Signs a player on the court just did something exceptionally sick:
1- Audible sounds of shock and awe from the crowd, before the shot even goes down, and especially when a player is playing on the road. [Check.]
2- Teammates on the bench all stand up in preparation for cheering wildly once the shot falls. [Check.]
3- Defender slides so far out of the picture that one of the game’s all-time great scorers finds himself as wide open as possible for a 20-foot jumper in a half-court set, which he calmly knocks down. [Check.]
Just a summary of what went down as Kobe Bryant stopped on a dime, watched O.J. Mayo fly right on by, and dribbled through his legs before pulling up for the easy jumper in the first half against the Mavericks on Sunday.
There’s this overplayed angle talked about by some fans and pundits suggesting the Warriors just got lucky last season — for example, they faced a banged-up Rockets’ team in the conference finals then a Cavaliers’ squad without two of their big three through the Finals. Then there was Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers saying the Warriors were lucky not having to play the Clippers or Spurs in the postseason.
– “I wanted to play the Clippers last year, but they couldn’t handle their business.”
– “If we got lucky, look at our record against them last year (Warriors 3-1). I’m pretty sure we smacked them.”
– “Didn’t they lose to the Rockets? Exactly. So haha. That just makes me laugh. That’s funny. Weren’t they up 3-1 too?”
– “Yeah, tell them I said that. That’s funny. That’s funny.”
If you think the Warriors just won because they were lucky — you are dead wrong.
They were the best team in the NBA last season, bar none. They won 67 regular season games in a tough conference, then beat everyone in their path to win a title. Did they catch some breaks along the way, particularly with health? You bet. Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant didn’t win a title without catching some breaks along the way, either. Nobody does. Luck plays a role, but it was not the primary factor in why the Warriors are champs.
All this talk of them getting lucky is fuel for the fire they needed not to be complacent this season. Way to give the defending champs bulletin board material, Doc.