To help ring in the new year, I’m going to count down the most popular Explain One Play analysis videos from 2018. It was a good calendar year in Dub Nation, so there are lots of happy memories here.
#10. Steph Guards Demar.
#9. Swaggy Beats OKC.
(Feb 27, 2018) Nick Young came into a tight game and keyed a four-minute 14-0 run which won the OKC-GSW game. In his short shift, he shot threes, rebounded, defended, made bad choices, got lost, hustled, was flattened by Westbrook, performed two angry shimmies and made lifelong friends along the way. Co-starring Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson.
#8. Quiz: Klay Dive, Pop or Curl?
(Apr 2, 2018) Klay Thompson returned in style against the Suns on Sunday. Without the ball, he still kept the defenders guessing about whether he’d dive, pop or curl on every play. Can you guess better than the defenders? Here’s your chance. Co-starring Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Nick Young and Shaun Livingston.
#7. Stephen Curry Figures Out The Rockets Defense.
(May 27, 2018) The Warriors claimed after their Game 5 loss vs HOU that they “figured out” something on offense, and they proved it with a thumping rout in Game 6. Watch three adjustments that Stephen Curry and GSW made to counter HOU’s defense. Co-starring Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Kevon Looney.
#6. The Great Klay vs Zaza Dunk-off.
(Feb 11, 2018) The Great Klay vs Zaza Dunk-off! Klay Thompson and Zaza Pachulia have an ongoing contest over who will dunk more in a season. They continued their dunk contest in the Spurs game and ignited the GSW rally that won the game. Co-starring Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green.
#5. How Stephen Curry shut out LeBron James.
(Jun 1, 2018) In 2018 Finals Game 1, LeBron James had torched GSW for 49 pts, and in OT he started picking on “weak link” Stephen Curry. To everyone’s surprise, LeBron and CLE got shut out until the game was settled. Co-starring great help by Draymond Green, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.
#4. Game 6 Klay Thompson Returns to Save GSW.
(May 27, 2018) In Game 6 vs HOU, with elimination looming and down 17 points, GSW was desperate for good defense and smart offense. Klay Thompson answered the call. Watch how GSW attacked HOU’s switching defense and got Klay going with 35 huge points. Co-starring Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Coach Mike D’Antoni.
#3. KD-Dray-Klay Triple Split.
(Feb 27, 2018) Watch the Golden State Warriors pummel Oklahoma City with the same play five times in a row: the triple split with Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala set the stage.
#2. KD-Steph 1-2 Punch.
(Feb 24, 2018) Watch Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant close out the LA Clippers with the same repeated play. Highlighting subtle fakes, defensive mistakes, and the suffering bickering Clippers players and coaches. Co-starring Draymond Green and DeAndre Jordan.
#1. How Stephen Curry Won Game 7.
(May 29, 2018) Watch Stephen Curry’s brilliant performance against the Rockets in Game 7 to lead the Warriors comeback from 11 points down to 9 points up, to save the game and win the Western Conference Finals. Co-starring Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Ryan Anderson and James Harden.
Some people (including my own wife!!) tell me that they like the videos but miss all the prose I used to write. Honestly, I don’t really miss it myself because:
- There are lots of people doing great work in that space (text reflecting on video clips) now compared to in 2014 when I started doing this. This includes GSOM’s own Joe Viray, and a number of other SB Nation writers that I’ve encouraged directly and indirectly. I’m not sure my old text voice contributes so much in today’s world.
- I feel way more expressive and precise when annotating directly onto the video. When writing my old pieces, I always felt like the words were waving at moving pictures from across a great canyon and for a long time I wished I could just draw on the film. Finally I figured out the technology to do that.
- I feel that my videos have a voice and look that remains distinct from every other sports video maker I know. I can put weird and absurd visual humor and running jokes into the videos in a way I can’t in prose. At least I amuse myself. I have also over time enjoyed trying to find the right amount of information to convey in the videos so that people can absorb info with occasional video pauses.
- It’s probably true that my old pieces were more packed and denser. But, looking back on my old pieces, even I don’t want to work my way through them. It is serious work. In contrast, I enjoyed the hell out of re-viewing these old videos.
- As a nice bonus, my videos get an audience that’s 10 to 100 times larger than my prose pieces used to.
So I continue to write and will write longer pieces. But Explain One Play is going to stay video-heavy for the foreseeable future. (Until I figure out this Virtual Reality thing...)
A heartfelt thank you to those of you who have come along for this ride, and who leave such thoughtful comments here at GSOM and Twitter (I still haven’t had anything foolish tweeted at me by a follower, a miraculous streak) and even on the unpublicized YouTube channel. Your encouragement and constructive feedback really inspire me.
May we have a happy new year, we few, we happy few, we band of siblings — for they today who share their views with me shall be my siblings.
You favorite 2018 Explain One Play is
This poll is closed
Steph Guards Demar
Swaggy Beats OKC
Quiz: Klay Dive, Pop or Curl?
Stephen Curry Figures Out The Rockets Defense
The Great Klay vs Zaza Dunk-off
How Stephen Curry shut out LeBron James
Game 6 Klay Thompson Returns to Save GSW
KD-Dray-Klay Triple Split
KD-Steph 1-2 Punch
How Stephen Curry Won Game 7
I love them all like my children
I love them all like my children that I don’t particularly like much