Mavs is a nightmare match – but warriors can still win

It’s been an interesting, often chaotic, and sometimes stressful basketball season in the Bay Area. And now, after all the side sag, stumbles, injuries and late track corrections, just four wins separate the Golden State Warriors’ return to the NBA Finals.

How did they get here? First, they did a relatively short job of outselling and outselling the humans for the Denver Nuggets playing for pride, and then narrowly escaped the deep and raucous fury of the Memphis Grizzlies. Warriors have a lot to be proud of for passing these initial tests. Before the start of the 2021-22 campaign, a trip to the Western Conference Finals seemed possible but unlikely, and that was before the flashy start, before Steve Curry mysteriously lost his shot touch, and before we saw what happened to Klay Thompson up and down the reintegration seemed in real time. .

But they did. They have arrived here. It’s impressive and awesome, and we should all appreciate it before they make a tip-off against facing a potential nightmare in the hungry, up-and-coming Dallas Mavericks at heart, Luka Doncic.

I won’t look into it (why I would), but my gut feeling isn’t what many critics expected in the Western Conference Finals battle — certainly not when Dallas sat far from the playing cycle to start the calendar year. The Mavericks was the black horse, whose galloping horse only ran along the house. Obviously, this kind of middle-of-the-road success story will bring back certain memories of my exact age, like the time in the 2004 Democratic primary when Howard Dean was predicting a two-man race between him and Richard. Gephardt in Iowa, only to be surprised by the delayed surge by John Kerry, who hit them just right when the votes were already counted. It’s confusing to expect one thing and get another, but that’s how it is. Doncic, one of the next generation’s most forged and aware talents, stands up to the Chippe Warriors, who are trying to expand their masterpiece in running a bit more.

It wasn’t supposed to happen this way; Until a few days ago that wasn’t what was on the fixed menu. Most of us expected, and probably would have also hoped, that Golden State would face the Phoenix Suns in the conference finals. It was a good match against the top seed as the Warriors could have tied. They’ve played a tough Suns game this season, easily winning two of their three games until losing one game in March without Steve Curry. The Phoenix was an efficient and honest buzz saw, but it was manageable, and almost predictable in its regular seasonal dominance. The Suns were definitely a “win-chased” team, as Steve Kerr might sarcastic. The series wasn’t going to be a stroll in Dolores Park — the Suns won a massive number of games for a reason — but it didn’t fill our secret hearts with unrelenting awe.

Mavericks are an entirely different beast, even now, they are still in the early stages of their final development. It’s an unfortunate break for the Warriors, drawing this unexpected new force, and not just because it means we might have to watch footage of Mark Cuban and Joe Lacope arguing about who Larry O’Brien is attracted to. Dubs sure would have enjoyed throwing last season’s Western Conference champions instead. This chain that will never be will be an invaluable boon to the Legacy Destroy CP3 Synthetic Complex. But the favorite, the Suns, collapsed at the biggest moment and stole this petty revenge from us, and so now the Great Honorables await us in their place.

If you stopped paying attention when the Warriors began their descent in the second half of the season, you might have missed the Mavericks climbing in reverse (they nearly outranked them in the rankings in the final days of the season). To paraphrase R. Lee Ermey’s phrase from “Full Metal Jacket,” the Dallas Mavericks are reborn with force on Deadline Trade.

Moving on from the plodding “will, won’t do” experience sent Christaps Porsenges a jolt of life through the mid-band decisively and lift them up. It reactivated their fighting spirit. Enhanced team identity. It has significantly improved their defense. It also secured Dallas a pair of underperforming talents in Spencer Dinwiddy and Davis Bertans, who clearly needed to just change the landscape from this unscrupulous muck in our nation’s capital to make huge ways.

Luka Doncic, the kind of generational talent who can pull middle teams out into the first round with sheer excellence, is now making a steady stride with his supporting team, most of whom are ahead at critical moments. The first round was a prom for Galen Bronson. Dorian Finney-Smith, who has spent years organizing, is an elusive winger with an impressive defensive cut who shoots all three with less than 40%. Reggie Bullock is more than just a professional basketball player to be served with great hair (he pays off well too). Then there’s Maxi Kleiber, the annoying big German who runs on the floor who can and probably will punish the often disjointed Warriors team.

The Mavericks were generally built to punish the disengaged, to hunt down weak ties over and over again, and they also showed memorably against Chris Paul, going so hard at him without respect, eventually crushing him to the dust of the future Hall of Fame. They will score from sloppy transformations. They put Steph Curry back in a semi-tight cell. Warriors will need to be cunning, perhaps even passionate about their mods. Jason Kidd, who would bark on the sidelines like a mix of sea lion and Sleaford Moods singer, would make sure his men knew exactly who to exploit, when to fish, and how to hit the ball down the throat of the Golden State. And the best places in Auckland to get steak. He’s a great interviewer, Jason Kidd.

