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Gold-Blooded Dagger Awards: Buzzer Beaters

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Tick tock, we don’t stop! The Splash Bros-era shooting awards continue as we ask GSoM about some of the most devastating buzzer beaters during the building of the Golden Dynasty.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors - Game Seven Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

5!

4!

3!

2!

1!

Dagger.

Sometimes it takes the pressure of the dying clock to unleash the most gold-blooded of shots to an opponent’s soul.

—Me, just now

Hello! Thank you for joining us here at GSoM for another fascinating trip down memory lane for you, filed under “Gold-Blooded Daggers”.

I have taken the time to curate some of the greatest shots in the Splash Bros-Era, and separated them into categories such as “Shots That Killed the Cavs”, and the upcoming “Miscellaneous Disrespectful Daggers”.

Today’s category: Buzzer Beaters! Vote on your favorite Splash Bros-era buzzer beater, and let us know how you feel about the Dubs’ brilliant shooting under the immense pressure of the ticking hands of time.


The Black Falcon Rises: Barnes Saves The Dubs in Philly, January 30th, 2016

“We kind of went into it knowing they were going to trap Steph, so whoever it was that got the ball tried to make a play,” Harrison Barnes said. “(Draymond Green) made that kick to the corner. I just let it ride.”

NY DAILY NEWS

This was a weird game.

  • The Warriors almost blew a game in which they outscored their opponent 73-54 in the first half, and got up by as much as 24.
  • The Warriors somehow won a game with only two free throw attempts, making only one, tying an NBA record for futility from the charity stripe.
  • American Rapper and Drake beef victim Meek Mill actually thought his native Philly team was going to win.
  • Notice MVP Stephen Curry, hard at work crafting his trophy case for his Unanimous (and second MVP) making the right play here. When he’s trapped 30 feet from the basket with the game clock ticking down, he flicks a pass to his buddy Draymond Green at the free But did you notice, as Curry passed it, he jerks his head towards Harrison Barnes in the corner? Now, I’m no big-city fancy shmancy body language interpreter, but I’ve got another question.

Was Curry not-so-subtly guiding Green to rapidly fire a dime to a wide open “Black Falcon” in the corner for the game closing dagger? The chemistry and IQ on this team was off of the charts.

I love how the Warriors calmly strutted back to their bench after the shot with the simple satisfaction of one pushing their trash cans to the curb for next morning pickup, before casually sauntering back to the living room in time before their TV show comes back from commercial.


Unlimited Range: Curry breaks Grit-N-Grind from 62 feet, May 16th, 2015

In a closeout game like that, that’s a big turning point and the moment’s magnified,” said Steph Curry, the NBA’s MVP. “I made one in college like that. That’s the last I made anywhere past half court and same kind of shot: loose ball, grab it, throw it up and knock it down.”

ESPN

The Memphis Grizzlies were once the meanest, biggest, craftiest bullies in the NBA. The guardians of Grit-N-Grind. Their combination of size, power, and hustle provides the archetypical answer to the small ball puzzle currently engulfing the NBA. They, as Charles Barkley would say, “Bully midgets in the paint.”

Did you know they won nine STRAIGHT against Mark Jackson’s version of the Splash Bros? This was the height of the “Warriors are soft” narrative. When Coach Steve Kerr took the helm, he added a free-flowing, pass and cut system that emphasized the Warriors’ shooting and quickness strengths.

When the two clubs met in the 2015 Western Conference semifinals, the Grizz ground-and-pounded their way to a 2-1. The Warriors roared back against the brutish play of their nemesis, and took the series lead at 3-2 head into Memphis. The sixth game was a contentious, bruising affair, that saw the referees swallow their whistles and allow playoff level physicality to ensue.

When Curry picked up an Andre Iguodala stripped ball at his own three point line with the final seconds of the third period ticking away, I presumed the Warriors were content to drag a five-point lead into the final quarter of an elimination game. As the angry Memphis crowd cried for a potential foul on Iguodala’s swipe of Jeff Green, Curry quickly flicked a 62-foot bomb that ripped through the net like a lightning bolt through the heavens.

The fans sounded as though the very oxygen had been sucked out of their lungs. I’ve never heard a sound like that in my entire life; it was as if Curry had broken the laws of physics to drive that dagger into their eyeballs. For Curry to drill that shot, at a crucial point in an elimination game, was UNREAL.

The Grizzlies would never recover from that act of destiny, and were eliminated 108-95 by the eventual champions.


Before We Were Champions: Iguodala sinks OKC for the Mark Jackson-era Dubs, November 14th, 2013

“That last timeout, it was pretty dark in that huddle,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “You look up and you say, ‘How did they climb all the way back? How?’ You start beating yourself up. That’s when you have a moment. They looked at each other and realized there is still time left and we can execute because we work on it every day.”

In 2.3 seconds, Andre Iguodala flipped the script on the Oklahoma City Thunder by hitting the biggest shot of his Golden State Warriors tenure.

USA Today

I think I’ve watched this clip 759 times in the last hour. No further words from me on this one: it’s just too sweet to watch.

...Okay fine, it’s quite enjoyable to watch yet another moment the Oklahoma City Thunder thought they had us, only to get daggered back into their graves. WHAT A RIVALRY. Kevin Durant was wise to see the light and abandon that cursed operation in OKC.


