The Golden State Warriors felt the exact same way they did against the Portland Trail Blazers as they did against the Milwaukee Bucks. Destroyed on the road a few weeks before the home meeting, this time, the Warriors learned their lesson. Instead of flaunting, whining, and screaming through the media, they unleashed their torrent of expletives and anger in a first half for the ages, crushing the Blazers 128-112 and taking a 81-61 lead at halftime.
After the game, Steve Kerr said he had no idea if a team has ever made 10 3s in a single half and yet trailed by 20. Raymond Ridder, PR legend, stood to the side only shaking his head, either in agreement or disbelief. Probably both.
You see, the Golden State Warriors is the pendulum that is the baseline set for all quotas. They roll and jive with you. If the momentum is slow, the quota lowers, the expectations take a dive, and there is a chance to surpass that number. The Warriors don't necessarily play down to opponents but they have a tendency to slow that quota to its lowest floor, allowing you to crush it beyond measure. Then the other side of that? The next time you face them, the quota rises to your Peak play, forcing you to sustain it just to hang around.
The Blazers reached their highest level of basketball, and yet, found the pendulum had swung too far into the upper echelon. Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry both ripped apart their defensively clueless counterparts. Draymond Green's confidence came back in a couple hard drives to the rim and several early 3s in transition - though missed, a very good sign they were taken. Andre Iguodala, albeit injured later on (though should be fine), looked the liveliest he's been in weeks and propelled a superb bench run that played at a pace worthy of the starters.
Without the same outwardly cocky attitude seen against the Bucks, the play came at a much more crisp pace and flow. With just 8 turnovers, it represented a season-low in giveaways and signaled a bit of a turnaround considering the "struggles" of the past few weeks. There isn't much more to note beyond the fact that the Warriors are several notches above their playoff counterpart at this point.
Even though the Warriors are bored, are coasting, and remain a little too relaxed for Steve Kerr's liking, it's refreshing to see the team wake up when they need to find their championship form. With the Cleveland Cavaliers, it's less acceptable given they've yet to reach a level that's close to a championship. The Warriors, on the other hand, have climbed and surpassed that level.
So now we wait, pause, and consider the greatness of this team. Gunning for the greatest record in a regular season of all time, breaking records left, right, and everywhere in between, the Warriors look bored, play careless, and coast through entire games at times. Then when it matters, or at least when they think it should count, they can pull this out of their back pocket.
The Golden State Warriors are playing possum. It's too bad for the rest of the NBA that their possum is great and everything else is, well, unbeatable.