Location: Evergreen Ave.
Personnel: Me, KT, Johnny the cat (special guest appearance), Sid the cat
T-shirt: Basic Black
The downside of winning a seven-game series is that you get stuck with a quick turnaround to the next game. The Warriors have only themselves to blame for this: They could have won Game 6 against the Kings, but noooooooo, they have to do things the hard way.
It seemed like no one was ready for the game last night — not the players, not the Chase Center crowd, not yours truly. Who was ready was Anthony “Street Clothes” Davis, who spent 44 minutes in uniform and tortured my team for all of them, ending up with 30 points, 23 rebounds, and 4 blocks. His buddy LeBron James added three blocks and ultimately I think that was what made the difference in the game — repeatedly the W’s waltzed into the lane, which had been such a friendly environment during the Sacramento series, only to see their shot attempts flying back over their heads.
The block is somewhat underrated as a stat — not only does it save a basket on one end, it often ignites a fast break on the other end, and is just plain demoralizing to an opponent. Keeping away from those long arms is an adjustment the W’s will have to make in Game 2, which is tomorrow, when I assume the sense memory of all those swats will be fresh.
Despite all that happened, the Warriors hung in most of the game, and only started to fade in the 4th quarter. With about 6 minutes left the Lakers were up 112–98 and a sense of doom had settled over the arena. It was at this point that I texted, “Would be nice to make a run instead of just lay down and die.” And I meant it: Win or lose, you want to finish strong.
Lo and behold: The W’s ran off 14 in a row to tie the game. But in the last two minutes they appeared to run out of gas. D’Angelo Russell made a layup, LBJ added a free throw, and with 9 seconds left, Jordan Poole (who had a bounceback game) had a good look at a (super-long) three-pointer that would have tied it. But it was not to be.
The optimist will say, well, the W’s lost the first two games of the last series and were fine. The pessimist will say, yes, but those were road games; losing home-court advantage is a real problem.
Which it is. But this team likes to create problems for themselves. I trust them to sort it out, because what choice do I have? I’ll be back in front of my TV at 6 PM tomorrow.