Basketball is a hard game. Cleveland is a great team.
When Stephen Curry is missing shots it isn’t because he isn’t focused or isn’t clutch. It’s just that we’ve grown spoiled watching a man hit 25 footers like layups.
This team won 73 games, an all-time record. They came back on the Thunder in historic fashion. They have won 8 of their last 10 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. We were still tied at halftime without our heart and soul, Draymond Green, and then without Andrew Bogut too. We went utterly cold. LeBron James got hot from outside, something that hasn’t happened much this season. We had Andre Iguodala playing power forward, at times. Barnes at center. And still, LeBron and Kyrie Irving were virtually the only Cavs that did anything.
If anything we were trying too hard. If anything we wanted it too badly for Draymond. The emotions are understandable. I live and die with the Warriors—losses crush me, wins send me over the moon. It’s embarrassing, but it adds color and fun to my life, a release from the more serious work I do.
But I ask you: have we learned nothing from this team?
The Warriors are a group of champions from top to bottom. This is a once-in-a-generation team. They have captured lightning in a bottle and we are lucky enough to witness it.
The notion that the Golden State Warriors would ever win a championship once seemed absurd. The notion that they would become the greatest team in NBA history is a fantasy many of us are still waking up to. Great teams do great things. Great teams know how to win. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned from this team, it’s that they know how to win. They do it over and over, and especially when we think they won’t.
I’m sure we will debate all offseason about the merits of Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli, about the benefits of chasing Durant. But in the meantime, let’s not lose sight of who this team is. However good these guys are individually, they are great together. This is a true team. They practice the most beautiful form of basketball many of us have ever seen. They boast (arguably) the two greatest shooters who ever lived. They have another top five player in Draymond. Iguodala is one of the most valuable players in the league and he comes off our bench. We have more centers than we know what to do with. Our SBDS may very well be the greatest lineup in NBA history. Say what you will, but Barnes is an important part of this. So is Ezeli, Shaun Livingston, Leandro Barbosa, and even Mo Speights. Even Anderson Varejao is on board. Ian Clark has done things. Brandon Rush has been reincarnated. James Michael McAdoo can play.
This team is magical. There are no two ways about it. This team has something extremely special, something people can’t put their finger on.
That thing, that magic, hasn’t gone away after one bad half. Curry is still Curry. The Warriors are still the Warriors.
Let’s not lose all perspective. I am upset too. Sad, depressed, disappointed. But these are the Warriors, the greatest team in NBA history. This team knows how to win basketball games like no other. This team is full of transcendent players who play together beautifully. It is full of gritty guys who just want it more. It is full of champions. So please, do yourself a favor: relax. And this is for me as well. Who would you rather be riding with than this team? Who would you rather pin your hopes on?
We are the best team. Whether it plays out that way, we’ll see. But we are the best team. And that means something. I believe.
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