How exactly do you describe the feelings that follow undrafted rookie D-League assignee Kent Bazemore hitting a go-ahead layup before Manu Ginobili hits a game-winning three?
I'm not even going to bother to try describing what that feeling was like since I assume most of you here felt something similar, but "heartbreaking" doesn't seem to capture how drawn out that was and at this point in the season I don't even know what more can be said about decision-making and turnovers - I'm numb to that nonsense.
All I know is that for about 30 minutes after the Golden State Warriors' 129-127 double overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs, I sat staring at the television blankly just trying to process what had just happened. And if you want some background to put that blank staring into context, I strongly recommend KCTVWriter's fan post about trying to quit the Warriors.
There. That's the emotion part.
The next impulse for most people in the fact of this kind of loss is assigning blame and over the next 24 hours or so, the United Hater Nation is going to pass around plenty of blame for the Warriors' blown lead in the fourth quarter. Some of the critique will be spot on - maybe even illuminating or constructive - some will focus on the flukish type of things that are neither correctable nor in anyone's control,
most some will be complete garbage said by people who have the basketball IQ of a lampshade. That's just the sports media world we live in.
But even as fans on the wrong side of this, I also think it's worth at least acknowledging that we witnessed an absolutely outstanding basketball game tonight - not just a game that people from around the basketball world suggesting it was the best of the year, but a great game that had people talking about the Warriors favorably in the playoffs. I did manage that after reading enough ridiculous tweets and listening to post-game commentary: we witnessed a great basketball game.
However this game turns out, YOU did not see it coming.— Evan Zamir (@thecity2) May 7, 2013
Wow. @kentbazemore20. #SantaCruzProud— Santa Cruz Warriors (@DLeagueWarriors) May 7, 2013
Wow. Best game of the year. Nothing else could be close.— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) May 7, 2013
I was at the Memorial Day Miracle… this might trump it.— Matthew R Tynan (@Matthew_Tynan) May 7, 2013
The Warriors won, they lost, they won, and then they lost. Wow. Flat out sports is best reality TV. NOTHING else compares. Wow!— Chris Denari (@ChrisDenari) May 7, 2013
Finally, the whole basketball universe is talking about my Warriors and I am speechless...— olympicmike (@MikeGSoM) May 7, 2013
Yes, losing sucks. Obviously, we'd all rather see a win. But I'm going to agree with those who kept their heads when all about them others were losing theirs: the Warriors were in a very similar position just last round and, in that they've competed with one of the best teams over the last decade (and then some), there's confidence to be gained from this loss.
And there's still that
Stephon Stephen Curry.
There were a few guys that had outstanding games, came up with big plays, and continued to fill in the blanks as the team marches on in the playoffs without David Lee. But whenever you get to the point that you're no longer in awe of what Curry is doing in his first-ever NBA playoff run, you might want reconsider whether you actually enjoy watching basketball.
The notion that you can scheme to guard this guy the way he is shooting right now is patently absurd: when he's not throwing the ball in the basket from 3-point range, he's driving to the basket and finishing an array of floaters. He finished with 44 points on 18-for-35 shooting in addition to 11 assists. Most people don't fantasize about performances like this; Curry is almost starting to make things look routine.
You don't scheme against that: you hope he cools down, returns to something resembling the play of a human being, and gets to a point where you can contain him. Right now, this looks like a pretty good strategy: wait until he plays 45 minutes or so and then maybe he'll run out of gas or something. There's not much that a defense can do aside from that. Gregg Popovich is aware of that. Eventually, the UHN might catch up.
The Warriors might go on to lose this series - in fact, there was a strong likelihood of that before this game - but after decades of trying to put excruciating seasons behind us with nothing to hang our hats on except faith that a lottery pick pick might come rescue us it's somewhat refreshing that this team has given us hope that there are bigger and better things to come in the future.
It might be hard to appreciate that right now - it damn sure doesn't feel like a great game and I can't seem to see that bright light that's the Warriors' future beyond this postseason that I didn't expect them to make. But looking at the big picture, that's what this game was: the upstart Warriors team that was too young to even be on the same stage as one of the best-run organizations in pro sports didn't back down in put themselves in position to win. I have no interest in counting moral victories, but we have to keep this team's trajectory in mind. There's a lot of good in this game.
Now I'll go lay in bed sleepless while trying to recover from that.