Warrior Nation, can it get any better? Seriously. After Golden State's tenacious, gutty, and spirited come-from-behind 103-99 victory over the Dallas Mavericks Sunday night in the O-rena, the Warriors have taken a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven series. After 13 years of waiting, nobody in the NBA is more jacked up than the Warriors and their long-suffering fans.
The season has gone from just another shit sandwich to a gravy train with biscuit wheels in little more than a month. From nine games below .500 to .500. Not just a .500 record, but playoffs. Not just playoffs, but most favorable matchup. Not just favorable matchup, but a game one victory to take home court advantage in the series and set the basketball world abuzz.
As the eight seed, long-shot, Cinderella, dark horse, cupcake in the Western Conference, the Warriors and their fans can just enjoy the playoff experience with no expectations. It's all gravy. There is zero pressure on this team. The season's goals have been met and surpassed, the fans are gorging on the ambrosia that is the NBA playoffs, and the Warriors are actually relevant in the national sports dialogue.
Silk scarf and 7.62-mm full-metal fedora -- move over Clyde Frazier, BDiddy is so coool, he's SUPER-bad. Photo from The Basketball Jones.
Which is more than anybody could have hoped for. Just getting to the playoffs was a dream when the season started, and now Bay Area hoopsters are looking at the possibility of pulling off the biggest upset in modern NBA playoff history. No eight seed has ever beaten a one seed in a seven-game series (it has happened twice in a five-game series). A win tomorrow night keeps the fantasy season alive and with the confidence and momentum this team is swinging right now, who knows how far the good times can roll.
Things are going so well, coach Don Nelson even allowed number one draft choice Patrick O'Bryant to wear his warm-ups instead of street clothes for game 4. There was no way Nellie was going to let him anywhere near the court, but at least he let the poor guy pretend he's part of the team. Actually, don't get too excited, turns out that Josh Powell was away attending a family emergency so Nellie had to fill out the roster. Maybe next year big fella.
Since the game one win, the Warriors have been the darlings of the NBA playoffs. Talking sports heads like the Chuckster have actually had to familiarize themselves with the Warriors roster -- heady stuff for a franchise that's been used to getting its number called only once a year for the draft Lottery. Not only are they the talk of the town, they're the toast of the Association right now. Everybody's a Warriors fan. How weird is that? How fun is that.
Yeah, the bandwagon is getting a little crowded -- it's especially painful watching local news anchors try to banter with their sport guys -- but this "bonus" season has inspired intense pride and community spirit around the Bay (for the most part). It just feels really, really good.
Too much success this year might lead to unrealistic expectations for next year, but let's deal with that "problem" when we come to it. For now, revel Warriors fans, revel. The dream continues tonight at 6:30 p.m. on TNT and KNBR 1050.