Well, all right, kids, we think you probably agree with us when we say that if the Warriors can’t clinch their series against the Mavericks in that Thunderdome, they’re not likely to sneak out a Game 7 in Dallas. So tonight is, for all intents and purposes, the deciding game. And it’s the biggest night in Golden State Warrior basketball since ... well, since further back than we can fathom.
To get a feel for how the Warriors faithful are holding up, we talked to the gang at Golden State Of Mind — Atma Brother #1, Hash and Fantasy Junkie — to get a feel how Warrior Nation felt going into tonight. Their responses after the jump ...
And enjoy the game — as well as the Jazz-Rockets matchup, no small bones itself. That place is going to burst into flames if Golden State wins.
(Getty Images photo)
OK, seriously ... are you guys shitting your pants? You’re a game away from upsetting a team that won 67 games, and you haven’t been to the playoffs in a decade.
Atma Brother #1: Just like I wrote in an article for The W Column before this great series began: “If you have nothing to lose, how can you possibly lose?”
Fantasy Junkie: Honestly, we wanted a matchup with the Mavs over any of the other playoff teams. Why? The record the last two years speaks for itself, 3-1 last year, 3-0 this year. Now we’re 3-2 in the playoffs. The Warriors match up well with the Mavs, and we have the key ingredient, Don Nelson. It should only surprise those who don’t follow the Warriors. We expected this to happen, and missing the playoffs the last 12 seasons just makes the players and fans hungrier and want this even more than any other team.
Hash: I’m absolutely shitting my pants. Right now the Warriors are in a situation that is considered to be too good to be true. To be one game away from eliminating a team with the sixth-best NBA record ever as well as be in a position to do something that has never been done in the history of NBA basketball makes me proud, but it also scares the hell out of me. Nothing short of a 30 point lead going into the fourth quarter tonight will keep me from having (yet another) heart attack.
Did you really see this coming? Be honest.
Atma Brother #1: Honestly? Hellnaw. Up until this season I thought there was an unwritten code in the NBA:
1) Manu Ginobili and Devin Harris will carry Vlade Divac and Derek Fisher’s torch into the next decade as flopper extraordinaires.
2) Danny Ainge and Kevin McHale are the NBA’s version of Dumb and Dumber.
3) The Warriors are banned from the playoffs for having the ridiculous moniker “Golden State”.
Hash: It’s tough to say yes to this question without sounding arrogant, but let’s just say that we’re probably not as shocked as someone who just started watching this Warriors ballclub. At the end of the regular season, I think all of us were praying for the chips to fall in favor of a Warrior/Mavs series. Simply put, we have the components to slow down the Mavericks. Tons of other teams have found ways around our game plan, but somehow, our exact style of play is a successful anti-Mavs formula. We were a threat to this team in the regular season, and all Mavs fans could say was, “This isn’t the playoffs. It’s a different game in the playoffs.” Well, now this is the playoffs. The Warriors have already proven themselves to the GSoM faithful with their performance this season. Win or lose this series, the Warriors have now proved themselves to the rest of the world.
Has Baron Davis been playing like this all year? Because he kind of looks like the best player on the planet right now. And how long has he had that beard, anyway?
Atma Brother #1: When Boom Dizzle has been healthy this year, he’s put up superstar numbers and performances. He was robbed of an All Star appearance this year despite 10 excellent reasons to send him to Vegas. Replace Steve Nash with Baron Davis, and the Phoenix Sunny Delight win the title this year hands down. A point guard who actually tries on defense? What a concept!
Hash: Baron has always been a beast, but his playoff performance has elevated him to Bigfoot status. Well ... his playoff performance plus his badass beard.
We don’t remember the last time we saw an NBA team’s fans go as crazy as you all have been these last few days. Has it always been like this? Or has it just been a crazed fan base waiting for something to scream about?
Atma Brother #1: There’s just something about this sorry franchise that the good folks in the Bay Area just love and adore. Had the most inept owner in all of sports not owned this team for the past decade, this might be one of the top three most valued franchises in the NBA right now.
