Round 3, Game 5: Warriors 120, Thunder 111

Posted in Golden (State) Years on May 27th, 2016 by bill

When I bought my ticket for last night’s game I thought it would be a possible clinching game for the Warriors, not a possible elimination game. This series against the Oklahoma City Thunder has been a body-blow to the self-esteem of Dub Nation; suddenly our team is back on its heels, struggling to stay alive against a seemingly unbeatable opponent.

So the energy in Oracle Arena last night was nervous. Everyone was pumped, but you could sense an underlying dread — God, what if we lose this one and have to spend the whole offseason listening to the Warriors haters (of which there are many all of a sudden) crowing about the great regular season and playoff choke? Read more »

Round 3, Game 4: Thunder 108, Warriors 94

Posted in Golden (State) Years on May 25th, 2016 by bill

Error — does not compute.

Mo Speights quote of the day

Posted in Golden (State) Years on May 24th, 2016 by bill

“Hard days are the best because that’s when champions are made.”

Round 3, Game 3: Thunder 133, Warriors 105

Posted in Golden (State) Years on May 23rd, 2016 by bill

Uh-oh.

After two decades of pain, disappointment, and shame, for the last couple years, it’s been fun to be a Warriors fan pretty much every day.

Yesterday was an exception.

In their first playoff game ever in Oklahoma City, the W’s got destroyed. Their offense was disorganized, their defense was undisciplined, and they looked just generally lost. The officiating didn’t help matters; there were some truly perplexing calls, and while I can’t exactly blame a 28-point loss on the referees, they sucked all the life out of a game that was still in question in the second quarter.

But the low point had already come, way back in the 1st. Draymond Green drove with Steven Adams defending, a foul was called, and then…well…it looked for all the world like Draymond kicked the big Kiwi in the nads in purpose. I love Draymond to death, but that’s no way to act; we’re supposed to be the good guys. He was called for a flagrant foul and may end up being suspended for Game 4, which would be, in a word, bad.

It was a disheartening spectacle all around, and the doomsaying in the media has already begun. I’ll be doing my level best to avoid all the pointless chatter over the next couple days; in the end, it was just one game, and the W’s will have another chance to steal back home-court advantage on Tuesday. Till then, protect your vitals, everybody.

Round 3, Game 2: Warriors 118, Thunder 91

Posted in Golden (State) Years on May 19th, 2016 by bill

That was a little more like it.

The Nation was in a tizzy the last couple days, as it always is whenever the Warriors do the unthinkable, lose a game. And this time it was a playoff game, at home no less, so of course people were freaking out. I, fortunately, have my “Keep Calm and Curry On” shirt to remind me to keep things on an even keel.

But it didn’t help anybody’s nerves in the 1st quarter when Steph Curry chased a loose ball towards the sidelines and went flying into the stands. It was a bad moment for Warriors fans all around — especially those who chose to prioritize their own safety over helping Steph save himself, and most of all the guy who stood over his prone figure taking pictures.

Fortunately Steph was fine except for a tennis-ball-sized contusion near his elbow that didn’t seem to affect his shooting ability any. After Andre Iguodala ended the half with his signature move of the playoffs so far — scooping a deflected pass out of midair and somehow calculating the precise number of RPMs necessary to make the ball kiss off the very right-top of the backboard and drop softly through the net — Steph went a little crazy in the 3rd quarter. He scored 15 points in a stretch of less than two minutes, and the Thunder went away quietly after that.

Now the Dubs will have to play two games in Oklahoma City, one of the few places that can rival Oakland in the passion and volume of its fan base. And they will need to win at least one of those. Now there’s only 78 hours to kill till tipoff.

Round 3, Game 1: Thunder 108, Warriors 102

Posted in Golden (State) Years on May 17th, 2016 by bill

I found this picture on the website NewsOK.com, which captioned it ‘Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12) is fouled by Golden State.’ Em, wrong on several levels. But it was that kind of night.

For some reason, the Warriors’ losses are always a lot less fun to write about than their wins. But this is the task I have set for myself, so here we go.

Last night was Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder. It started well, with Andrew Bogut laying a hard foul on Russell Westbrook in the first minutes of the game. I don’t condone violence, but someone had to set the tone for this series, and Bogut was the guy to do it. The Warriors looked sharp for the whole first half, both on offense and defense, and it ended more or less as it had begun — with Klay Thompson sprinting to try to intercept a pass intended for Westbrook and crashing into him, sending both of them sprawling to the hardwood.
Read more »

Round 2, Game 5: Warriors 125, Blazers 121

Posted in Golden (State) Years on May 12th, 2016 by bill

The Warriors have won two playoff series and are still waiting for Playoff Barnes to show up.

