I’m the guy who went all Moses Malone, and anointed the Cavs a lock for a fo’ fo’ fo’ trip to the Championship Round.
I’m the guy, just another of many many guys and gals, who has fallen in love with cute little Steph and his ability to nail 30 footers whenever it mattered. Or, so it seemed.
I’m the guy, who forgot that DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are bona fide All-Stars, and that Lowry might just be ridin’ out a 2016 Villanova hum. And that Dwane Casey might know more about coaching hoops than how to stuff an envelope with moolah to bag a recruit. And that Tyronn Lue might not be as savvy as David Blatt. And that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, despite their props, have never been here before, and might not understand how you gotta play D to win a title.
I’m the guy who watched Steven Adams play a year for Pitt, and didn’t realize how gritty (and big guy talented) he is. And how Russell Westbrook’s hell bent for leather game could unnerve even kickballin’ Draymond Green. And that Billy the Kid has two more titles on his resumé than the Kerr/Walton pas de deux combined.
I’m the guy who has never understood why people who pay triple figures for tickets to a basketball game feel compelled to wear color coordinated t-shirts on their seats, just because The World Wide Leader likes how photogenic it looks. Nor how the energy in an arena in Tornado Alley can be so tornadic, propelling the resident team to greater heights.
So, yeah, OKC is on the brink of eliminating the defending champs.
The Raptors have discovered several niches in the LeBrons’ armor.
And I’m Seedy K, a hoopaholic, watching it all play out, fascinated, but gobsmacked.
Who saw this coming?
* * * * *
Watching the Warriors get dismantled thrice in the first four games of the West, two words come to mind.
Hubris. Excessive pride or self confidence.
Nonchalance. Appearing casually calm. From the French word that translates as “not being concerned.”
When you win 73 games, more than any team ever in the history of the sport, one supposes, it’s easy to believe yourselves to be consecrated. That a title to go along with the regular season transcendence is a fait accompli.
Golden State is playing like a team that feels it can turn it on at any moment. Which doesn’t work against a team with a chip on its shoulder and playing meaner. The Thunder are hitting all the big shots, grabbing all the key boards, hitting the floor for loose balls.
The Warriors look beaten. Then again, the series ain’t over until one team wins four.
Curry, who admittedly is getting roughed up pretty badly,1 is throwing one sloppy pass after another. He and his runnin’ podner Green had six turnovers each last night. Curry was -19. Green -30.
Meanwhile Westbrook and his homie Kevin Durant are gittin’ ‘er done. With plenty of help from their friends.
And I’m not astute enough to fully understand exactly what little tweaks and strategies Billy Donovan is using, but I can see the results. He’s been a step ahead of his counterparts this whole series.
* * * * *
It’s hard to conceptualize Toronto winning twice in Cleveland to make it to the Finals.
Buuuuuuuuuuut . . . they’ve got the not so cavalier Cavaliers back on their heels. And back in Cleveland for a Game Five they never figured to be playing.2
I’m as inclined as the next wag to make predictions.
But as steely as OKC looks, as beaten down as Golden State appears, as resolute as Toronto seems to be and as sure a thing as LeBron in the Finals has been, I’m just going to sit back and watch.
— Seedy K