If you do not recognize the above image, congratulations, you are likely young. That means you have so much lying ahead of you; however, it also might mean you don't recall the championship years from the mid 90's. Those years were so exhilarating because it is really, really hard to win a title. We weren't supposed to win those titles. Most had us written off (despite our #1 seed in '93-'94) Hakeem didn't care. Mad Max didn't care. Elie, Casell, Horry, Thorpe, Clyde, Kenny, Bull, Rudy T. and the rest. They just came and took it. Took it from David Robinson. Took it from Chuck. Stockton/Malone. Shaq. Ewing. Heck, we took it from Clyde the first time around.
We find ourselves in a similar place. We find ourselves with a similar team. We find ourselves with a similar opponent. Think back to those Suns teams---they were stacked! Barkley, KJ, Ainge, Majerle, Person, Manning, Green, and Co. Meanwhile, we stroll in with Hakeem (who only recently started being called by his actual name) and a bunch of "role players" and, well, the rest is history.
This year's team is closer to the '94-'95 version because of the CP3/Drexler comparison, but we're still not getting much love outside of H-town. It's tough to be optimistic looking to the task at hand, but there are reasons for hope. Reasons to believe.
They have to get Capela going offensively but more importantly on defense Clint will have to have an effect on Curry and Durant. I think the Durant’s contested twos will be welcomed but any threes by him will be trouble. The Rockets defense has to fly around enough to force them off the three point line and then create turnovers on their overconfident passes.
Couldn't agree more, Mario. Clint is going to be a huge factor and I can't wait to see how his match up with Durant goes. Yes, Durant is playing center 25% of the time in the playoffs. I think Capela can handle him out on the wing, but that leaves us exposed in the middle. I'm assuming Bzdelik is concocting some sort of scheme to try and stop them, but is a 1-4 zone a good idea against a pass-happy team like them?
I think we roll the dice and allow Capela to play on the perimeter (as we've done a great deal already) while having Tucker, Mbah a Moute, Ariza, and Co. play the post as needed.
Potential X-Factors for the Dubs: Shaun Livingston and Kevon Looney. Livingston is so under-rated. Looney has been quietly putting in solid minutes. Also, Steph Curry. The Dubs are posting a negative net rating when he sits. (Sorry, can't seem to find the source for that). Thus, finding a way to get him off the floor seems like a good idea. (DUH!)
The Warriors CAN be beat. The Rockets are going to need to find another level to do it. The good news is that based on what I've seen so far this post-season we've got room to grow. We've got to stay focused on the defensive end, on rebounding, and let the offense happen naturally. If they try to get into a sprint race with the Dubs we'll get blown out of the gym.
Oh, and Eric Gordon. Will someone wake Eric Gordon up and remind him he's 6MOY and 3 Pt. Champion and we're in a playoff series with an all-time juggernaut. If Gordon can shoot 40%+ for the series (from deep) that will be huge for us.
It starts tonight, gents. No matter what happens, let's enjoy the ride and appreciate what we've got. This is a great team--one that's worth supporting and rooting for--win or lose. It's time to come out and play.