What happens if the Golden State Warriors just don’t lose? Last night looked like the night it would finally happen. Golden State was down 23 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second quarter before climbing back into the game, and it seemed like the Clippers were going to hold on after a three from Paul Pierce put them up by 10 with only five minutes left to play. However, that was when the Warriors just kind of decided they were going to win, and I think we’d better start getting used to it.
The Clippers only scored two more times for a total of five points in five minutes of play while the Warriors put up 22 points on six shots and three fouls. Look at that math again. The Warriors scored 22 points on nine possessions and held the Clippers to five points in the same amount of time. The two intentional fouls by the Clippers at the end of the game actually HURT the Warriors’ offensive efficiency during that stretch since they “only” scored two points each time they went to the line.
None of this is even all that new for Golden State. Last year, the Warriors had an unreal comeback against the New Orleans Pelicans in their playoff series, and only last week the Warriors came back from a big deficit against the Brooklyn Nets.
Common knowledge and years of NBA history tell us that the Warriors will eventually lose. The NBA is a grind, and one night they’ll let their guard down and a team will sneak up on them and take a win. The thing is, they’ve let their guard down against a team who came to bring their A-game. Fortunately for Golden State, that team was the Nets, whose A-game is still a C-minus at best.
Then the Clippers took their shot. At first it looked like the Warriors were physically and mentally fatigued enough to finally drop a game. Then they started playing like the Warriors again and crushed the Clippers’ notions that the two teams were peers. Golden State plays the Bulls tonight, and maybe Chicago will be the one to take them down, but if they don’t, who knows how long this can keep going.
So what happens if the Warriors don’t lose? What if they actually go 82-0 and sweep the playoffs? It won’t happen (probably), but humor me for a second. Would fans in Northern California feel cheap watching the victory? Would the players on Golden State start to get bored winning all the time? Doesn’t the sweet taste of victory need to be balanced by the occasional bitterness of defeat?
Nope. Golden State should revel in every second of every blowout and every time they get to be the Lucy pulling the ball away from the rest of the league’s Charlie Brown. “Oh, Brooklyn, you were so close that time…really, you were.” “Man, L.A., you really made us sweat that one.” Cherish every second of it, for however long it lasts. Take it from a New England Patriots fan, everyone will marvel at how impressive your winning streak is, but they’re not-so-secretly jealous and won’t hesitate for a second to tear you down as soon as it ends.