And for the first time I could actually enjoy it.
The idea that we would try to win the most important game of the year by a barrage of contested three pointers was just so.....so Warriors! It reminded me of B Diddy, Captain Jack, and J-Rich throwing up bombs in the face of Dirk Nowitzki and Avery Johnson. It reminded me of so many times through the birth, death, and resurrection of Nellie Ball when smaller, outmatched Warrior squads would roar back in the 4th quarter and tie the game with a seemingly impossible flurry of trey daggers. The three point shot was the big gamble, the possible equalizer for small scrappy Dubs squads.
After we got our ring, with Steve Kerr's Popovichian/Zen teachings finally meshed with Mark Jackson's Skynet defense, we began to embrace smart basketball. Attacking the basket, rebounding, powerful interior defense. Our 73 win mystique brought with it an expectation of high octane, high quality basketball from the fan base. But the secret joy came only with "Bomb These MF'ers Out Of The Arena" type tactics where no 3 pointer was too far away or too contested.
You know, the same way we shattered OKC.
The Cavaliers played a more precise, desperate, cold, icy, focused, deliberate style of basketball in that 4th quarter. We tried to gather frenetic energy and drop lightning from three point land on them. They played the smart basketball, we played OUR basketball. We lost. In the days ahead we all took turns going from grieving to regretting how we didn't attack the basket.
"WHY DID WE SHOOT SO MANY THREES???"
Rewatching that 4th quarter, as Steph repeatedly scampered frenetically for half an inch of space to launch a highly contested flying dagger over a taller opponent, or when our wings just PLANTED themselves around the arc to toss up errant bombs.....I just had to smile. I had to chuckle! Deep down, the Warriors have been that kind of basketball team for a loooong time folks. It was poetic that with our backs against the wall, staring down the barrel of King James wrath, we went with what we love and what we know. The long ball. The trey. The bomb. Flying Death.
Now that we got KD, we will be the final form of the Death Squad. I gleefully await smashing the entire league (again). There's a odd sense of bloodthirst from our fan base now that we didn't even have during the 73 win season. This season is going to be DIFFERENT.
But as we shatter more of our own three point and scoring records, it will still feel.... warmly familiar.
We Will Do It The Warrior Way