The Houston Rockets are who we thought they were. With Sunday’s 121-94 win over the Rockets, the Warriors took the series lead to 3-1 and will be coming home to Oakland to thankfully end the season of one of the least watchable teams in the NBA.
The Rockets almost had everyone fooled last night when the half ended with the score tied at 56. They almost looked cohesive. They showed something that resembled effort. Heading into the second half, the Rockets were probably the favorites to win the rest of the game (largely for reasons we'll get to later). But, one has to play the rest of the game first, and the Rockets did not. That third quarter was a disgrace. That fourth quarter was a shame. The Warriors scored more points in the third quarter than the Rockets did in the entire half. Ain’t no shame in losing to the Warriors teams have done so at a historic clip all season. But this is the playoffs. It’s on your home court. Do something! Yesterday, the Memphis Grizzlies’ season ended after being swept by the Spurs. But the Grizzlies grinded, from tip-off to final buzzer. Their fans were chanting “De-fense!” with one minute left. The Grizzlies walked off the court to a standing ovation. The Rockets walked off to a nearly empty arena because they told the fans the game ended in the 3rd.
Who cares. That’s them this series is about us. And there is only one thing on our minds: Steph Curry’s right knee. In the waning moments of the first half, Steph slipped on a wet spot on the court and his legs deformed into an unholy triangle before he crumpled to the ground, hugging his right knee. Some of us may have screamed. Some of us froze, merely blinking at the TV. Steph tried to come back to start the second half, but was pulled out of the game. He cried. We died. The rest of the Dubs did their part to pat both Steph and us on our backs, saying “we got this” and going out and actually getting, but last night’s game was all about Steph’s knee. These Warriors without Steph are a very good team, good enough to easily get past the Rockets, but not good enough to get past the Clippers or OKC or the Spurs or the Cavs.
[Update: The Warriors just confirmed, "Stephen Curry underwent an MRI this morning that revealed a Grade 1 MCL sprain in his right knee. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks." Ugh.]
As of right now, we know nothing. We went through this just last week when Steph’s ankle got tweaked. Steph is sitting out the next game, no matter what with a 3-1 lead, playing at home, against these Rockets, there is absolutely no need to play Steph. Anything beyond that depends on the MRI. One week seems to be the best-case scenario. The worst-case is too cruel to even contemplate. And so we pray, to the old gods and the new.
Holy Threesus, baller by thy name. We volunteer as tribute. Take our knees and take our ankles. May Steph slay the best in the West and the beast in the East. Long may he reign and long may he rain. Klaymen.
Western Conference Playoffs, First Round
Golden State Warriors (1st) v. Houston Rockets (8th)
Warriors lead series, 3-1
Saturday, April 16: Warriors WON (104-78)
Monday, April 18: Warriors WON (115-106)
Thursday, April 21: Warriors LOST (97-96)
Sunday, April 24: Warriors WON (121-94)
Wednesday, April 27: Warriors at home, TBD
Friday, April 29: Warriors at Houston, TBD
Sunday, May 1: Warriors at home, TBD