There has been a lot of talk around here lately about how to improve the Golden State Warriors, so much so that it's almost easy to forget what an amazing season this was for easily one of the most talented teams in recent franchise history (and by "recent" I mean at least 30 years or so).
Conveniently, NBA.com has posted a list of 10 nominees for Top Game of the Year, which includes three games from the Warriors' milestone season to help us remember what an emotional roller coaster this season was.
To help us reminisce, I'll add some excerpts from our GSoM recaps of those three games to see how we felt about them at the time. After that, you can vote in our poll below.
1. Warriors 112, Oklahoma City Thunder 113 (OT) - Nov. 29, 2013
Recap: Russell Westbrook hits the game winner, for real this time (by Ivan Bettger)
Excerpt: "If you weren’t trampled to death at Walmart earlier today, you lived long enough to watch another regular season classic, one that had the basketball world once again drooling at the prospect of a Western Conference Finals matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
That endgame sequence was crazy enough to wonder whether divine influences follow the NBA and were sending a message: when these teams play, the fun times ensue...As mildly epic as this game was, it was also one of those frustrating close losses that enable to you look back at earlier possessions that didn’t swing the right way, and reach up to yank your own hair while saying, "Why didn’t they just/why couldn’t they/ugh but that was so close/refs what are you doing/Jackson, are you serious?""
2. Warriors 110, Miami Heat 111 - Feb. 12, 2014
Recap: Reasonably Difficult Last Second LeBron Shot Lifts Heat over Warriors (by Evanz)
Excerpt: "This game finally got away from the Warriors for the last time with 0.2 seconds to go in the fourth quarter after LeBron James nailed an exceedingly difficult fading away 3-pt shot over Iguodala's outstretched arms...Mostly this game will be remembered for LeBron and Steph's 4th quarter heroics (Steph drove for an And1 layup that put the Warriors up 2 points before LeBron's game winner)."
3. Warriors 121, L.A. Clippers 126 - May 3, 2014 (Round 1, Game 7)
Excerpt: "It was the marquee matchup on a day of three game sevens and ended up being every bit worthy of the hype and a fitting end to a dramatic series. We can wonder what might have happened if things throughout the series had gone differently or if Bogut had been there, but it's hard to be too mad about that: at some level, we have to be able to appreciate a series like this as basketball entertainment and this series truly had it all, the Monta Ellis of post-season matchups."
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Strangely, there were no Warriors wins in this list though it's hard to disagree that these games were exciting nonetheless. So I dug back through the archives to see if anything immediately stood out and two additional games did.
Warriors 122, Dallas Mavericks 120 (OT) - Apr. 1, 2014
Recap: Curry's game-winner leads Warriors past Mavericks in OT thriller 122-120 (by Sam Sorkin)
Excerpt: "Stephen Curry hit another game-winner, a buzzer-beating, step-back, pure swish to lead the Warriors past the Mavericks in overtime. Yeah, he's pretty damn good...This was an unbelievable game befitting of the playoff circumstances it resembled. The Warriors scored the first eight points of the contest and got out to an early 11 point lead, but Dallas came back behind Dirk Nowitzki, who had 22 points in the first half, to lead 62-53 at the half."
Warriors 112, Toronto Raptors 103 - Dec. 3, 2014
Excerpt: "...that game was fundamentally about emotion - you could see it on the faces of the Raptors players last night. At some point, they just knew - knew that they had no business being up that much, that they hadn't distanced themselves enough from the outcome that everyone expected and festered somewhere in the back of their minds...If you've played basketball before, you probably understand that there simply aren't any easy explanations for what we witnessed last night. There's a reason last night's game is tied for the 7th largest comeback ever: they're hard to pull off, for mathematical and emotional reasons. I will say that it feels like there's little coincidence that Mark Jackson - who joked that he's merely a "spiritual advisor" after that game - was at the helm of a team that did pull that off...But sometimes that's what it comes down to - guys have to respond and rise to the occasion. We saw this team do that last night."
Which game was your favorite Warriors game of the 2013-14 season? Which others might you add to a list of favorite Warriors games from the season? Vote in the poll below and discuss it in the comments.