Last night, for the sake of basketball fans everywhere, the Warriors snuffed out the Houston Rockets’ season and, in its doing, advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs. The final score was 114-81, but the game wasn’t nearly as tight as that scoreline would have you think. Against a worthy team, being without the MVP would have been cause for huge concern, but the Rockets weren’t that, now were they? No, no they were not. Christ on a cracker, what an disgraceful team. Can’t they at least pretend like they care? Lie to me, Houston, lie to me! Ah well, good riddance. The next time these two teams meet, the Rockets will almost assuredly be wholly reconstituted, so last night was, mercifully, the last we’ll ever see of the most loathsome team in the league.
Although the Rockets are that bad, the Warriors are also just that good. There isn’t a backup point guard in the NBA I’d rather have than Shaun Livingston. Where Steph is electric and manic, Shaun is smooth like butter. His turnaround, fadeaway, mid-range jump-shot is the surest and prettiest shot in basketball. Yes, we love that he scored 16 on 7-8 shooting, but more important than that is his calming presence on the court, the confidence he instills. Shaun went from having his knee obliterated when his leg snapped in half, nearly requiring amputation, to stepping up when Steph went down like it ain’t no thang. If he isn’t one of your favorite players in the league, you’re a bad person and you should feel bad.
This first-round in the West has been a red wedding. First, Steph’s ankle gave everyone palpitations in Game 1 and caused him to miss Games 2 and 3. Then Steph’s knee injury in Game 4 meant he would be out for at least two weeks. We all went to our calendars and figured his return would come around Game 4 or 5 of the second round. Could the Warriors last that long against the LA Clippers without Steph? We knew Portland probably couldn’t win their first-round series against the Clips, but we hoped that Portland’s star, and Oakland native, Damian Lillard would come through for the Bay and that series to seven games, giving Steph more time to heal while tiring out the Clips. Then, one day after Steph’s knee injury, the heartbeat of the Clippers, Chris Paul, broke his hand while trying to steal the ball. Unbelievable. Then, the day after that, we learned the Clippers’ Blake Griffin, a mountain of a man, would miss the rest of the playoffs with a leg injury. Suddenly, brutal logic said the Clippers would be the more desirable second-round opponent. So, I guess we’re now rooting for our hated rivals, the Clippers, and against our hometown hero up in Portland? I say we just postpone the playoffs until everyone is healthy because this sucks.
Western Conference Playoffs, First Round
Golden State Warriors (1) v. Houston Rockets (8)
Warriors won series, 4-1
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 WON (114-81)