Hash: The GSoM and Warriors community have always been a crazed fan base waiting to pop. The playoff hype has contributed to some amazing new community members to the site, but even during the regular season, Warriors faithful have been living and dying on every game. I can’t remember who said this but it was once said, “For a Warriors fan, every game is like Game 7 of the NBA Finals.” For so many years, that’s all that we ever had. The playoffs didn’t make us crazy, they just allowed the rest of the world to see how crazy we actually are.
Any good Stephen Jackson stories from the road? Does he ghostride? We imagine he ghostrides.
Atma Brother #1: Well, we’ve all Nowitnessed Action Jackson ghostride Dirk this entire series. Let’s just say Action Jackson’s a character. He’s that crazy cousin who’s done some really dumb things in the past, but always has your back no matter what. You can’t help but love a guy like that.
Fantasy Junkie: The best Stephen Jackson story that I’ve heard is the one where he told Charles Barkley why Dwyane Wade will never be in his Fave Five. It’s because Wade will never replace Dominos, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Jack in the Box and of course Krispy Kreme.
Admit it: You desperately miss Mike Dunleavy, Jr.
Fantasy Junkie: The one thing that we really do miss about Dunleavy is the great pictures he would “pose” for during games. Our recaps of games are just not quite the same without the Dunleavy dogface or him getting kicked in the groin. He never ceased to amaze us with his uncanny ability to get a picture taken of him at the worst possible moment.
Hash: Like I miss hemorrhoids.
Do you worry about Don Nelson’s health? His heart is just going to explode sometime.
Atma Brother #1: I’m more worried about the Warriors never making the playoffs again after Nellie retires. I guess I’m pretty worried about his rap career exploding after he leaves too.
Fantasy Junkie: His heart? I worry about his liver. Seriously, what other coach would show up to a postgame press conference with a Bud Light? I think the more he drinks, the better the Warriors play.
Hash: Nellie is immortal. The only thing I worry about is him subbing himself into the game and dropping 45 on the Mavs in a quarter. That, and seeing him in basketball shorts.
We’re asking this just so you’ll curse it: Whom do you want in the second round, Utah or Houston?
Atma Brother #1: What’s this funny thing called the “second round” you speak of?
Fantasy Junkie: Hell, we were just happy to make the playoffs a couple weeks ago. Either team would be great, it doesn’t matter. All we care about right now is winning the first round. Both Utah and Houston pose problems for the Warriors because they have tough big men who can score and rebound. Their big men don’t get pushed around in the paint, are mentally tough, and can punish the Warriors down low. Also, both teams play excellent defense which will severely limit the run and gun style of the Warriors. It really doesn’t matter who we face, but if I had a choice, I’d rather face Utah just because we blew them out the last time we played.
Hash: The Grizzlies.
You guys have been pretty bad for a while. What are some of the truly favorite embarrassing/humiliating Warrior fan moments that are making this success taste that much sweeter?
Fantasy Junkie: Hmmmm, so many to choose from. My favorites are the missed draft picks. Joe Smith over Kevin Garnett. Todd Fuller over Kobe Bryant. Adonal Foyle over Tracy McGrady. Mike Dunleavy over Amare Stoudemire. Despite passing on all those franchise players and trading away a plethora of All-Star talent, we may just knock off the #1 team in the league and make a serious run in the playoffs.
Seriously ... they gonna pull this off? If they don’t, what will it mean to Warrior fandom?
Atma Brother #1: No doubt the Dubs are going to pull this off. If they don’t, Warriors Nation will still feel like we won the NBA Finals. I’m just happy that the 13 year curse is finally, finally over. Your Golden State Warriors- where mediocrity is considered excellence!
Fantasy Junkie: Yes.
Hash: At the risk of jinxing it, all I will say is that the Warriors are going to shock the world. Keep in mind that’s a relatively safe bet, seeing as the world is already shocked that we’re as far as we are in this series.
Anything else you want to add?
Atma Brother #1: To borrow a line from Warrior “legend” Marc Jackson during his rookie season after hitting a lay-up during a 29-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks’ bench in 2000 — win or lose we’re “Unstoppable baby!”
Hash: Just a shout out to the entire GSoM community. Behind every bandwagoner, there lies a GSoMer who has bled lightning bolts for years. They deserve all the joy they are getting out of this series.