Things didn't look so rosy around 12:30p today. The Warriors had just lost to the Hornets and Denver was playing the Sonics. It looked like the Warriors were going to drop back 1 game behind the Nuggets with just 5 to play.
But the Sonics, yes the Sonics, did the unthinkable - they beat the Nuggets in the most exciting way imaginable. I was at dinner with my girl's family checking the score on my Treo - game was close. On the ride home stuck in 101-280 traffic, checking the score on my Treo - game was close. Pulling into the garage, checking the score on my Treo - Sonics 151, Nuggets 147! Check out the ESPN recap for highlights. The Sonics aren't leaving Seattle without making a little noise.
My day went from being upset that the Warriors could slip a game back to what I'm feeling right now, new life. I can breathe again. Thank you Seattle, thank you Sacramento, but most of all thank you Denver.
Who Wants It?
To me, this final playoff push looks like 2 teams stumbling their way into the playoffs. The Warriors are 4-6 in the last 10 while the Nuggets have lost 2 straight very winnable games (@ home vs Sacramento, on the road vs Seattle). Does anybody want to make the playoffs?
Do the Nuggets Want It?
They sure haven't been playing like they want it. Prior to these two losses, they were playing well. But now they've lost 3 of 4. I just don't understand how such a great home team loses to Sacramento (playing for nothing) without their two best players, Ron Artest and Brad Miller. Then they hit the road to play a lousy Sonics team. A team they had beat by 50+ points recently. And the Nuggets lose. Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony, are these guys good leaders? If the Nuggets miss the playoffs, it's time to fire George Karl. I didn't watch either loss so I can't write about how they played, but it's just unfathomable how a team fighting for the playoffs loses two winnable games, games that could have put the Warriors away.
Do the Warriors Want It?
The Warriors have had a tough schedule, but they just don't look like a team with any fire, hunger, determination to make the playoffs. Nothing will ever be like last year. BUT, the body language of the guys is different. That same hunger is gone. The urgency, the drive, the life seems to have been sucked out of them. Two straight bad losses to the Spurs and Mavericks should not happen to a team fighting to make the playoffs. When you're looking in from the outside, you have to bite, scratch, and claw your way back into the top 8. The Warriors aren't doing that. They blew out the Grizz, they were supposed to. They needed a win today to put the pressure on the Nuggets, they lost. What's it going to be for this Warriors team? They have also lost 3 of 4. It's time to play some of those tapes from last year's run to fire up this team. I don't know what happened to those guys last year because they've been replaced by what seem to be guys who are just happy they made the playoffs last year.
That Final Push
The Warriors control their own destiny. Win out and we face the #1 seed in the West. It's a 5 game season. I'm not predicting anything because I'm not going to jinx anything. All I know is, I'm nervous but damn excited that we're in another playoff chase.
Bandwagon Diaries and Comments, Anyone Else Tired of These?
One last thing, the bandwagon diaries and comments are getting really annoying. Fans are going to be both optimistic and pessimistic when things go sour. It's part of the emotion you feel as part of being a fan. Just because you don't think the Warriors are going to make the playoffs doesn't make you a bandwagon fan. All it means is that you have an opinion about your favorite team. I know it's annoying when people who didn't suffer The Drought come on and act like they were fans the entire time. But seriously, by calling people out or labeling them as bandwagoners, what does it accomplish? All signs point to... nothing. So when find yourself thinking, "damn, you know what people really want to read? Another bandwagon comment/diary!" just know that many of us find it, for lack of a better term, downright stupid. Sorry.
Whether you were a fan since before anyone knew who Rick Barry was, or you started during last year's playoffs, we all bleed Warrior blue. Warriors Nation is not divided. We stand together. We root together. We rock the Oracle together. We Believe together.