A “trap game” occurs when a superior team is set to face an opponent generally deemed to be easy to defeat. The Golden State Warriors are walking into just such a situation Sunday afternoon where they are favored by double digits against the Brooklyn Nets.
It’s got all the classic signs of a trap game: the Warriors had an entire Saturday (and two nights) in New York City and are definitely not going to consider beating the Nets a season-deciding issue.
This is a trap.
WHO: Warriors at Nets
WHEN: Sunday, October 28 - 2 p.m. (!)
WHERE: Barclays Center — Brooklyn, NY
LISTEN: 95.7 The Game
Blog Buddy: Nets Daily
Why the Warriors shouldn’t lose this game
Golden State is off to one hell of a start to the season.
Coming off back-to-back championships, they look more comfortable with themselves than they ever have before. They gleefully embraced a game winning tip-in from unlikely hero, Jonas Jerebko, laughed through the Kevin Durant free agency chatter in New York and have rolled through their opponents without even needing Klay Thompson to hit shots. It took a high altitude arena one-two punch from Utah and Denver to get them to lose their only game so far.
Stephen Curry is now a veteran player with three rings on his fingers. Sure, he defaults to a facilitation role — but he’s mostly an expeditor now, working to find the best path to victory in any given game. He’s comfortable enough to know when it’s okay for him to get selfish and take more than his share of shots. As Athletic Alchemy put it the other day, “Yo, I don’t need to spend all this energy getting these dudes dancing — I can just pull the trigger.”
Stephen Curry has made at least five three-pointers in six consecutive games, tying George McCloud (in February/March 1996) for the longest such streak in @NBAHistory! #DubNation pic.twitter.com/jHUyncJaU3— NBA (@NBA) October 27, 2018
Fittingly, this is something he may have learned from Durant, who steps into the role of finisher almost too easily.
Individually, Durant and Curry were both leading teams towards championships. United, it’s almost unfair. As currently constructed, this core is two for two — and going for their third consecutive NBA championship. This is special.
Kevin Durant is currently making 10 two-point FGs per game. No player has averaged that for a full season since Shaq in 2002-03.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 27, 2018
This team is so ridiculous, over three hundred words in and we haven’t even touched on the rest of the team. But let’s just move on with the understanding that the Warriors really should win this game.
Why the Warriors could lose this game.
Big Apple wooziness aside, there are some legitimate reasons the Nets could win this game.
Obviously, yes, the “trap game” angle could come into play here, but there’s also a lot to like about this young Nets team.
I kind of mocked it in the caption to the picture above, but Brooklyn really does have a balanced attack. They’ve got six players scoring double digits per game, led by third year emerging star Caris LeVert.
LeVert is putting up an efficient 21 points per game to go along with 5 rebounds and 4 assists. The Nets aren’t a great team, but they can do enough to bother any opponent. And there is something to be said of the flexibly egalitarian offence — it’s not just that the scoring is spread out, but check out the roster flexibility here, particularly at the wings:
While none of the names necessarily jump off the page at you, the Nets have some nice players. Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris are two players that would seem to be a particularly good fit within the Warriors’ system. They’ve also got Ed Davis and Jarett Allen proficiently running the two-headed center. I’ll be honest, there are some names in there that I’m not familiar with — but that brings me to my next point.
This is a young, hungry team that the Warriors are facing — and they are starting to turn the corner. It’s going to be a rocky path from a perennial cellar dweller, but the Nets are beginning to finally look like a team that could turn into something.
A big win at home over the Warriors would be exactly the sort of lasting memory that they’d like to point to as evidence of the turnabout of franchise fortune.
Lol! Seriously? It’s the Warriors against the Nets — Dubs by 15; Curry doesn’t play the 4th.