Steve Kerr and others in the organization are comparing these newly forged Mavs to the 2018 Houston Rockets, who, you may remember, were episode-hunting mercenaries from the Western Conference (I mean, “the team”) who came close to isolating Kevin Durant’s version of the Warriors in that hard-fought series of seven games. selves. Luka overlaps well and then diverges from James Harden’s, although fortunately for Luka, he doesn’t yet have a reputation for wilting in the big moments. Kind of the opposite, so far! We haven’t discussed heliocentrism much since LeBron James’ first mission to Cleveland, or perhaps Galileo. Luca, like Harden and James, is a Machiavellian trickster who manipulates defenders. He broke free from the first round at the end and doesn’t want to stop now. I hope someone somewhere is lighting a candle because Andrew Wiggins, who blesses his heart, probably drew the short straw.

Luke Doncic also Looks almost custom-built to become the righteous ship of a nation of Golden State haters. Yes, although it’s hard to believe, many of your friends, neighbors and other decent people hate the Golden State Warriors. They hate them for myriad reasons, stretching back years (although they always exclude the past 30 years). Some consider warriors to be worthy, arrogant and even sloppy, all while being uncomfortably adjacent to a (rather) fanciful caricature of Silicon Valley’s tech brethren. Yep, that guy Joe Lacobe isn’t helping either. We obviously reject this unfair and simple-minded stereotype! However, Luka is now positioned as something close to LeBron’s apparent heir, which means the series offers a ready-made mythic quality: a chance to avenge his spiritual ancestor against the soft bay area that robbed the King so much Michael. The Legacy of Chase Jordan.

And of course, Luca and Mafs have a deeper, more local score to iron out: a gentle spiritual cleansing of the first round of the 2007 playoffs. The We Believe series. For Warriors fans, this was probably the best thing that happened in our hoops-loving lives, at least until that point. For Mavericks fans, it’s a strangely healed scar. The humiliation of the 42-win team that unceremoniously pushed you into an early off season when Dallas won the title in 2011 (thanks Jason Kidd!) was mitigated somewhat, but the bad feelings won’t go away entirely. It’s too big for that. Any punishment Dallas could inflict on modern day warriors is an icing for the revenge cake. It’s not a perfect role-flip, but Dallas often feels like he’s cocky taking on a Warriors almost lazy after years of success after success. Many people would rejoice if the feisty Mavericks put together a Warriors past/future hybrid.

This is Luca’s glory watch and he’s earned the right to taste it. But some would say the praise pendulum has swung a little in the other direction. I’m as terrified as anyone else for the Warriors to play for the Mavericks, but I’m not on the brink of a major meltdown, even if FiveThirtyEight didn’t like Golden State’s chances of advancing to the Finals. Overall, critics and fans seem more divided than you might imagine, given the respect for the legacy usually given to this band.

The mood of some Warriors fans on Twitter seems to be a foregone conclusion. Of course, the mood of other Warriors fans on Twitter is that the Warriors are the greatest, most perfect team ever to exist, and somehow they’ll win the series in three matches. Anyone who takes Mavs lightly will be in for a sudden and rude awakening. They will appear (and often will) have the best player on Earth. They will exploit Golden State’s weaknesses more than any opponent after the season so far. They have the power to embarrass warriors, if they don’t take it to an exemplary degree, starting with the opening tip.

But anyone can be defeated, even the Slovenian version of LeBron James.

Warriors simply could not be considered “vulnerable” yet. The Mavericks are talented, sometimes downright intimidating, and most importantly, they peak at the exact right time. Dallas may seem like a juggernaut, but many juggernauts have bombed themselves into oblivion trying to get past this Golden State Warriors team that, no matter what they achieve, they still have to prove themselves worthy time and time again. Past successes do not anticipate future victories, so much as we may cling to that hope. Even me, the top-ranking skeptic when it comes to this sometimes unserious and often underperforming team, am in awe of all the seemingly bottomless holes they’ve been able to pull themselves out of. Time and time again, they make it, even when they don’t deserve it. They are survivors of indisputable skill. And if you’re a regular hater of the season, call me Patriot Postseason. If this is the last moment, I will believe the warriors will perform another miracle (and if we are lucky, it will be two more).

In conclusion, some unscientific omen: The Denver Nuggets won the season series against the Warriors 3-1. So did the Memphis Grizzlies. So did these dissidents.

There’s just something about the Warriors and 3-1. I can’t put my finger on it. It almost makes you believe.

Warriors in 6.

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