The Warriors are one game away from the end of their season. On a scale of 1-10 what’s your level of panic right now?
Daniel: What was Tom Brady’s panic level at halftime vs Atlanta in the Super Bowl? I’m gonna say a 1: tested champions (and also action movie stars) never panic in crisis. But it sucks to be one game from death. Chris Paul looked super hurt and James Harden is struggling. Game 5 was the Rockets final punch if CP3 is down.
Charlie: My panic for Game 6 is equal to how I felt before James Comey announced that the FBI was reopening the Hillary Clinton email investigation on Oct. 28, 2016. So like a 2. The Dubs will win on Thursday night. My panic for Game 7 is equal to me gazing at the New York Times probability meter a couple hours into 2016 Election Night coverage. I think it’s 50-50 if Chris Paul plays. For Game 7, I’m at an 8. So, worried. No matter what, the Dubs win the popular vote.
Nate: I’m at a 5 -- I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried at all, but I was confident about Game 6 with or without Paul in the lineup. The issue is Game 7, obviously, and after the result of Game 5 I’m pretty confident that Andre Iguodala will make a difference.
Patrick: I’ve been more panicked. If the last five minutes of Game 7 in the 2016 Finals were 10, and down 3-1 against the Thunder was 10 on the resignation scale, then I’m a fair bit lower than that. Interestingly Marcus Thompson of the Athletic reported an exchange between Steph Curry and Draymond Green were they referred back to the Memphis series in the 2015 playoffs. I think I’m a little more panicked than that, just because Houston is better than those Grizzlies and they only need one game.
Houston are going to keep chucking up the threes, and if they fall in large enough numbers, there might not be much the Warriors can do. That said I’m confident they will take game 6, especially with Chris Paul being out, and hopefully Iguodala back. As for Game 7? Who knows. I’d like to think the Warriors can do it, but I really need to see them execute in the clutch to feel super confident right now.
Long way round of saying, 7.
Duby: I’m at like Defcon 2 right now (say 7 or 8 out of 10). I watched most of game 5 while pacing around my living room. Losing Chris Paul is HUGE for a Rockets team that is playing a 7-man rotation, but I’m not at all comfortable right now.
Greg: This is the most vulnerable the team has been in two years. We do not hold the role of the aggressor. Rockets have dictated this whole series. While I have faith that the Warriors will respond well, my panic level is about 7.5
Brady: 4. From an objective standpoint, probably somewhere around 7. But from a subjective standpoint, 2016 was so intense that I’ve yet to learn how to care again. That team was magical, perfect, and mesmerizing; they faced two teams who had been on a tier below during the regular season, only to get pushed to the edge, and then beaten. And I’m a shell of myself, as a result.
This year feels different. The Warriors are having a down year (by their standards). They’re hurt and tired. Houston is better than OKC or Cleveland was (during the regular season). They were better than the Warriors during the regular season. So the “4” doesn’t represent my belief in the Dubs winning so much as it represents that I don’t have enough energy and emotion about this team to muster more worry.
Also I think they’ll win the series, so there’s that.
Tom: My panic level is at about seven, though it can vacillate as low as five or as high as eight. Anytime a team is facing elimination, there has to be some degree of concern. Also I’ve been very impressed with the Rockets’ defensive effort, which was a big question mark for me going into this series (both if they could play that level of defense and if they could sustain it). The Rockets have been doing an amazing impression of that 2016 Thunder team in the way they’ve disrupted the Warriors offense and that has certainly contributed to my anxiety.
That said, I have to imagine the Warriors will play much better in Game Six at Oracle (even without Andre Iguodala though hopefully he’ll be healthy). Then you’re talking about a Game 7 where anything can happen with an experienced and extremely motivated Warriors team (this is the point by which Iguodala needs to be back) playing in a place where they’ve won before. It’s not outside of the realm of possibilities but the margin for error is quite thin.
Hugo: I feel about a six or so. Two games in a row is not out of the question. Once again, health will be the determining factor, which is terrible. However, I do feel like the Warriors have figured out how to stop the Rockets from scoring, and there really aren’t adjustments the Rockets can make: they’ll need true outlier games in isolation to be able to crack much more than 100 points. On the other hand, there are ways for the Warriors to unlock their offense, and they just have to figure out how.
Jannelle: My panic level is about a 5. I’m more angry than anything. We had them after game three but we made the same mental mistakes twice. Inexcusable. However, I’m pretty confident that we are going to seven. Before shoot around/practice, I hope they are sitting in it and pissed off enough to take these two games. If not then, the Warriors have no one to blame if their season ends prematurely.
Tune in later for part II where the crew set out what the Warriors can do to counter the Rockets.