The Oklahoma City Thunder landing the heavier punches through the first four games of the Western Conference Finals is somewhat a surprise. But the Golden State Warriors coming back from a 1-3 hole is just as, or even more, surprising.
Here are the 3 things we learned from that helluva series:
1. Makes me realize how special a player Kobe Bryant is.
I don’t mean to come across as a fanboy and I apologize putting someone in this conservation that is not even remotely involved in the series but the truth shall be told.
We throw around the term “special” a little bit too much when describing All-Star caliber players but really, it doesn’t do the word justice. You know, watching “special” players like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook throwing brick after brick after brick during iso situations and hurry said bricks like they were pursued by the Bogeyman or something. No patience, no direction, no idea what to do.
Don’t get me wrong, Bryant is also guilty of trying to do too much but unlike KD and Russ, especially with able players around, you get the feeling he knows what to do every single time. That’s obviously not the case with either.
It’s either they need to seriously get better in isolation and post-up situation players to give themselves a chance or take a crash course the value of patience and team work. I’m pretty sure Kobe had the former down on pat.
2. Steph Curry is the rightful MVP.
Anyone who says otherwise does not know anything about basketball or a hater. No other way to put it.
‘Just because he looks like he’s 12’ does not justify the hate on Curry. ‘Just because he looks like he’s 12’ does not justify Westbrook laughing at the notion of Curry being an underrated defender. ‘Just because he looks like he’s 12’ does not justify LeBron James questioning the word “valuable” in describing the two-time MVP.
When push comes to shove and when all marbles are down, there he is.
Over the last three games, Curry was second in the team in net rating (+15.6). During those same span, Westbrook, despite flashy triple-double-ish numbers, has a net rating of -13.6, second-worst of the team outside of Steven Adams (-13.3).
Who’s the MVP now?
3. Nobody is unbeatable.
The Warriors won more games than the 1996 Chicago Bulls and never has a team that has won that much looked so vulnerable. To be fair, they are still a pretty young bunch and had to deal with health issues to Curry but this as much is true: Anybody can be beaten on any given day.
Which makes the 2016 NBA Finals that much exciting by the way. This is one of the rare times the sequel will certainly be a hundred times better than the original. It’s going to be nuclear, ladies and gentlemen.
Photo via: knbr.com