Chaos should be absorbed in moderation. Watching the Succession characters act as if they’re on a Jerry Springer Show reboot, in which guests are from the top one percent is amusing chaos. A think tank/lobbyist organization called Foundation for Government Accountability working to get legislation passed that rolls back existing child labor laws, all under the guise of “parental rights,” — that is the terrifying smog of chaos that lingers over America at all times. The end of Game 4 Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors was the kind of fun high-energy chaos that can raise heart rates, but has only real consequences for the team employees.
People generally tune into college sports for athletic chaos. It’s why people spend many hours watching two days of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The NBA Playoffs are supposed to be where the seasoned professionals play sports the way that Stevie Wonder and Prince played instruments. Those who witness are supposed to be awed by the capabilities of the human body.
This is why we watch the NBA playoffs
Game 4 began at a pace that was revving towards a memorable finish. The Kings attempted 30 field goals in the first quarter, at a 116 possession pace. The older Warriors were forced to play fast, and they responded to the challenge. At halftime the Kings held a slim 69-65 lead.
In the second half, the Warriors turned back the clock with one of their momentum-draining third quarters. They scored 37 points and shot 54.2 percent from the field, while the Kings only tallied 23 points on 36.8 percent shooting. When Klay Thompson hit that 3 pointer with just under two seconds remaining in quarter to give the Warriors the first double-digit lead of the game, a 2-2- series tie felt inevitable.
The inaugural NBA Clutch Player of the Year — De’Aaron Fox — was not about to allow his team be vanquished by a Warriors’ third-quarter title wave. They pushed the pace again, forcing the Warriors to run all throughout the game’s final period. It was at this pace that the 35-year-old Stephen Curry was forced to play with no rest during the fourth quarter. The Kings fought back the first half of the quarter, and spent the second half trying to kick the game out of the Chase Center and into the cool waters of the nearby bay.
They turned the ball over four times in less than four minutes — one of which bounced off of the back of Draymond Green’s head. A young team self-combusting in the final minutes of the biggest game of the series. The series at 2-2 headed back to Sacramento was so close the Warriors could have hugged it.
The Warriors challenged a what?
Then they called that stupid challenge. Who challenges a moving screen? A moving screen in the NBA is like offensive holding in football. It happens so often, that is long as it isn’t blatant, the violation is usually not called. On top of that, moving screens are called far more infrequently than holding, but Warriors decided that this rarely-called violation was somehow an egregious error. They lost the challenge and their final timeout.
Did they play like they had no timeouts remaining? Absolutely not. The Warriors were up five points with 48 seconds remaining after a missed three. Curry walked the ball up the court and literally motioned for his teammates to get to the other end of the floor. With no help in the backcourt, Curry got trapped, panicked, and called a nonexistent timeout. Unlike when former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt did this in 2015, the officials noticed and Curry was assessed a technical foul.
Malik Monk made the free throw and Harrison Barnes then missed a wild 3-pointer. The Warriors’ response? Thompson knocked the potential rebound out of bounds. Fox made a three, and after a Curry miss he and Green played great defense on Fox during the final possession. Fox passed to Barnes who missed an open three for the win.
There was outstanding basketball played by both teams, far more than simply shot making from Curry, Fox, Monk, and Thompson. Green had Domantas Sabonis on punishment all day, Curry grabbed some clutch rebounds, Fox was causing turnovers, Sunday was truly a premiere display of athleticism.
Until it wasn’t. Both teams took turns slipping on the banana peel, and that was just as fun to watch as the 28-foot threes. J. Cole once said, “There’s beauty in the struggle, ugliness in the success.” In this game the tumbles were just as fun to watch as the triumphs.
Even in pro sports, a handful of chaotic moments can greatly enhance the viewing experience.