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The Golden State Warriors: Fluke game or panic mode?

Adam Shay

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“Ooh’s” and “Aah’s” have filled The Oracle in Oakland, California, nightly since the Golden State Warriors started their dynasty in 2014-15, their first NBA Championship victory since 1975. After last night’s game, the “Ooh’s” and “Aah’s” were in a negative tone as the championship favorites added another memorable debacle to their resume. 

The Warriors were in the drivers seat the entire game, then the Clippers brought out the humor stick and repeatedly wailed on the Warriors, causing them to blow a 31 point lead and lose 135-131. So naturally, social media is reliving the Warriors blowing a 3-1 series lead in the 2015-16 NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers. How blasphemous, yet wildly amusing is this?

With a team of misfits and only a couple solidified NBA players, the Clippers showed a brief David vs. Goliath moment in defeating an All-Pro ridden squad. But, one underdog moment does not matter against a behemoth of MVP’s and quality role players. So here’s the question: is it a fluke game, or is it time for a new NBA Champion this year?

It would a remarkable underdog story if the Clippers could dethrone the two-time reigning champions in the first round, but it is unlikely as the Warriors should win the series 4-2.

Despite the Warriors losing All-Star DeMarcus Cousins to a torn left quad injury, he has not impacted the teams success this season. As great as he is, Cousins has been more of a distraction with his hot-tempered attitude than a valuable asset. The Warriors last season went 58-24, the Warriors finished 57-25 this season, and “Boogie” Cousins played 30 games. Without Cousins, the Warriors will fall back into their rhythm the past two seasons. 

Nevertheless, with the Clippers going back to the Staples Center for two games, they have a solid chance at taking game three or four. Right now, to make a comparison to the Clippers’ style of play, they resemble the 2015 Chicago Cubs. Both teams are playing freely, having fun, more competitive than expected, and most importantly, have nothing left to lose.

Clippers’ players are a fun bunch to watch though. With no other logical way to put it, bench superstar Lou Williams has been sensational all season and after a 36 point, 11 assist game, the man displayed a clutch performance with 12 fourth quarter points. The pesky/menace Patrick Beverly stirs a pot of disgruntlement for superstar Kevin Durant, already causing an ejection for both players from game one. Also, an overlooked Most Improved Player of the Year candidate, Montrezl Harrell had a perfect shooting game, going 9-9 with 25 points and 10 rebounds. 

But, here’s the reality for the rest of the series. To beat the Warriors, the Clippers had to shoot .565 percent from the field, including .452 percent from beyond the three-point line. How likely is this shooting performance to reoccur? It is improbable for the Clippers to sustain such a nuclear offensive showcase.

As for the Warriors, they can produce another .533 percent from the field, and improve their .393 percent from three-point land. The NBA (except Warriors fans) applaud the Clippers for their valiant record setting comeback, but unless they win the next two games at home, their chances of winning the series is minuscule. 

Ever wished you could start a career covering your favorite sport? Have you spent time wishing you could combine your love of sports with your passion for writing and reporting? CMN’s Sports Journalism course is an experiential learning program designed to give the practical experience you need to get your foot in the door in this ultra-competitive industry. You’ll get useful, direct feedback on your reporting, exposure to experienced sports journalists and influencers, and a great place to build your portfolio. You can get college credit, too. Get all the details on the CMN's Sports Journalism Course here.

Adam Shay is a graduate from Eastern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, During his four years at EIU, he wrote for the Daily Eastern News for two and a half years, covering multiple sports, news events, and writing feature stories. He was also on the rugby club team for two years, a member of the Society of Collegiate Journalists, and finished third in applying for his commencement speech. Currently, he runs a public relations system for a bar in Palatine, Illinois, and in his free time, he is always learning about music, sports history, and American history.

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