Stephen Curry was momentarily free on a fast break. It was an easy layup, but out of nowhere the Spurs unheralded guard Jonathan Simmons, came out of nowhere and swatted the ball in the backboard and back into his trailing teammate.
This is a stern message to the Golden State Warriors, all the 29 teams are ready for them. Even if the seismic change of super power went back into the East with the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the championship. The signing of Kevin Durant became a growing concern for the rest of the NBA teams. Golden State is already a super team who had just won a historical 73 games in the regular season. They still have the core players intact with Draymond Green, sharp shooting Klay Thompson, role players Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and the current NBA MVP Stephen Curry. If you add Kevin Durant to the equation, then it amplifies GSW more. With Curry, Durant and Thompson capable of dropping 50 points in any given night, sky is the limit for the Warriors. That’s why every game, teams are battling them like it’s a championship match.
With the Spurs winning the opening game in Oakland, it doesn’t really mean anything with 81 games left in the schedule. But the way the Warriors are defeated is something not to take lightly. They were outmatched from the inside and was clearly missing the services of their defensive big man in Andrew Bogut. For two years we are accustomed of seeing them win games especially on their own turf. The 29-point loss is simply a wakeup call. They need to get their effort and intensity back. These teams are moving towards them like a raging bull. And they need to be always ready. The historical 73 games and the 3-1 lead in the finals are already a thing in the past. The chance to play all the way till June is what matters now… back into the championship and back into redemption. The future seemed gloomy with Kevin Durant expected to decline his player option for next season and become an unrestricted agent. He would command a maximum deal to about $34 million. Which brings the GSW cap to $72 million and they will still have to sign Curry to his own maximum contract extension at about $24 million. In other words, Iguodala, Livingston or let’s say Clark will have to look for bigger deals. Signing Kevin Durant was still a good move. But convincing key players to sign for lesser money will be a challenge in the future.
With the cloud of doubt looming ahead. A championship trophy can change everything.
This time it’s now or never for the Dubs.