I hate the Golden State Warriors.
They have taken a rousing, exciting sporting event, the NBA Playoffs, and ruined it, drained it of all competitive juices. In the good old days, actually just a couple of years go, usually three to five teams had a chance to claim the NBA crown. The Playoffs were fun, packed with thrills and tense basketball.
Not any more.
Now I watch the Playoffs with just mild enthusiasm. It's hard to get worked up about these games when you know who is going to win--the Warriors again, of course. They're good, too damn good, so good that nobody else has a chance. In June they will feast on which ever sacrificial lamb wins the Eastern Conference title, either Cleveland, Boston, Toronto or Indiana. Competitiveness? Hah! Once a staple of the Playoffs, it's now, thanks to Golden State, just a memory.
These days the NBA consists of the Warriors, up there on a pedestal, and a pack of teams that aren't in the same class, the Haves (the Warriors) and the Have Nots (the rest of the league). A few years ago, they had the crown in the bag when they had just three All-Stars, super-shooters Stef Curry and Klay Thompson, backed up by versatile, beastly forward Draymond Green, But, two years ago, forward Kevin Durant, arguably the second best player in the league, after King James, was traded to the Warriors. Add him to an already super team and you have an invincible Goliath.
What the Warriors did was take the old adage--defense wins championships--and demolish it. The Warrior win not because of lock-down defense but because of their spectacular long-range shooting.
When the shooters get hot, which is often, their accuracy is mind-boggling and demoralizing. The problem the opposition faces is that you can't cover all three shooters at the same time. One of them is always open. They are constantly getting open looks. In a seven-game series, no defense can contain this sharp-shooting offense.
While the Warriors don't win because of defense, they are still among the top ten defensive teams in the league and usually play their best defense in the Playoffs.
The Warriors are so good the opposition doesn't actually beat them. They usually lose because they beat themselves, like they did Sunday, when they turned in a halfhearted effort in San Antonio and dropped one to the Spurs. You could see that loss coming. With a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, the Warriors knew they could take a game off and it wouldn't matter. In the very next game, at home, they polished off the Spurs, winning that first round series 4-1.
Their second-round opponent--victim actually---is the New Orleans Pelicans, a young, inexperienced, deer-in-the-headlights team that will be so dazzled by reaching the second round that they'll stumble through the series, plagued by missed shots and turnovers.
One advantage the Warriors have is that they play so well at home in the Playoffs. That win over the Spurs, which cinched the series, was their 12th home Playoff victory in a row.
The only way Golden State loses a Playoff series is if they're undermanned because two of their four All-Stars can't play. Then the opposition might have a chance. Right now MVP Curry is out with an injury. He hasn't played since March 23, when he went down with a sprained MCL in his left knee. But they didn't need him to whip the Spurs. They don't really need him against the Pelicans either, though he will probably return during that series.
Even if Curry is not 100%, that won't matter. Without him, the Warriors are still way better than any NBA team.
So thank you, Golden State, for once again wrecking the Playoffs, for making them your own personal playground. Sure, they are lots of fun for you and your fans but for the rest of us, they are a real drag, hardly worth watching.