After getting absolutely embarrassed in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Rockets, a rather calm-headed Steve Kerr looked to the media and spoke exactly what was on his mind.
“Give them the credit. They came out and played a great game and got everybody going,” Kerr said. “We got what we deserved. They kicked our butts. No other way to say it.”
No other way to see it? Seems like most people don’t agree. For most NBA fans, the mere shock of the Warriors’ defeat has them looking for an explanation. For some, they point out Curry’s apparent nagging knee problem, which kept him from playing more than a few games through the first two rounds. Others point to the rather meager effort by the Warriors and are offering that they might have just taken the “night off,” as they’ve been known to do on several occasions.
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) May 17, 2018
But for someone who really bothers to think about it, they might just realize that Wednesday night’s blowout in Houston was nothing more than one team completely dominating another. For at least a time, the Rockets bested the Dubs at their own game. And while it is true that the Warriors are the best team in basketball (arguably the best team ever), and will likely not repeat their horrid effort in Game 2, they’ll soon realize that things will only get tougher from here. They’ll realize soon that the source of their eventual demise will not come from LeBron James or an excess of “unlucky” injuries. Rather, their biggest threat may be something they end up creating. Crazy right?
See, the NBA was a completely different world before the Warriors assembled their famous “Hampton 5” superteam. Stars ruled the league by leading a team on their own, surrounded by role-players and a second-tier star to help with scoring. Then a guy like LeBron James comes along and starts the trend of unifying stars for the sake of Championships, and it’s guns-a-blazing from there. But what most fail to realize is that it was evidently the Warriors, not LeBron, that took the trend to an extreme. While they deserve credit for acquiring Steph, Klay, and Draymond through the draft, they also deserve credit for daring to break the NBA by carelessly chasing after additional stars. And by going after guys like Kevin Durant, Nick Young, and David West following a 2015 Championship and a 73-9 season, Golden State essentially forced the rest of the league to respond. Teams and their stars were realizing that they could no longer win without forming massive, blockbuster “superteams” of their own.
Thus, the newest Boston Celtics dynasty was born, a team that contains multiple trade assets that’s also two wins away from the Finals without their two top stars. Thus, the Houston Rockets recent revival was born and gave rise to what has become one of the best backcourt pairings in NBA History. And let’s not forget the Thunder, who brought together three stars in an attempt to beat the Warriors. The Thunder failed… like the other teams probably will pretty soon. But who’s to say they won’t catch up?
For these Warriors, these Goldenboys, these record-breaking, heart-shattering Warriors, here’s the reality they must face: the rest of the NBA is catching up. Better yet, the NBA will catch-up. And it’s all their fault. Maybe not today, maybe not next season, but one day soon the Warriors will soon find that one of these superteams (superteams they’re ultimately responsible for), will prove to be one that even they can’t contain.
LeBron James, DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George… they know now that they can’t win on their own. By the Warriors’ own doing, they will look to join other stars this season before they think about going “home,” or going somewhere else to build something “new.”
Wednesday night, James Harden, Chris Paul, and the Houston Rockets proved more than just a simple “the Warriors can take nights off.” It proved that they’re capable of giving the greatest team ever assembled a dose of their own medicine. And next year, whose to say that dose won’t be ten-fold? This is the beast that only the Warriors themselves created. And this is just one beast, out of many more to come, that they’ll have to beat if they want to stay at the top of the basketball world.