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Warrior Wonder: Dynastic Privilege shows up in Houston

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The Warriors have the luxury of picking and choosing which regular season games matter to them, a power afforded by the confidence/arrogance of a being a multiple time champion.

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NBA: Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

I watched the Golden State Warriors beat the Houston Rockets last night over dinner with Nate P, Duby Dub Dubs, and Charlie, true GSoM royalty. As we watched the Warriors build a double digit lead late in the 4th quarter, Duby reiterated something he had put in the comments earlier that day:

remember

this game only matters if we win. Then we can tell people not to worry.

But a loss tonight means the game is meaningless, and we’ll see the Rockets in the post season when it really counts.

The table burst out in laughter at that audacious line of thinking, until it suddenly sunk in. Actually, it’s kinda true!

2018-2019: The season of cruise control

The Warriors have been coasting on an effort that has ranged from “jogging towards the postseason” (see Phoenix loss) and “let’s make sure that switch button still works” (see 11 game win streak with wins over Nuggets, Celtics, Pacers, and Clippers, all playoff teams).

All these bored ballers wanna do is close out Oracle Arena with a three-peat, an accomplishment that can only be prepped for but not accomplished in mid-March.

So yeah, in March, there’s no must win games for rolling dynasties. This is the very thing that made me hate the cocky 2000-2002 Los Angeles Lakers, roll my eyes at the 20 year run of the wizened San Antonio Spurs, and shake my fists in frustration at the back-to-back champion Miami Heat. Regular season losses just didn’t really seem to bother ‘em too deep, while I was fist pumping every single time my terrible Warriors snuck a W in on them.

NBA Finals X Bryant
These guys knew how to save their energy for the postseason

Dynastic Privilege

Winning multiple titles made them bulletproof to most criticisms, and indifferent to most early spring games. How many games did those teams throw away in the regular season, only to wreak havoc and spread terror in the postseason?

There’s a magic to winning multiple championships that cannot be understand by franchises that have never done it. There’s a presumptive level of patience and “big picture” view that can only experienced to know.

The Rockets are desperately flopping scrambling to figure out how to win ONE title before Chris Paul’s body turns to ash; Steph Curry’s squad has their eyes locked on four titles in five years.

So yeah, overcoming Houston in their house without Kevin Durant and Andrew Bogut felt pretty sweet. When Curry referred to last night’s tilt as a “statement game”, it was clear Houston was in trouble, with or without KD’s presence. Feels nice not to lose four in a row to that bunch, right?

But it’s nowhere near the emotional high of eliminating them from the postseason, something the champs have done three out of the last four years.

The Warriors are chasing that ultimate reward, something that can’t be satiated in the 82 game regular season. They tried that before when they won 73; clearly they’d prefer tasting championship champagne instead.

The majority of the NBA franchises are like a thick line of people waiting to get into a very exclusive nightclub called “Larry O’Brien’s”. The Warriors are the superstar celebrity who gets escorted directly to the front of the line, daps up the bouncer, and is whisked directly into the VIP section.

Don’t hate the dynasty, hate the game.

Poll

Who was your Warrior Wonder in W vs Houston?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Steph Curry
    (36 votes)
  • 18%
    Klay Thompson
    (83 votes)
  • 65%
    DeMarcus Cousins
    (293 votes)
  • 0%
    Draymond Green
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Shaun Livingston
    (4 votes)
  • 4%
    Kevon Looney
    (22 votes)
  • 1%
    Andre Iguodala
    (7 votes)
447 votes total Vote Now