The Warriors advance to the Western Conference Finals by dodging the famous little ball and deciding to advance

San Francisco – Mike Brown looked worried at kevon looneyone of his soldiers from the past six seasons who did everything he asked with little or no fanfare on a Golden State Warriors A franchise full of touch and glory. Looney, who rarely plays in periods longer than six or seven minutes, headed for the 17th straight minute on the floor, on his way to a career high of 35 games.

“I kept looking at him because after the top five [minutes] He looked like he was dying. “And then after that, it looked like it got worse,” said Brown, the Warriors’ acting coach. And then every minute after that, I would just say, “Color, wait. Color, wait.”

Looney not only survived, but also thrived in the final quarter of Friday night’s 110-96 Game 6 win over Memphis Grizzliesand symbolized the theme of the game as the Warriors returned to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2019.

Just before the last bell, Brown walked the line of his fellow assistant coaches along the sideline. Kenny Atkinson hugs. Hug Bruce Fraser. Hugging Chris DiMarco.

Working as Head Coach with Steve Care Out due to health and safety protocols, Brown – recently appointed as the next Head Coach for Sacramento Kings They were caught in the crosshairs of the NBA Twitterati just 48 hours ago, when the Warriors received a fatal 5 defeat at the hands of the Grizzlies that we rarely see in the NBA playoffs.

However, by the end of Game 6, the Warriors had overcome the annoying Grizzlies, the fearless and ruthless youth, and the main reason for this was the modification of Brown, the technical staff and even the players.

Most of the conversation during and immediately after the Warriors’ first-round victory over Denver Nuggets It was the new version of the popular Junior Ball Warriors lineup. Stephen CurryAnd Jordan PaulAnd Klay ThompsonAnd Andrew Wiggins And Draymond Green He seemed unbeatable in their short stints together, leading many to suggest that the unit should start for the remainder of qualifying, or at least receive a larger portion of the minutes.

Against the Grizzlies, however, the lineup failed. again and again. When the star guards the Grizzlies Ja Morante Wounded in Game 3 and started Memphis Man Mountain Stephen Adams In games 4 and 5, the Warriors’ attack looked as futile as it had been all season. The little ball squad that was supposed to overwhelm defenses and raise Golden State’s championship hopes, racked up 94.5 points per 100 possessions in 25 minutes during the series.

“When Ga fell, we really realized after that [Game 5]“We have to adapt almost as if we were starting a completely different streak,” Green said. “Because that was a completely different team we played against the last three games.”

So the warriors had to decide on the sixth game. Do we head small and hope to take advantage of Adams’ lack of foot velocity, or do we try to match their size and make headway? A few minutes before tipping, the starting lineups were announced, and Looney was chosen to align with Adams.

It turned out to be a collective decision stemming from a conversation that began at the end of that horrific explosion in Memphis on Wednesday. Brown spoke with Carrie and Greene, who agreed that Lonnie was the man they wanted by their side. Not only does he bring in size and physique, but he’s also one of the key players left from the Warriors Finals. Kerr, who may be the biggest Looney fan in the world outside of his family, eventually signed off on the decision.

“When you look at the last eight quarters before this match, we controlled seven of them,” Green said of choosing to start Looney in Game Six. Start the match, and don’t worry too much about our goals… They made it clear they were going to beat us, and they were doing a good job. And getting Loon back into the starting line-up changed that.”

For the third game in a row, the Warriors’ offensive struggled most of the night. Thompson racked up several wins en route to the team’s top 30-point lead, but Curry and Paul couldn’t throw the ball into the ocean for the better part of the first three quarters. On top of the shooting struggles, the Warriors fell into their infamous habit of throwing the ball to the other team or out of bounds, making 16 turns during the first three quarters.

So how did they survive, especially when he was the Grizzlies Pavilion Dillon Brooks Public Enemy #1 at Chase Center Was he having the best game of his life? The warriors became old.

Looney was a threat from the jump, collecting 11 rebounds in the first quarter alone and finishing with 22 ridiculous boards on the night, half of which came on the offensive glass. It also helped neutralize Adams, who only had one offensive rebound for the match. The Warriors beat the Grizzlies by points in the paint, an area where Memphis has dominated all season.

It wasn’t just Lonnie who took in the message either. Green scored 15 rebounds. Wiggins had 11. Thompson had eight. Pull the curry down seven. Finally, the warriors collected a whopping 70 rebounds, including 25 rebounds on the attacking glass. For a match that was ugly offensively most of the night, it was the Warriors’ determination on defense and on the boards that qualified them for the conference finals.

“When we win the possession and possession match, we give ourselves a chance to win the match,” Brown said. “That’s great against a team of this size and those sports.”

Brown was right. In the end, the offense came in the form of 11 fourth-quarter points from Curry and another 10 from Wiggins. Thompson’s eighth 3-D indicator closed out the game and series with just under three minutes.

We can argue all day about whether what the Warriors have shown so far in the playoffs consider them worthy of a real title contender, but they showed something fundamental to the championship formula in Friday night’s closing game: resilience. The more cards a coach has to play – be it Kerr or Brown – the more likely he is to get an answer to any problem he faces. Needless to say, either Phoenix Suns or Dallas Mavericks It will present serious problems.

Planning will come later, however. Thompson and Carey said they will watch the Sunday 7 game between the Suns and the Mavericks, both as NBA fans and to get to know their next opponent. In the meantime, they’ll celebrate the once-ritual Western Conference Finals harbor with a renewed sense of appreciation.

“It’s unbelievable, knowing what we’ve been through over the past two years – six out of the last eight we have a chance to play in the Finals,” Curry said Friday night. “It’s a very cool vibe when you consider it as a group, because we didn’t do that with this group together. Especially special, you never take it for granted. Understand, that’s what it’s all about.”