Didn’t the Thunder just win a series down 0-1 last week?! Is DubNation not seasoned enough yet to understand the high and lows of a playoff run? My favorite moment of last year’s ‘ship run was being down 1-2 in Cleveland and starting game 4 with a small ball lineup (the birth of the “death lineup”) and immediately going down 0-7 to start the game. That very low sinking feeling in your gut, almost like losing a loved one to a slow death, still resonates with me today. The Dubs would call a quick timeout, then immediately answer back with a 31-17 run to end the first quarter. The rest of the series was a symphonic score of basketball nirvana. The lowest of lows make the highest of highs that much better. “There’s a reason we celebrate with champagne after we win” said Steve Kerr recently. Buckle in and enjoy the ride.
Glad to hear the Dubs and Staff saying what we’re all thinking: Blowing a Lead, at home, while limiting Durant, is VERY uncharacteristic of this mature team that has seen and been through a lot together over the last 2 seasons. Certainly enough to see what was happening, slow down, and get better shots in a closely contested 4th quarter. Bottom line for me: They are still the better team, but they gifted Game 1 to OKC, and that might be enough to stretch the series to 6 or 7. It’s like letting a lesser team hang around with a chance to win. Only this time, that team hanging around is a real threat to end the Dubs’ season. Let’s see some poise and maturity from Shaun and Klay tonight, get Draymond on that train, and take care of business in Game 2.
Robbie Repass (@ReelWorldLive)
No clue how the Warriors lost game one between Kevin Durant’s poor shooting night and Russell Westbrook’s inefficient possessions in the fourth quarter. The Thunder were bailed out by major performances by the supporting cast that should not be sustainable. The streakiness of both Westbrook and Durant combined with inconsistency from the rest of the squad should favor Golden State to regain control of the series through their unbelievable depth and versatility. Adjustments will be made and I expect a big statement win in Game Two from Golden State. But I’ve been wrong before...
Connor Buestad (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wow. How effing huge is Game 2 now? Throw the record books out (and the 73 wins for that matter), this series has "dogfight" written all over it...Dubs favored by 8.5 for tonight's battle. I think that's a bit high, personally... Interesting emotion from Draymond yelling at Klay after that corner missed three. Don't get me wrong, I like it, but still... No way Billy Donovan out coaches Steve Kerr, right? Or could he be drawing on his back-to-back ship runs with Joakim and the Gators?... KD is so long, can someone tell me with certainty who should be guarding him? Mix different looks against him?... One thing I like about hoops is that there are no pitching matchups to worry about like baseball, just Splash Bros vs. KD and Westbrook over and over. Color me worried... I think Westbrook has proven himself as a less-than-stellar outside shooter, but his speed is absolutely devastating. Almost seems to be getting faster as of late... Did I mention KD’s length?... I’ll stop. Starting to sound like Sir Charles... Dubs win Game 2 in OT, Roaracle caves in onto itself, Boobie Dixon is somehow in the building with a Strength in Numbers shirt tied around his head.
Josh Hunsucker (@jphunsucker)
Bad omens surrounded Game 1 from pre-game to the final horn. I still feel sick to my stomach. Did I fail the Warriors because I could not find my 2015 championship socks, which a co-worker of mine has determined control the fate of the team? Was it that AT&T continues to consistently drop internet coverage only on my house from the hours of 3-7 and I was relegated to watching the majority of the game on my phone. Was it that my wife kicked me out of the house to order and pick up dinner because our kids are sick with 5 minutes left in the game and I had to sullenly listen to Tim Roy and Tom Tolbert while trailing the live call with TNT stream on my phone? I don’t know but on some cosmic level I can’t help but feel somewhat irrationally responsible.
Maybe it’s just me but I’m feeling somewhere in between down 2-1 to Memphis and down 2-1 to Cleveland in last years playoffs trending towards the despair and fear I had going into Game 4 in Cleveland. BUT...I’m compartmentalizing all of that and looking at the series this way:
1. KD and Westbrook collectively shot 3/13, 2/7, 3/3 (2’s, 3’s, FT) in the fourth quarter for 12 points. We can (and have to) sustain their 4th quarter swoons. This is who OKC has been all season, the Warriors have to be better and capitalize on their opportunities.
2. Steph and Klay collectively shot 1/10 (2’s and 3’s) in the fourth quarter and Steph played sloppy all night. They have to do better.
3. The Warriors are at their worst when they anticipate the anticipation. What I mean by that is the Warriors, at their offensive worst, anticipate reads and make a decision prior to reaching the decision point. At their best, the Warriors get into offensive sets that will evolve into a playing where a player will have to make a correct decision. They can anticipate where the decisions will lead them but they don’t predetermine the outcome before getting to the decision point. Steph and Draymond are the main violators and Steph has particularly bad on Monday. Case in point, Steph likes to throw a hook pass on screen-and-roll's to the screener when defenses double him. To make that play effective he has to actually make the read that the play will be open. On Monday he assumed that the screener should be open and had at least two turnovers on those types of plays. If we stop thinking that we know what the read is, and just see the read and adjust, those turnovers will turn into points.
4. Our bench will be better. Livingston hasn’t played well since his early exit in Game 4 of the Western Semis. Festus got killed by Steven Adams. Iggy and the Blur were ineffective to boost the bench scoring.
We control the outcomes of each of these things. We have to do better, we can do better. Now it’s time to prove it. I have my socks on, so I’m chipping in.