I Don't Worry About Destiny
I have a lot of things I will write if the Warriors pull this off. I've typed them up several times, and keep opting to delete them. There's one thing, though, that needs to be stated, no matter how this shakes out. The Mavs were once supreme Nellie-ball, and then Avery came in and modified them to talk a little like the Spurs. Which, of course, means that they would be better suited for "playoff basketball," while retaining some of their more dynamic assets. Here's the thing, though: Golden State is capable of dominating them, and I can't quite figure out how. The Warriors play the kind of basketball I wish would count for something, but almost always doesn't. They make the Suns look a little too glib and establishment, reminding you just how much Phoenix depends on the omnipotence of one of the most traditional position roles. And while Phoenix has struggled against "real" teams, the Warriors are waxing chaotic against Mavericks supposedly made over in the name of the "real."
I'm not ready to say that these two Warriors wins will change the landscape of the league. I will say it if they pull this off, but now it would be premature. Here's what I can confidently assert, though: in one week, they have made significant contributions to the Suns revolution. The Mavericks have the advantage in all the familiar playoff-tested categories, and yet the Warriors have made these all but irrelevant. What's more, only a crazy man would say that the Mavs aren't back on their heels. Golden State isn't just beating the odds, they're inverting them in gut-wrenching fashion.
The current situation is all so unlikely, and so hallucinatory, that it seems like it must be an aberration or outlier. What could we possibly conclude from it? That the Suns will win a championship? That Golden State became the best team in the league when they got their gang together? That the Warriors are a smarter running team than Phoenix? That the Mavericks were all a house of cards? At this point, an eventual Dallas win would squelch these neurotic rumblings. If the Warriors took the series, though, our only choices would be denial or total anarchy. Because the way they're playing, and the way Dallas is responding, that's anything but luck bearing down on an Achilles. That, my friends, is what you call proof through revelation.
A few other stray notes, primarily from Nuggets/Spurs:
-Image of Baron Davis's ammo fedora. Note: if this had been a normal weekend for me, I wouldn't have needed the comments section to know that Skeets had posted this. My apologies to him and his family.
-One of our own shows up on Slate, with some surly thoughts about playoff watching.
-Walton on J.R.: "He can be either the best player on your team or the worst, sometimes from one possession to the next."
-Walton's Spurs-slurping is some homer-like tension deflation. It just gets weird, though, when he pines for Maurice Lucas on the Spurs but then berates Denver for bumping Tony Parker in the paint.
-Marcel Mutoni said to me last night that he thinks the Warriors hate the Mavs. Not sure about that, but J.R. Smith has some serious contempt for San Antonio. Because of that aborted trade, maybe? Anyway, the Recluse said Smith was playing "like he was in a fight." I wouldn't hesitate to say he's somehow combined "wild card athlete" and "enforcer."
-I don't get the Spurs. Since they invariably pull off whatever's necessary in the end, can you even ever say they're vulnerable?
-Shouldn't announcers get together and standardize "rise up" versus "raise up?"
-By that same token, how can we even judge if the Nuggets are playing them close or not?
-I don't even know why I'm watching Jazz/Rockets. Someone just wake me up if McGrady advances.