Round 4, Game 1: Warriors 104, Cavaliers 89

Posted in Golden (State) Years on June 3rd, 2016 by bill

I got this one.

“It was weird, but it was fun.”
– Stephen Curry

The Warriors’ slogan has been “Strength in Numbers” for a couple years now, and while that’s approaching the status of a cliche, there’s a lot of truth in it. Team beats individual every time. This effect was on full display in Game 1 of the Finals, when the Splash Brothers struggled all night, ending up 8-for-27 from the field for a combined 20 points. That was strange enough, but what was even stranger was that it did not matter at all. The rest of the team took up the slack and didn’t just eke out a win; they outplayed the Cavaliers in convincing fashion.

The W’s leading scorer was Shaun Livingston (20 pts, 8/10 FG, 0 turnovers), who had his midrange jumper in sizzling form. Leandro Barbosa, little used recently, tallied 11 in 11 minutes, repeatedly tormenting the tenacious but slow afoot Matthew Dellavedova. Draymond Green scored 16 and presumptive Finals MVP Andre Iguodala 12, and the whole team pitched in to play stellar defense. Even coach Steve Kerr got into the act, logging his third broken clipboard of the season to help the guys stay motivated in the second half.

This is only one game, obviously; things can change a lot over the course of a seven-game series. But it’s not a good sign for Cleveland that the Warriors’ best players had off nights and they still won easily. At one point late in the game ABC flashed a stat showing the W’s top 6 scorers of the night, and there was no one named Curry or Thompson among them. (In the end, Steph hit a late three to pass Andrew Bogut for the 6 spot.) We sat here somewhat flabbergasted on the living room couch, dodging the persistent summer sun that sometimes makes it hard to see what’s happening onscreen.

We’ll all suit up again for Game 2 on Sunday. Will the Splash Bros break the 20-point barrier this time? Um, take the over.

NBA Finals Predictions 2016

Posted in Golden (State) Years on June 2nd, 2016 by bill

Why can't we just get along?

Game 1 of the NBA Finals will tip off in a couple hours, and not a moment too soon. In the absence of actual news, the internet spits out an endless stream of overanalysis, speculation, and outright blather. It was news today that Steph Curry uses Uber to get around town, apparently disappointing those hoping to see him float by on a magic carpet.

Which frankly, at this point, would not surprise me that much.

In the meantime, here are a few predictions about the series, none of them of any significance whatsoever.

  • Kevin Love will wear a cup.
  • The two teams will obliterate the previous Finals record for threes attempted and made. Both of them love to launch up long-distance shots, with the Cavs owning the current record for the most made in a game at 25. Klay Thompson just set the individual record with 11, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that record doesn’t survive the series. It wouldn’t surprise me if Steph hit 12 in a game, then Klay hit 13. Being a fan of this team has inflicted serious damage on my ability to be surprised.
  • Draymond Green will get a technical foul in Game 1, bringing him right to the brink of a suspension. In subsequent games, anytime he starts to approach a referee, one of his teammates will kick him in the crotch. For the good of the team.
  • LeBron will be unhappy with a call and stare down the ref with that “Don’t you know who I am?” look.
  • If the Warriors lose, a gloating Charles Barkley will explain how it was inevitable. If they win, he will find some reason to undermine the legitimacy of their accomplishment. Because that’s how the Chuckles do.

And that’s probably enough for now…my battery is low and there are chores to do before gametime. How crazy is it that the W’s are in the Finals for the second straight year? It used to be a pipe dream that they would ever play games in June, and here we are. Indeed do many things come to pass.

Round 3, Game 7: Warriors 96, Thunder 88

Posted in Golden (State) Years on May 31st, 2016 by bill

Yeah, it feels good.

A week ago it seemed like the world was coming to an end. The Warriors had gone down 3–1 in their series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, losing two games in OKC by 28 and 24 points. Steph Curry looked like a regular human, turnovers were running rampant, the defense was porous and disorganized. The lasting image stuck in everyone’s minds was Draymond Green kicking a 7-foot New Zealander in the stones.

But today the sun is shining, birds are singing, and the Warriors are headed to the NBA Finals after finishing off the Thunder in a heart-bursting, head-spinning, highlight-stuffed Game 7 in Oakland.

It was ugly early, with both teams struggling to score, but the Dubs struggling much more. At the 6:15 mark of the 2nd quarter they were still stuck on 22, with the Thunder having managed a relatively robust 35. That was when Klay Thompson made his first three-pointer of the night, and the lid finally came off the basket. The home team closed to within 4 at 37–33, but then seemed to lose focus for awhile, and it took a ridiculous left-handed high-arcing layup from Steph Curry to get them within 6 at the half.
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Round 3, Game 6: Warriors 108, Thunder 101

Posted in Golden (State) Years on May 29th, 2016 by bill

In a word: Yes!

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.
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