Brethren and sistren of GSoM, this Warrior Wonder, much like Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony, brings me to the crossroads.
We all witnessed the Golden State Warriors go on the road, sans greatest point guard alive Stephen Curry, and rip victory from the desperate claws of a rival Oklahoma City Thunder team squirming for playoff positioning. But, which Warrior was most wondrous in this satisfying reminder to OKC that Oakland’s team owns their souls?
The case for KD
The mighty Kevin Durant descended upon the arena he built with his bare hands and reminded the Thunder of his true powers. His 15 first quarter points were a direct answer to the wild Oklahoma crowd that booed him him every time he touched the rock.
There is nothing like hearing that Thunder crowd transition from throaty screams for bloodlust in the first quarter, to a despondent hush late in the fourth. The Warriors terrorize that franchise so deeply, they need start to start walking into the arena to the Halloween movie theme song.
—Daniel Hardee, for GSoM, just now
Anyways, KD had 34 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, persevering through a tough 9-for-25 shooting night. He also provided a superstar answer to the nuclear rage of the reigning MVP Russell Westbrook, who put up 44 points while playing with a broken heart. Shouldn’t KD be the WW after stuffing the stat sheet, and stuffing Carmelo Anthony’s ineffective defense into a Hefty bag?
Gatorade League Dubs Quench OKC’s Thirst
My heart tells me to consider a couple other Warriors for the prestigious WW award. Sure, it’s nice to get a road win, but isn’t the bigger story finding out which role players can handle playoff pressure? That thought pulls my mind down an even deeper rabbit hole in my quest of choosing last night’s Wonder...
Did you know, despite the injury absence of the two-time MVP Curry, the Warriors played last night’s game with five reigning All-Stars? Now, before you start nerd-raging against me for having the numbers wrong, take a look at the names in the box score from last night’s 111-107 victory over the Thunder.
Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant...and G-League All-Stars Quinn Cook and Damian Jones! Credit Golden State’s brilliant front office for being so #lightyears that they can just toss in unknown ballers to hammer more nails into the coffin holding OKC’s dying championship aspirations. What’s a better way to test their G-Leaguers than by throwing them directly into the boiling tempest that is a rivalry game against an Oklahoma City Thunder team fighting for it’s playoff life?
Damian Jones re-entering with 6 minutes left. Possible he closes tonight after entering with only 40 total minutes played all year, zero in this type of situation.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 4, 2018
Damian Jones vs OKC last night: 14 minutes with a +9 plus/minus, 8 points, 4-of-4 shooting from the field, 1 block, and two huge finishes down the stretch.
️WE ARE HERE FOR THIS DAMIAN JONES pic.twitter.com/SVPL3AfPhD— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 4, 2018
Now I would love to honor Jones, whom some GSoM members have emphatically clamored to be booted off of the team in order to make a playoff roster spot for Cook. I can’t blame them for their skepticism of the latest character in the decades-long comedy known as “The Warriors Really Believe In A Skinny Big Man They Drafted!” (bonus points to the readers who can name failed Warrior bigs in that mold). Last night, Jones proved he can battle in the trenches against stud center Steven Adams in crunch time, and that is HUGE with the playoffs looming.
You could hear a massive round of applause through the Warriors' locker room walls postgame. It was for Damian Jones. pic.twitter.com/vcACSEttMn— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 4, 2018
But Quinn Cook though? Man, this dude almost brought me to tears with his performance last night.
Curry’s fill-in stared down the snarling devastator that is Westbrook, and didn’t flinch. For those wondering what Cook is going to do in a hostile environment, against top notch talent, you got your answer:
37 minutes, 12 points, 6 assists, 2 enormous free throws in the final minute, and 0 turnovers.
No turnovers, on the road, against a possible playoff team ranked #1 in steals?! Cook is officially ready to handle the point guard position for the defending champions until Curry returns to unleash fire and brimstone in the playoffs. Join me in some maniacal laughter, won’t you?
Clutch Quinn Cook free throws. Did his job tonight: 12 points on 4/6 FG, stayed out of the way when he needed to, wasn't killed defensively.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 4, 2018
Who knew Gatorade would come back to haunt Paul George? “No OT tonight”.
Who is the Warriors Wonder vs OKC?
Ugh, this is the most difficult Wonder to choose yet. Thankfully, as a scribe of the Golden Empire, I’m Gold-blooded, and never flinch in the face of basketball crisis.
Your Warrior Wonder is KEVIN WAYNE DURANT, owner and proprietor of Chesapeake Energy Arena, now and forever. I am compelled to honor the former MVP for shrugging off the mental and spiritual opposition he was submerged in last night to put up REAL STATS.
But, if any of you Blog Boys and Girls disagree, feel free to state your case down below. However, I doth warn you, Emperor Durant assuredly has a high-speed internet connection, and he will find out if you didn’t vote him for WW.
Who was YOUR Warrior Wonder vs OKC?
This poll is closed