Initially I had volunteered to write the quick, immediate recap for Friday's game against the San Antonio Spurs. But then I remembered I was working a farmer's market here in New York City. The Fort Greene farmer's market. Remembered that late West Coast games end around 1 or 2 am ET. And that I had to wake up at 5:30. So I begged out.
I woke Saturday morning and immediately checked the score. Ah good--Warriors won. The sun was just rising as I walked to the train. 15 degrees, dark blue steel sky.
I live near some cemeteries, on the Brooklyn/Queens border. I waited for the train in the predawn morning, the headstones just coming into focus. Dark clouds running the length of the morning sky. There are colors in New York City sunrises that do not appear elsewhere in real life.
I was wearing a bright blue Warriors beanie that my buddy Ryan sent to me when I got this gig. A celebratory head piece. And all day--ALL DAY--people wanted to stop and talk Warriors basketball. Knicks fans wanted to talk about Steve Kerr--the one that got away. Or they wanted to talk Phil Jackson and how there is a distinct possibility that his career will be forever tainted by the years to come. Basketball optimism is at a low point here.
But in addition to all the Knick and Nets fans, I was approached by an assortment of Golden State fans--people from California who have moved to New York City for whatever reason and rejoice when they come across a fellow Bay Area native. And they were all representing their favorite teams. Niners beanies. Giants jackets. Warriors undershirts.
I am always amazed at the strength of the Bay Area community in New York.
On the train home an old homeless man stumbled through the aisle of the car asking for change. He was very drunk and at one point when the train lurched, he tripped. An empty plastic whiskey half-pint bottle fell out of his sweatshirt pocket. He squinted at the seated passengers, daring anyone to speak up. No one did. He walked slowly to the rear of the train, cursing at us beneath his breath. He had a half smoked cigarette behind his right ear, and when he sat down he lit it. Smoke filled the train cabin. A few people got up and moved away, but for the most part, people just sat there. It is not an uncommon sight. A conductor got on the PA system, reminding us all that "Smoking is not allowed on the train. I repeat - all passengers - Smoking is NOT ALLOWED on any MTA train or bus." But he didn't hear her. He was too busy cursing us.
Standing on an outdoor platform at Broadway Junction, where I transferred to the L train, snow was falling hard. It had started about an hour before, while we were still packing up at the market. The tracks were covered. White and silent. I could see the cemetery across the way. Cars drifted through the fog and snow, headlights shining.
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I watched the replay of the game on League Pass, fast-forwarding through the commercial breaks. Sitting inside, out of the cold finally. Out of the snow.
Curry wowed and amazed.
The team had their quickness back after the break.
Boris Diaw did some things that made me think of this picture.
And then, again, in the third quarter, the Warriors went on ONE OF THOSE RUNS to close out the quarter, scoring the final eleven points. Screaming and jumping and the crowd was going nuts and goddamn I love this team.
My buddy Ryan, who sent the hat I had worn at Market, texted me the night before while I was asleep and said, "Next time you do an article please find out and make reference to how many points on average the Warriors have outscored their opponent by in the third quarter this season. I bet it's by a LOT!"
Google, what sayeth thou?
Okay - so a quick google search does not give me what I want. I guess I'll have to do this the hard way.
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OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKAY so I ran some numbers.
Some thoughts I accrued while running these numbers.
1) I really feel like I could have found this somewhere else, and that my research was most likely in vain. But, you know, whatever. I'm okay with it, because I have a better overview of the whole season now.
2) From game 33 (vs IND, they won) to game 42 (vs BOS, they won), the Warriors had a string of nine games straight where they outscored the opponent in the third quarter. Through these nine games, they were a total of + 77, including + 19 in KLAY'S EXPLOSION GAME. Side note - Klay was a ridiculous + 39 in that entire game. WHAT? Seriously, just... Shit. Over that span they outscored the opponent by an average of 8.5555555 points per game in the third quarter.
3) The Warriors have been outscored 18 times this year in the third quarter. Of those games, they lost eight. Pretty good.
4) Only once this year have they outscored their opponent in the third but gone on to lose the game: game 37 @ OKC, where they were + 2.
This game versus the Spurs was no different. Playing a tight game heading into halftime, the Warriors came out of the gate in the second half and dominated the Spurs + 14 in the pivotal quarter.
Long story short: the Warriors are +143 in the third quarter this year! Which, I know, sounds impressive, but that equals out to + 2.86 per game. It's just one aspect of a season full of overwhelmingly dominant play:
Long story shorter - this is a testament to the coaching staff and Steve Kerr specifically. They find ways to adjust. During halftime, the team always seems to take the necessary steps forward, often coming out and just decimating their opponent.
Enjoy the weather back home y'all. It's cold and strange here on the East Coast.