A Burger on Every Doorstep
Call me inept, but I'm only so disappointed that the Warriors threw that game to the proverbial dogs last night. It might have a little to do with my newfound embrace of the Jazz. Certainly, Fisher and Brown's respective perils made a mockery of all my "basketball is humanity" posturing. Golden State's twisted tale of discovery is X's and O's compared to immediate well-being threatened, and even T-Mac's saga places too much emphasis on basketball winning and losing. Plus there's Kirilenko, who in addition to having become THE FIRST EVER EURO WITH THE SLIGHTEST BIT OF EMOTIONAL RESONANCE has sky-rocketed back into the FreeDarko power rankings. When a guy blocks every shot in the lane and then fills in for an elite-ish point at the other end, Lamar Odom suddenly seems like a mere dilettante in this here revolution.
But there's also something mildly hypnotic about how endlessly nonchalant the Warriors are. I've often marveled at Phoenix's inability to understand the concept of pressure. They're not steely up against it, they're basically oblivious to it. With the Warriors, that's taken in a whole other, possibly psychotic, direction. I sometimes get the sense that Golden State thrives only on fun. Half-court offense, that's a drag. Tightening up to face an OT, who wants to do that? They don't just play loose, easy and arrogant; they're indifference to anything has to be addressed otherwise. That gigantic collapse in Dallas wasn't just failed, it was pretty half-hearted. Same with the thing last night—it's like they thumb their collective nose at pressure so forcefully that they're propelled away from it.
Granted, this is an exceptionally romantic view of a proud team that wants to win. However, I think it does do some worming into that team's psyche. They're fueled by something almost mystical, and when that's taken away they're only so good. Hard to pin down exactly what this misty ingredient is. I do know, though, that without it basketball kind of ceases to be basketball. Not only are they less fluid and conherent--they're barely even present on the floor. Reminds me of something I said about Gerald Wallace once; actually, it's more like my slightly-forced reading of what makes J.R. Smith special.
The Suns play like a team who have rejected the late-game narrative. The Warriors, they seem actively disgusted by any suggestion of it. Nothing but disdain for the crotchety theme of "playoff basketball." It served them well against the over-determined Mavericks, it now might well be their downfall, and I'll continue to love every minute of it.