The last time we Jock Blogged about the Warriors, it was “Kuminga!” this and “Kuminga!” that.
Oh, for those days of innocence.
Now, a dark and stormy night has visited WarriorsLand.
A crushing buzzer-beater loss to Denver at Chase Center on Feb. 16; shout out Monte Morris with the dagger. An inexplicable home loss to the Knicks at Chase Center on Feb. 10; shout out Klay Thompson missing a wide-open look to tie it at the buzzer. A stunning Sunday afternoon loss to the Mavericks at Chase Center on Feb. 27; shout out a 26-1 run by Luka’s Army.
Come to think of it, a quick review of the above games shows that maybe the Dubs should move the rest of their home games back to Oracle Arena in Oakland.
What, too soon?
A season-long chase-down of the Western Conference-leading Phoenix Suns has turned into an “Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear” dance with high-flying Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies, the 3 seed that wants really badly to race past the wobbling Warriors.
A study of the Western Conference playoff map shows no easy pickings like the halcyon days of facing the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round, or better yet — the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals. (Sorry, Dame.)
Anyone have any good news?
Uhhhh . . . Moses Moody had a nice fourth quarter in Dallas?
To wit: Steph Curry, who may or may not be a Top 10 player in the history of the game, as I was just saying to my good friends Stephen A. Smith and Chris Russo, is producing the worst shooting season of his career, and is getting trapped into oblivion for just crossing half court; Klay, in his 18 games back from 2 and 1/2 years on the shelf, is also clanking ‘em at a record-low level. Throw in the sight of Draymond Green, the spiritual leader on both offense and defense, wearing a “fanny pack” back pillow in street clothes, no sign of Andre Iguodala’s soothing presence anywhere and the never-ending wait for James (Not Yet) Wiseman — and you have quite the witch’s brew of issues.
Here’s the punch line: the Warriors have the second-best record in the NBA.
So to say the phrase “cognitive dissonance” comes into play with the current state of Steve Kerr’s crew is like saying the NBA regular season is a long road to nowhere. Both are true.
Since the Warriors have become champions and/or annual contenders, we’ve learned something very important. The only thing that matters is the playoffs — as I was just saying to my friends in the MLB lockout, who are pondering throwing open the October gates to half the MLB playing field.
The playoffs begin Saturday, April 16. That’s good, since there’s virtually no chance Rob Manfred’s Traveling Clown Show will have any baseball on our TVs by then, and we can concentrate on the most intriguing title campaign of the Kerr Era.
Spring of 2015 was a joyous ride of innocence and destiny, a la the 1981 49ers and 2010 Giants. Spring 2016 was a historical collision of stress, wins, Kyrie and pain. Spring 2017 and 2018 were Kevin Durant-fueled cakewalks. Spring 2019 was fate derailed by the breakdown of the human body, Klay and KD-style.
This one? This spring will feature the graybeards Steph, Klay, Draymond (we think) and Andre making a return run on the national stage, armed with fresh-faced newbies, fully capable of winning it all, and fully capable of a second-round exit.
Every road to the top is different. Leandro Barbosa and Andrew Bogut morph into Matt Barnes and Zaza Pachulia, who morph into Jonas Jerebko and DeMarcus Cousins. Spring of 2022 is when this team will be defined, and Kerr and his crack staff have problems to solve before then. That makes it fun.
What, you wanted it all to be one giant “Kuminga!”?
Buckle up, sports fans.