertive himself when he has the ball, and not be so quick to pass out of a situation coming off a screen and allow the Cavaliers to close in with a double team. The Cleveland Cavaliers are fresh from the Game 4 blowout of 137-116 and certainly are gunning for a repeat to live another day.
The Warriors still have ample chances to win their second title in three seasons over the Cavs, something they failed to do last season.
"That's a big difference", Golden State guard Klay Thompson said.
Curry will need to be back to that kind of player again in Game 5 to finally put away the Cavaliers, to chase away the demons from last year's collapse.
Durant also refused the notion that he wanted to help Warriors avenge their Finals meltdown past year. Durant wants his first championship.
That's the mentality Cleveland brought into Game 4 last Friday night. Durant was ineffective from beyond the arc (matching Curry's two for nine mark from deep); however, he made up for it by relentlessly attacking the rim to the tune of a game-high 16 free throw attempts and 35 points on just 22 shots. I hope we're a little more nervous. "Nervous is good. Appropriate fear is the Gregg Popovich line".
The All-Star forward said after the game that he knew the first technical was not his.
"When he's open, he's going to make shots", Lue said.
However, Cleveland's performance in Game 4 was a record-setting outlier, and the other three games in the series point to a marked Golden State advantage.
They practiced it several times as heads turned in Oracle Arena to watch and listen. "But there should be no excuse in our home building playing at home".
The Cavs became the first team in National Basketball Association history to recover from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals last season.