Oh. My. God.
After 13 years of missing the playoffs, the Warriors shocked the world by squeaking into the 8th seed position with a 42 and 40 record on the last day of the regular season! It's only fitting, I suppose, that we get matched up with Goliath in the form of the Dallas Mavericks, a team who garnered the 6th best regular season record in NBA history at a staggering 67 and 15.
Alas. What can we do? Hell we already exceeded expectations simply by making it into the post season. Sure, we seemed to have the Mavs number during our regular season games but the playoffs are different, right? How can the Golden State Warriors run with the mighty Dallas Mavericks when the Mavs are thinking Championship and the Warriors are thinking, "Dude, we're actually on TNT?!" How can the Warriors, a petty 8th seed, take a best of 7 against a dominant 1st seed and accomplish something that has never been done in the history of basketball?!
Heart, baby. Heart.
The heart of Baron, who served as an inspiration to this team, even though his own physical pain. The heart of Biedrins, who grew up in front of our very eyes this season. The heart of Jason Richardson, who took personal responsibility for our previous seasons' failures and deserves tons of credit for our current status. The heart of Barnes, who has finally found his home and his role with this ballclub. The heart of Pietrus, who is developing into the perfect supplemental shooter and defender. The heart of Jackson, who consistently elevates himself to the elite in this league with every passing game. The heart of Nellie, who had the courage to recognize his team for the talent that they are, and not for the typecast the media wants them to be.
But perhaps most important, the heart of the fans, who have not only loyally stood by this organization through all of its... well, let's face it, downs; but who single-handedly turned the Oracle Arena into the LOUDEST, MOST FEARED VENUE FOR AN OPPOSING TEAM TO SET FOOT IN.
With all that heart, the only thing that shocks me is that we didn't sweep their asses.
"Open your history books class. Now turn to section "W". I think you'll find a new entry in there..."
Tonight's game may have ended in a blowout, but any true Dubs fan can attest that they were biting their nails the entire time. In a tumultuous first half, the Warriors displayed some dismal perimeter defense (allowing Stackhouse to drop bombs on us), played a lot of man to man offense, saw Baron nurse an injury that would have sent any other player but him to the showers, and, I'm sorry to say it, found themselves to be victims of the pretty questionable officiating. Yet when the halftime buzzer sounded, the Warriors were magically up by two.
It was in the third quarter that the magic really began. I can only assume that the realization of a Game 7 in Dallas lit a fire under these boys because they literally embarrassed the Mavericks. Outscoring them 36 to 15, the Warriors were raining threes, laying in floaters, and even dunking all over a very dejected looking Dallas. Hell, Jackson nailed 4 of his 7 (yes seven!) threes in that third quarter alone!
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Everything was right in the second half of this game. The Dubs were crashing boards, playing tight D, forcing turnovers, and distributing the ball like a Championship team. If they can find a way to harness the chemistry that they displayed in the third and fourth of this game...
I'll let you finish that sentence.
Let's talk more about the Arena for a second. That place was ELECTRIC! Warriors Nation has really stepped up to create a threatening environment to any road team. This is something that truly needs to be noted. Throughout this series, the crowd at the Arena has been given credit from both local and national media for elevating the Warriors to a higher level of play. There is a lot of truth to this. Anyone that has been to any of the home games in this series can attest to this. As we head towards at least two more games in our house, fans should note that they now have a very significant role to play in success of this team. We must protect this house!
None shall pass.
That being said, I'd like to throw out mad love to our loyal GSoM community, Warriors Nation, and of course, my fellow GSoM writers for being together for so long to enjoy this moment. You deserve every bit of joy you get from this legendary series. Don't discount what you just saw tonight. We may have very well witnessed one of the most amazing sports moments we will ever see in our lives (besides the inevitable NBA Championship of course!) Savor it. We've earned it with many long hard years of loyalty and love.
We earned it by being Warriors.
Tonight's Warrior Wonder can go to none other than Stephen Jackson himself. In a field of contributing players, SJax not only came out like a monster with 33 points, (going an incredible 7-8 from beyond), 5 boards, 3 dimes and 3 jacks, but he also displayed a calm, collected demeanor that helped him become a leader amongst men out there tonight. When a tussle almost started under the Mavs hoop, it was almost comical to watch Jax put his hands in the air and run like hell to the other side of the court. Combining this discipline with his ridiculous game, its safe to say that Jax ran away with this one by a long shot.
ON TO ROUND 2 BABY! Bring it.
Warriors Beat the Mavs 4-2!!