Steve Kerr running in the NBA Finals
Warriors coach Steve Kerr slapped hands with fans at the team's parade in Downtown Oakland. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez, June 12, 2018.

After the Dubs’  loss in Game One, here are some notes to help you participate in mass anxiety while maintaining an air of (fake) confidence.

Simply put, the Mission Bay Dubs (AKA the Golden State Warriors), played Thursday night’s fourth quarter like they were San Francisco’s Department of Public Works: sloppy, disrespectful, late and letting the trash pile up. Dubs fans could do little more than avert their eyes and hold their noses.

A history lesson

In their previous five Finals appearances, the Dubs lost Game One just one time, in 2019, on the road to Toronto. They lost the series in 6.

In that Toronto game, the Dubs (and Draymond Green in particular) did not respect a role player named Pascal Siakam, who scored 32 points. Thursday night, they (particularly Green) did not respect role players Al Horford and Derrick White. And wow, did that “dynamic duo” make them pay, especially in the fourth quarter. Horford and White out-splashed the Splash Brothers, making 11 three-point shots (also called three balls and threes) on 16 attempts.  

Despite their record, the Dubs have had Game One problems in the past. In 2015, they benefited from an injury to a key player, Kyrie Irving, late in overtime, which the Dubs won 108-100. They subsequently lost Games 2 and 3, but ultimately survived.

In 2016, the Dubs won Games One and Two, but in both those games, Curry and Thompson were pushed around by a pugnacious Cleveland defense, a pattern that persisted through the seven-game series.

A slideshow of results for the NBA finals

The 2016 Western Conference Finals

The worst Dubs’ playoff Game One defeat came at the hands of the Oklahoma Thunder in the 2016 Western Conference Finals. After being ahead most of the game, they scored only 14 points in the fourth quarter and lost, not unlike their showing on Thursday night.

The Thunder were big, long, and athletic. They played a physical in-your-face defense, though not as good as Boston.    

The Dubs won Game Two of that 2016 series at home, then got shellacked twice in Oklahoma City. Down 3-1 in the series, the Dubs easily won Game Five at home. But they had to return to Oklahoma for Game Six.

Entering the fourth quarter, the Thunder led 83-75. Less than a minute into the quarter, Klay Thompson hit a 25-foot, three-point shot and never looked back. He scored 19 of his game-high 41 points in that quarter, leading the Dubs to a tight 106-100 win. That’s when Thompsom was christened “Game Six Klay”.

Back in what was then the Golden State, the Dubs won and advanced to the Finals.

2016 Western Conference finals. Not an auspicious start, but the Warriors pulled it out in Game 7. Prepared by William Reutter

What do the Dubs have to do to win Game Two?

Stop giving the Celtics wide-open shots when playing defense, and put the ball in the basket when playing offense. For all the media coverage and endless chatter, basketball is a fairly simple game; conceived to keep kids busy, not make adults rich. 

Including Thursday’s loss, the Dubs have only lost five games over the course of these playoffs, never losing two games in a row. At their best, the Finals are roller-coaster rides and we have learned, watching the Dubs over these years, what goes down usually goes back up. Enjoy the ride.

William Reutter contributed to this report.

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Mark Rabine has lived in the Mission for over 40 years. "What a long strange trip it's been." He has maintained our Covid tracker through most of the pandemic, taking some breaks with his search for the Mission's best fried-chicken sandwich and now its best noodles. When the Warriors make the playoffs, he writes up his take on the games.

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3 Comments

  1. I just don’t get the writing “style” where the writer, in attempting to insult one person, randomly insults another, for the lolz, I guess. Mohammed Nuru aside, DPW employees do a lot of hard, unglamorous work to keep the city clean in the face of an avalanche of filt

  2. The big trend for this years playoff, Warriors are beating teams in the paint, and second chance points.
    For Faux fans the paint is the area inside the lane lines from the baseline to the free-throw line.
    go warriors

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