All last night the announcers were saying that Game 5 was a “win or go home” situation for the Trail Blazers — which was not exactly right. Had there been a Game 6, it would have been in Portland, so they were going home either way. Thankfully they are going home by themselves, to watch the rest of the playoffs on TV and think of what might have been.

Although both the Warriors’ playoff series so far have gone 5 games, this one had a very different feeling from the Houston series. The Rockets never quite seemed to have what it took, whereas the Blazers challenged the W’s at every turn. It helped, of course, that Steph Curry missed the first three games; but for a team that wasn’t even supposed to make the playoffs this year, it was quite an impressive performance. The Blazers’ backcourt of Damien Lillard and C.J. McCollum were particularly formidable, and look set to do battle with the Splash Brothers for years to come.

So much for the fallen. Now the Warriors await the winner of the Spurs/Thunder series, which OKC currently leads 3 games to 2. I’ll be rooting for the Spurs tonight, and if there is one, in Game 7 too. Nothing against the Thunder, who boast two of the best players in the business; but many of us have been looking forward to a Warriors/Spurs series all season long and will feel cheated if we don’t get one.

Lurking in the distance, meanwhile, are the Cleveland Cavaliers, who haven’t lost a game in the playoffs yet and may get to the Finals without a scratch on them. Unlike last year, the Cavs are fully healthy and appear to be playing with some sort of cohesion. So that’s another thing to worry about, if you’re looking for one. In the meantime, the Golden State Warriors and their fans can take a well-deserved break.

Round 2, Game 4: Warriors 132, Blazers 125

Posted in Golden (State) Years on May 10th, 2016 by bill

Early yesterday word came down that Stephen Curry was going to be named MVP of the NBA for the second straight year, surprising absolutely no one. Quoth the Draymond: “I felt kind of bad today, because I didn’t tell him congratulations. Because I felt like I knew since December.”

Turns out not only did he win the award, he was the first unanimous MVP in the history of the league, garnering 131 first-place votes versus zero for everybody else combined.

But that’s not the crazy part.
Read more »

Round 2, Game 3: Blazers 120, Warriors 108

Posted in Golden (State) Years on May 8th, 2016 by bill

I think the Blazers won because of this guy.

It was a rough night for the W’s in Portland last night; they were off their game and the opposition Portland Trail Blazers were en fuego, with Damian Lillard (40 pts) being his dangerous self. Also the Warriors game plan apparently called for not guarding small forward Al-Farouq Aminu, who hit his first 8 shots without a miss. The Dubs didn’t quit, with Draymond Green hitting five 3s in the 3rd quarter to single-handedly keep them in the game; but in the end they ran out of gas and took the L.

It’s funny, I’ve brought so many people onto the bandwagon that whenever the Warriors lose a game, I am compelled to offer an explanation. In this case I feel like it’s pretty simple: The Blazers played great, the Warriors did not. The Blazers were in front of their home crowd, energized and inspired. The Warriors were not. It happens like that sometimes. Fortunately there’s another game tomorrow, and Steph Curry (remember him?) may or may not play in it. There’s not much more to say at this point. Keep calm and carry on.

Round 2, Game 2: Warriors 110, Blazers 99

Posted in Golden (State) Years on May 4th, 2016 by bill

Let's dance.

Until about 9:15 PDT yesterday, it really did not look like the Warriors’ night. For three quarters everything the Portland Trail Blazers threw at the rim had been going in, while the Warriors uncharacteristically struggled to find good shots, with Klay Thompson in particular launching some ill-advised prayers. The referees had not been helping, making a number of highly questionable calls both ways, but mostly against my team.

As usual I had a couple text threads going and certain people, I’m not going to name any names here, were freaking out a little bit. I’d like to say that my belief never wavered, but for a while there I was resigned to the W’s surrendering this one. They are after all playing without their best player, who is also the best player on the planet right now.

But it turned out there was nothing to fear. In the 4th quarter the Warriors calmly and methodically turned it up a notch, then another, then a final half a notch or so. They ended up outscoring the Blazers 34-12 in the quarter and winning the game going away. The final score makes it look like just another day at the office for the champs, which it was not. There was a desperate feel to the 3rd quarter, where the Dubs mounted repeated charges and the Blazers met every one with a run of their own.

Damian Lillard is a dangerous dude, and when he gets it going there’s not much anyone can do about it; he can pull up from just about anywhere and launch a shot. The irony is that in this game, while Lillard and backcourt mate C.J. McCollum were dominating from the perimeter, the Warriors were pounding it inside. They outscored the Blazers 56-28 in the paint, with Festus Ezeli contributing some huge minutes down the stretch.

Steph Curry may or may not be back for Game 3 on Saturday. It would be nice to have him, but the team is wisely going to be very cautious about his return. I like our chances either way; the heart the Stephless Wonders showed last night speaks volumes about them, and while I don’t generally wear a hat, consider it tipped.