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Warriors vs. Rockets, Game 6: The opportunity to advance is upon us despite injuries

Kevin Durant’s out. DeMarcus Cousins has been out. And others are banged up. Nevertheless, the Warriors have an opportunity to close out the Rockets tonight in Game 6.

NBA: Playoffs-Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

After the Golden State Warriors’ thrilling win in Game 5 against the Houston Rockets, Golden State of Mind Slack was liiiiiiiit.

But a statement that one person on the staff made that night probably captured the general sentiment among the GSoM staff best: I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced as many highs and lows in the same game.

I’ve dwelled on that statement as I’ve thought ahead to tonight’s Game 6 because it’s hard to remember the last time a playoff game has been this highly anticipated with so much doubt surrounding the Warriors’ chances of emerging victorious.

I think many of us were confident about the Warriors winning the 2016 NBA Finals up until the moment Kyrie Irving hit that shot that took the air out of Oracle Arena. I was pretty scared when the team was down 3-1 to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the round prior to that, but I had enormous faith in the team that had just won 73 games led by a two-time MVP. I was just happy to see the Warriors even participate in the Finals when they opened up the 2015 Finals against LeBron James and the Cavs.

(Sorry, Rockets fans — I wasn’t all that worried about the Warriors chances in last year’s Western Conference Finals.)

But tonight’s Game 6 meeting the Rockets is up there as easily one of the most anticipated games in this entire run because we have to acknowledge that there’s a considerable amount of uncertainty given that two starters — Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins — are out of this game in addition to Steph Curry and Shaun Livingston being banged up enough that their availability was at least somewhat in doubt at various points in this series.

Win or lose, this will be a fun game because it’s the type of situation that we’ll be able to point to as character defining when we look back on this dynastic run. And if the Warriors win? All of Dub Nation will be on a high that might just be unmatched during this run — there’s something particularly sweet about the idea of ending the Rockets’ season without the aid of Durant OR Cousins.

If we lose? Game 7 at Oracle will be amazing.

This is why we watch sports. And I’m enjoying every minute of it.