Warriors’ Finals loss might be key to dynasty

May 30, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) is congratulated by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) after game seven of the Western conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Thunder 96-88. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
May 30, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) is congratulated by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) after game seven of the Western conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Thunder 96-88. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The Golden State Warriors’ heartbreaking loss in the NBA Finals could be what propels them to being a dynasty.

The Golden State Warriors were five points away from securing their second consecutive NBA championship.

Winning their second title would have elevated them, giving them a new and improved place in history. They would have been the undisputed greatest team of all-time. The word “three-point” would have probably been trending almost immediately after the final buzzer. I wrote a piece detailing how the Finals was a battle between history and destiny. Had Golden State won, dynasty would have reigned supreme.

On the strength of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, the 73 win Golden State Warriors fell in seven games. The once-infallible world-eating Warriors, led by the game-changing unanimous MVP, would go home without the Larry O’Brien trophy.

The Warriors were sent into the offseason without having to prepare for a parade, faced with a plethora of questions. Joe Lacob and Bob Meyers have to look at their historic roster and evaluate how to prevent heartbreak next year.

Losing, oddly enough, might have made this easier.

If the Warriors had beaten James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, it seems that many of their free agent decision would have been clear. Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli would surely have been back and most likely on big contracts. Other guys like Leandro Barbosa and Marreese Speights would have probably worked out some deals too.

The Warriors, for as great as they were, were flawed. The Oklahoma City Thunder almost had them completely figured out. Tyronn Lue made all the right decisions, sending out lineups designed to neutralize everything Golden State did. The Milwaukee Bucks, in the regular season, had the blueprint for defeating the Warriors.

The Dubs didn’t know how to deal with length. When Stephen Curry played like a mortal, everything else fell apart. The team had a lot of shooting inconsistencies. Defenses figured out that if you put all your effort into eliminating Curry and Klay Thompson, you have a much better chance at beating the Warriors. Letting the Warriors’ Strength in Numbers beat you can actually work out for you.

Now that Golden State finally lost three games in a row and their first series in the Steve Kerr era, their weaknesses and their flaws have become more apparent. They now know that they need to retool. That having two offensive non-threats in your starting lineup makes you easy to defend. That in a league dominated by shooting, it’s best to have several guys that can create their own shot.

By losing, there’s a realization that this team still has holes. There are chinks in the armor that can be repaired through free agency. The supposedly perfect and mighty Warriors might not be as self-sustaining as they seemed to be. Every time Golden State faced adversity, they turned inwards, looking to the end of the bench for production. And it worked almost every time. They lived off of that until the Finals.

There’s a difference between going to a team that clearly doesn’t need you and one that needs you to reach the top. That’s not even limited to basketball; that’s life in general. But imagine being…oh, I don’t know, a former MVP or something, ready to enter the next stage of your career. And imagine being able to choose where you get to live and work. And imagine that there’s one place with an opening that suits your needs. And if you go to this place, you can achieve immortality.

Kevin Durant wouldn’t be a ring-chaser, he’d be a savior.

If the Warriors are looking to move on from Ezeli and Andrew Bogut, then guys like Al Horford and Dwight Howard have opportunities to be a guy that can make a great team even greater. Losing makes the Warriors more appealing now. There’s a need for someone to come in and put them over the top.

Acquiring a top free agent, especially one in his prime, to play alongside Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green for multiple years is enough to for a dynasty. Throw in a few more years of Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston and you’ve got yourself something special. Losing has given Golden State perspective. The league was catching up to them, especially to their players with limited abilities.

For many great teams, there’s a struggle in the climb to the mountain top. You make the playoffs for a few years, losing at different junctures until you finally break through. The Warriors, as presently constructed, didn’t have that struggle. Sure, they lose in the second round to San Antonio four years ago and lost to the Los Angeles Clippers in the opening round three years ago, but that’s not the same time that has been taken the floor over the last two seasons.

Nearly everything went Golden State’s way in the 2014-15 season en route to their first championship with a rookie coach and a new-look roster. They built on that won 73 games the following season and came within a few baskets of winning a second consecutive title. Part of why they blew a 3-1 lead, though, was complacent. There’s an expectation that everything will sort itself out for the Warriors. It didn’t this time.

And that’s great news for Warriors fans.

There aren’t that many competitors like Curry, Thompson, and Green. They will do whatever it takes to win. It’s clear that they hate losing. They thrive off proving people wrong and silencing doubters. It’s hard to believe they’ll get complacent again in their chase for a title.

Obviously, losing and losing in seven games isn’t fun. It sucks blowing a chance to repeat as champions. But it’s possible that, in the long run, losing was for the best. It now opens up the opportunity for free agent acquisitions and a new hunger for winning.

If you’re still struggling to cope with their loss, believe this. It makes it a little easier.