Since the beginning of this season, the Golden State Warriors have gradually been getting their mojo back.
Klay Thompson returned after missing the past two seasons with two very serious lower-body injuries, Stephen Curry has proved he is just as great a player as he was when the Warriors won three NBA championships several years ago and the team has found new stars in Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole.
Golden State could very well win the world title again this season, which would give them four rings in the last eight seasons and make them a true dynasty.
But whether they go all the way this season or not, how much longer will they have as an elite team?
Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green Are Getting Up There In Age
The core that led the Warriors to titles in 2015, 2017 and 2018 isn’t young anymore.
Curry is 34 years of age, Thompson is 32 and Green is also 32.
The conventional wisdom is that once an NBA player gets to somewhere in his mid-30s, his game and effectiveness start to fall off a cliff and his body starts to fall apart and become injury-prone.
Curry has been somewhat injury-prone over the years, as he had ankle injuries early in his career and a couple of MCL sprains during the 2016 and 2018 seasons that forced him to miss some playoff games.
Of course, he had that severe hand injury that knocked him out of almost the entire 2019-20 campaign and a sprained ligament in his foot late this regular season.
However, he has shown no signs of aging.
Curry averaged 25.5 points and 6.3 assists per game in the regular season, and although his shooting percentages were subpar (by his standards), they returned to normal in February and March.
So far in the 2022 playoffs, the future Hall of Famer is putting up 27.3 points a game on 47.4 percent overall shooting and 38.6 percent shooting from 3-point range.
Thompson has been up and down returning from a torn ACL and Achilles, but at least once every few games, he plays like the Thompson of old, and he should keep getting better as he gets more of his legs underneath him.
I need to remind y’all that we would’ve been down 0-2 if it wasn’t for Klay Thompson. pic.twitter.com/t6muoZg4UP
— jose (@KlayForTrey) May 5, 2022
Green, meanwhile, has always looked like his vintage self this year.
All three of them rely on skill and resourcefulness rather than athleticism, which means that they should age gracefully, assuming they avoid major injuries.
New Blood Has Given The Warriors New Life
Another reason Curry, Thompson and Green will likely age gracefully is the emergence of new difference-makers for Golden State.
Guard Jordan Poole has been a revelation for head coach Steve Kerr.
He averaged 18.5 points a game in the regular season, and thus far in the playoffs, he has stepped it up to the tune of 22.3 points per game on 55.1 percent shooting from the field and 44.7 percent from downtown.
Jordan Poole today:
🔥 31 PTS
🔥 9 AST
🔥 8 REB
🔥 5 3PT
He’s averaging 22.7 PPG on 56.1% FG and 48.8% 3PT in six playoff games pic.twitter.com/6wEN8NhoMQ
— G League TV (@GLeagueTV) May 1, 2022
When the Warriors acquired forward Andrew Wiggins a couple of years ago, many weren’t sure if he would fit in with their culture and style of play, as he was then a low-efficiency player who didn’t play defense.
But since then, he has become a solid 3-point shooter, improved his decision making and become a strong defender.
Wiggins averaged 17.2 points a game in the regular season en route to a starting spot in the All-Star game.
If that wasn’t enough, Golden State has James Wiseman, a big man they drafted with the second pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, as well as wings Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, both of whom were lottery picks last year.
All of them will keep Curry, Thompson and Green young enough to give the Warriors at least two more years of title contention if they stay healthy enough.