That Was a Foul!: Curry Daggers Pelicans for OT, April 23rd, 2015

“I wanted to foul, tried to foul, but there was no way. Steph was in the shooting motion. You couldn’t get to him unless you wanted to (give up) three (foul) shots. We could’ve fouled (Mo Speights) there. I’ve got to watch (the tape to see more clearly what happened).” – Quincy Pondexter on the defensive sequence at the end of regulation.

Stephen Curry was intent on leading his team back from a 20 point road deficit in Game 3 of the Warriors-Pelicans first round match up in 2015. This was the first playoff series of the Warriors initial championship run, and the Warriors were hungry to show their #1 seed was no fluke.

With 9.6 seconds left on the clock in the fourth quarter, the Pelicans were clinging to a 108-105 lead in front of their nervous fans. Draymond Green inbounded the ball to a flying Curry on the wing. Obviously, being up three with such little time left, the Pelicans probably could have ended the game with a strategic foul forcing two free throws. But the Pelicans are the bad guys in this movie, so they blow that opportunity. Curry freezes his defender with a quick pump fake before launching an errant trey attempt.

Curry’s errant haymaker careens off the side of the rim. Mo Speights, a lumbering, ninja turtle-esque fan favorite more known for launching jumpers than doing dirty work, OUT RACED ANTHONY DAVIS TO THE BIGGEST REBOUND OF THE SERIES.

Curry immediately sheds his stunned defender and races to the corner. Mo Buckets identifies him and shovels him the ball. The Brow, exhausted but desperate to save his city from sure death, jumps 30 feet (ish) into the air in an attempt to block Curry’s shot. Tyreke Evans charges over in tandem, but it’s too late. Curry stares both men down with the clock nearing 0:00 and calmly unleashes one of the greatest daggers in the history of all basketball, directly in both of their eyeballs. BANG. BANG. BANG. TIE GAME.

Davis crashed into Curry like he’s trying out for a Slamball team. Our lil death angel Curry disappeared under a tangle of Davis’ giant body and failed potential. You can see during the start of overtime Curry angrily screaming at the referee about the missed four point play opportunity.

I’m not sure if the ref didn’t call it because Curry is a +90% free throw shooter, meaning an “And-One” effectively seals the game. Orrrrr maybe the refs didn’t see Davis diving on top of Curry like a one man mosh pit because they were so stunned Curry made the shot in the first place. I just know that Curry could have died shoving that three point dagger into the heart of New Orleans and he didn’t even care. HOW COLD IS THIS MAN?!

This was the moment we all realized Stephen Curry was literally the clutchest shooter in the history of all basketball. The Pelicans never recovered from the shot, and fell to the eventual champions, 123-119. The Warriors would end up sweeping the Birds out of the playoffs, emphatically revealing the power of the burgeoning Golden Empire.


Bang!!!: Curry beats OKC at the buzzer from 32 feet, February 27th, 2016

“Honestly, I don’t know exactly where I am, so it’s not like I’m calibrating in my head, all right, 38 feet, 37, 36,” Steph Curry said. “Just literally, you’ve got a sense of -- I’ve shot the shot plenty of times, you’re coming across half court and timing up your dribbles, and you want to shoot before the defense goes in. And that was pretty much my only thought.”

ESPN

In discussing Steph Curry’s greatest regular season performances, his 46 point tour-de-force against the rival Oklahoma City Thunder was arguably Steph Curry’s best regular season performance.

On a Saturday Night in OKC, the Warriors weren’t even sure if Curry could finish the game after Russell Westbrook landed directly on the MVP’s fragile ankle under the basket in the third quarter. Curry missed six minutes before returning with a gold-blooded look in his eye. Four quarters weren’t enough to settle the battle between the two star-studded squads, and the matchup went deep into overtime. After Westbrook threw up an errant brick with under ten seconds to go, Andre Iguodala snatched the rebound and passed it to Curry.

Curry calmly jogged the ball up the court with five seconds on the clock. As he crossed half court, he suddenly began stutter stepping into a shooting motion. An alarmed Andre Roberson attempted to jump out and contest Curry at the last second, but it was too late. Curry had already lined up the coup-de-grace: a sniper shot that put the Warriors up three with 0.6 seconds left on the clock.

As the raucous OKC crowd collapsed into shock, Curry ran around the court, unleashing the silliest dance moves you’ve seen from an NBA player since the 1988 Chicago Bull’s “How You Like Me Now” video.

The Warriors would win the game 121-118, a big victory on the road to their historic 73 wins, and a message to Kevin Durant that the Thunder were cursed. Curry tied the then NBA record for most three’s in a game with 12, and finished with 46 points. He also expanded our knowledge of what “range” is: it’s wherever Curry decides to shoot from.


Poll

What’s your favorite Splash Bros-era Buzzer Beater?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    The Black Falcon Rises: Barnes Saves The Dubs in Philly
    (2 votes)
  • 8%
    Unlimited Range: Curry breaks Grit-N-Grind from 62 feet
    (42 votes)
  • 2%
    Before We Were Champions: Iguodala sinks OKC for the Mark Jackson-era Dubs
    (11 votes)
  • 16%
    That Was a Foul!: Curry Daggers Pelicans for OT
    (84 votes)
  • 73%
    Bang!!!: Curry Beats OKC at the Buzzer from 32 Feet
    (376 votes)
515 votes total Vote Now