The 2018-19 NBA season was full of ups and downs for the Warriors. They faced injuries, an in-game feud between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green that was caught on camera and non-stop scrutiny from the outside with their every move.
Golden State was coming off back-to-back championships and four straight trips to the NBA Finals. They were drained, to say the least.
"This regular season was the hardest one we've ever had in terms of keeping everything together," Steph Curry said to the New York Times' Sopan Deb in a feature that ran Friday. "Not because of anything more than it's just mentally challenging to perform at this level every single night."
And then came the playoffs.
"When we got to the playoffs, it was the most fun I think we've had, minus the injuries, obviously," Curry said. "That was tough all the way across the board.
"But it was as fun, if not more, than years past. Because one, we were challenged. Two, there was a constant communication in the locker room like, ‘Yo, this is what we live for.'"
The rest of the NBA was gunning for the Warriors. The Clippers took them to six games in the first round of the playoffs. DeMarcus Cousins tore his quadriceps in the second game of that series. Durant strained his right calf in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals. That's just the start of the adversity, too.
Curry dealt with injuries, as well. As did Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney. Every time it felt this could be the end of the Warriors, they seemed to dig deep and silence all the negative noise.
Finally, it was too much to handle as the Warriors were downed by the Raptors in the six games in the Finals, ending their hopes of a three-peat.
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The Warriors have reached five straight Finals. They've won three and lost two. They also lost two stars in Durant (ruptured right Achilles) and Thompson (torn left ACL), who will be out for most -- if not all of -- next season, if they re-sign with Golden State in free agency.
Curry and the rest of this squad have been challenged before, and they'll be challenged again. If we've learned anything, it's that this team will be up to the adversity.