The Game against the Orlando Magic
When the game started, I was looking forward to a revenge/rematch game against the Orlando Magic. Six games ago, the Magic had beaten the Warriors at Oracle Arena. Since then, the Warriors had been on a 5 game road winning streak and had just toughed out and defeated the Miami Heat on Miami's home floor. I was hoping to see if the Warriors would play just as toughly against the Magic and get a win to make up for the previous loss.
As the game played on, it was clear that the Warriors lacked energy and focus. They missed many of their shots and they appeared a step slower than the Magic. Basically, they brought their "F" game. Near the end of the 3rd qtr, the Warriors' deficit grew to 20 pts, and it was very unlikely the Warriors would come back to win it.
I assumed the Warriors had went out and overcelebrated the win against Miami. And why not? Beating the Heat was supposed to be impossible for us. The Warriors media kept talking about the win all day yesterday. Everyone was excited everywhere. A veteran team would have put the win away and moved on to this game. But for a young and growing team, a little celebration is a nice motivational reward.
So this loss, while not excusable, was at least understandable, and I could stomach it.
The Postgame Quotes
After the game, I skimmed through a few post game quotes on the warriors.com recap, and one of Stephen Curry's quotes made me absolutely livid.
First, here's the link to the post game recap:
Click on "Postgame Interviews" to show the quotes section, then scroll down to Stephen Curry's quotes.
In case the link is somehow broken, here are all of the Curry quotes copied from the recap:
On tonight's game:
“We came into this game with a sense of urgency knowing that they came into our place less than two weeks ago and got a win. I don’t know exactly how to stop them. They run their plays hard. They are a hard working group for 48 minutes. They made a lot of big shots and we tried to claw our way back but couldn’t get over the hump. Thankfully we don’t have to play them again.”
“We like the feeling of winning especially on the road. It makes the trip a little shorter when you are enjoying yourself and playing well. You want to have that feeling the rest of the way. We had that opportunity to keep that train moving but kind of hit a bump tonight. We have another opportunity tomorrow night to beat Atlanta on the road. It was a frustrating night.”
“In the first half, we hadn’t shot that bad in awhile. We got some decent looks and got into the paint and they were meeting us at the rim. We couldn’t find the basket from inside or out and they got that early lead. In the third quarter when we were getting on a roll, we gave up too many open threes and especially at home they are going to knock those down. They have great shooters. We just didn’t have it.”
“We still have done some great things (during road trip). We are 5-1. I am pretty sure no one thought we would be that going into the road trip. We have an opportunity to go 6-1 (tomorrow at Atlanta) and be away from home for this long…you have to call that a success. I think we are in a position now that we have played well for a consistent amount of time and shown up on most nights that this loss won’t hamper how we come out tomorrow. It will be a quick turnaround. We are a mature team now and I think we can put this behind us and compete tomorrow and see what happens.”
Dissecting The Quote
I was OK with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th paragraph, but what pissed me off was in the 1st paragraph. Let's break it down, line by line:
“We came into this game with a sense of urgency knowing that they came into our place less than two weeks ago and got a win."
Good. A rematch victory is what I want too.
"I don’t know exactly how to stop them."
Uh oh. Are you publicly admitting that the Orlando Magic has befuddled you? Are you saying that you can't solve the Orlando Magic's offense? That you can't find ways to stop a 9-13 team? Not a good sign.
"They run their plays hard. They are a hard working group for 48 minutes. They made a lot of big shots and we tried to claw our way back but couldn’t get over the hump."
No problem here. Simply an analysis of what each side did.
"Thankfully we don’t have to play them again.”
This is where I blew my top.
Blowing My Top
I'm sorry, WHAT??? You just lost badly to them, you don't get to play them again, and you're THANKFUL about that? Where's your pride? Where's your competitive spirit? Where's your hunger to beat the competition? Where’s your “I still want a rematch - we can still beat them with our A game, so bring them on again” attitude?
Do you know what it means when you say you're "thankful you don't play them again"? You're admitting they utterly defeated you, they owned you, they pwned you, that you don't want a piece of them. You're admitting that the Orlando Magic is your daddy. Who's your daddy? If I were on the Magic side, I'd be laughing at you, because you want to run away. Is that what you want? You want to give up on a challenge and crawl away?
What about your teammates? Should the other Warriors players feel content with losing to the Magic while playing their F game? Should they also count their blessings that they don't play the Magic again? Are the Warriors really that bad? The Warriors can't compete against a hard working group that plays 48 minutes? Should all of the players call the Orlando Magic their daddy?
And what about the fans? We hardcore Warriors fans have been through years of losing. We've suffered through bad contracts, injury curses, D-League rosters, broken promises, and uninspired tanking basketball. And yet we keep coming to the Arena, proudly bringing the noise, or tuning in on TV, while proudly blogging and studying the games. Stephen Curry - your quote is a total slap in the face of us hardcore fans, for no matter how excruciatingly painful it was to follow the Warriors, we did not lose our pride and we did not give up and run away.
Stephen Curry - I'm sorry, but your quote was terrible. You showed no pride, no fight, and you poorly represented your team and us fans. That kind of softness is NOT what I want from a team captain. This is what I expect to hear:
"We sucked. We brought our F game today. It's too bad we don't play them any more this season, because I'm itching for another rematch with them with our A game. Our A game would have beaten them."
If I were you, Stephen Curry, I'd hang that quote in my locker, so I can see it every game and remind myself that there is NEVER any running away, no matter what the opponent throws at us.
Oh, and if you bring that weak, defeated attitude into the playoffs, the opposing teams will sniff that out and swallow you whole.