HOUSTON - Admit it, Warriors fans, you lost faith in the first half of Game 7 against the Rockets.
In those two quarters the Dubs threw the ball all over greater Houston. They gave up second shots. And then third shots. Told to avoid early, silly fouls, they committed four in the first 55 seconds.
It couldn’t have been clearer that the Rockets, even without their injured emotional leader Chris Paul, were slowly squeezing the life out of the defending champs.
Down 11 at the half, Golden State went into the locker room looking disorganized, listless and frankly outclassed.
There’s no shame in admitting it, Dub Nation, you gave into despair.
And see, that’s the difference between novice basketball experts like us, and real professionals. In the locker room, Kerr was steady, resolute and confident. He diagrammed a few players, made a few suggestions and had no doubt his guys were going to rally, come back and win.
“It was a disaster,” Kerr said. “We just lost our composure in the first half. The game plan went completely out the window. We were just hoping to hold our composure after coming completely unglued.”
But surely he must have had some thought during the halftime break. Didn’t he have some idea of what he could do?
“Well, I was thinking of resigning,” he said. “I thought, I don’t even recognize this team.”
Instead, the Warriors abruptly, and improbably, became, once again, the World’s Best Team. Steph Curry, who looked lost and out-classed with eight points in the first half, morphed into that surreal shooter who makes one “wow” 3-pointer after another.
And Kevin Durant, relegated to casting off one long, futile 3 after another in the first two periods, joined him.
Durant tied with score at 61-all with a 3. Curry gave the Warriors the first lead of the game with another with four minutes left in the quarter, and followed that with a step back 3 that sucked the air right out of Toyota Center.
The final score 101-92, sounds ho-hum. And the fact is, this game is likely to soon fade into the mists of history.
Because at this stage of the season we’re always on to the next game.
The turbo-hype is already beginning for the matchup America has demanded ever since the first game — nearly 100 opening tips ago — LeBron James and his Cavaliers cast of misfit toys in their annual NBA Finals matchup.
Here they come, the Cavs and the Dubs, for the fourth consecutive time. It will be epic. How do we know? Because it has been the past three times. And if anything James is more energized and committed than ever. Get ready for the flexing, the posing and the glower.
Because didn’t it always seem this was how it was going to turn out?
Well, maybe in the minds of network television executives. But take just a moment to take in the gloom from the Houston locker room.
This was a team designed and built to take down the Warriors. You can call James Harden annoying, with his collection of ticks and tricks to coax cheap fouls. But by God he’s a force out there.