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Warriors run into a little trouble but slide by the Pels 106-99

Stephen Curry took over. Anthony Davis shook off his postseason jitters and did the same. The Golden State Warriors had just enough juice to finish off the New Orleans Pelicans in Game 1 of the Western Conference first round.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

I entered Peak Golden State Warriors Irrational Fandom about a day before the first postseason where the Dubs are favored to win the entire thing. I've made peace with unbiased opinions, fair takes, and some semblance of logic. I thought Anthony Davis would flounder in front of a national TV crowd and against a team so historically great, this entire series would be nonsense. Draymond Green would later term this a "C+/B-" kind of game, noting that Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson each missed free throws and the offense ceased flowing at times. The Warriors struggled at times, but the New Orleans Pelicans also forced them into some uncomfortable situations.

There was a weird moment in the fourth quarter when the raucous Oracle crowd slowed to a drawl, like a low humming engine sputtering and waiting for a charge. It intensified when Stephen Curry walked back onto the court and nailed a three that seemingly put the Pelicans away for good. The postseason is assuredly going to give us much more of that. The crowd chanted MVP during the pregame introductions, roared after every single defensive stop in the first quarter, and loudly rang "Warriors" from the rafters. The day will come, however, when they will whisper to each other "Why is this happening?"

That "weird tension" as Curry noted comes from an offense that doesn't flow the same when he isn't on the floor and a defense that is miscommunication during switches. That's the problem with switches. If you aren't talking, things get messed up. Green was irritated with Harrison Barnes on more than one occasion and made it known with loud words, as he is wont to do the last couple weeks. Shaun Livingston was awful in his minutes, missing players in transition and on help defense, ending with a -21.

But the entire regular season was leading to this. Everything the Warriors have achieved was only the beginning. It's all on the line now and there's Curry on the floor for 40 minutes. It's been building for the past couple seasons. The offense is dreadful without him commandeering the ship, ruthlessly flipping and-one lefty layups around Anthony Davis and scaring the souls out of defenders in transition. That weird moment? Those 5-6 minute lapses on offense? It's no coincidence that Curry is on the bench in those moments.

Those 19 4th quarters Steph sat during the regular season? Those borrowed minutes are what Steve Kerr and the Warriors are going to pay off in the next couple weeks. They can't contend at a high level without Curry and everyone knows this. Get ready for a barrage of huge minutes, phones out for Vine-recording every 5 minutes, and a healthy portion of MVP chants (I counted 8 throughout the game).

The Golden State Warriors rely on their MVP, on the best player in the league this season, and it's going to have to take them all the way. For better or worse. The Warriors hope there's none of the latter. Today was a great start.


Follow me, and the Golden State of Mind Twitter account for postgame quotes. I'm not sure how often I can throw up a quotes post with work in the mornings but today definitely works out. I will have a leftover observations and quotes piece up either tonight or tomorrow morning.

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