Nobody said winning a record 73 regular season games was going to assure a Championship. And everybody knows winning back-to-back Championships is hard to do in the best of times, when your team is healthy and the refs are backing off. But last night's 89-93 loss to the Cleveland LeBroners stings deeply. It stings because the Dubs were up 3-1 and had two of the next three games scheduled for their home court - a massively huge advantage. It stings because it comes at the hands of the egomaniacal LeBron James who, despite always taking the high road, kept backing in, backing in, backing in against a weak interior Dubs D, and exposing visible cracks in the team's physical and mental make-up. But mostly it stings because the Warriors aren't now able to say they're the best team ever...a chance that comes only once in a lifetime. The only way the Dubs can try to mutter the word "dynasty" with a straight face, is if they SWEEP these very same Cavs in June of 2017.
But let's slow down just a bit. 73 wins IS important. The core of the Warriors IS solid. And most importantly, the team provided huge entertainment value not just for Bay Area fans, but for baseketball fans everywhere. And while Jerry West will sit with Bob Myers and Steve Kerr in the coming days and dissect the hell outa this loss, the fact remains this team is poised to win again next year. Yet that's not what they'll be talking about. They'll be discussing what you and other Dubs fans are thinking...how can we get bigger and tougher inside, yet not lose the chemistry and athleticism that is a winning brand of hoops. And they'll talk about what to do with Harrison Barnes, who is most likely gone, which is a bummer for him 'cuz someone's gonna pay him big money and he'll continue to disappear at important times. And maybe, just maybe if they're smart, they'll talk about how to get more brain power out of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, who - despite their immense athletic talent - still need to mature between the ears to eliminate the costly errors (physical and mental) that prevent them from being legendary.
All is not lost, Dubs Nation, everywhere people are talking about how the Warriors brand of basketball has indelibly changed the game...and we've enjoyed it immensely. Losing stinks, AND stings...especially when they averaged a little more than one loss per MONTH during the regular season, but it puts things in perspective and makes ya dig in deeper for the next opportunity. Go Dubs.