There are not many times in the NBA this season, or if we’re being brutally honest here, in basketball history, that can do what the Golden State Warriors did at the end of the second quarter into midway through the third last night. After blowing a quick double-digit lead they built out of lockdown defense and crisp passing, they went down by 7 after a Nuggets 21-3 run. Steve Kerr’s defense-oriented bench unit couldn’t score and couldn’t defend in transition. The Warriors put together an offensive onslaught that showed off their entire arsenal of gifts.
The shooting, the passing, the defense, the cutting, and the arrogance that has exemplified the Warriors these past few years are now amplified by its highest level of talent ever. Stephen Curry actually looks the strongest and most in control of the offense he ever has. Kevin Durant is playing like he’s been in the offense for the entirety of Kerr’s tenure. Klay Thompson is shooting lights out from three, midrange, fadeaway, and everything else. Draymond Green had a strong aggressive game driving and of course, when he nails a couple 3s, the avalanche is coming.
The dam opened a few cracks near the end of the first half as the Warriors took back a 5-point lead after Kerr played every single active player possible, including closing with Kevin Looney. Mind you, this game wasn’t about the rotations of Kerr. He started the second quarter with his usual West, Iguodala, Draymond, Klay, and now Patrick McCaw combo. Kerr takes a lot of heat with who he plays but he ended up trying anyone and anything to combat the Denver Nuggets comeback.
Instead, it took Durant to come back and nail a 3 to quiet things down. Then in the third quarter, it all faded to black. Steph shot like Ty Lawson flashbacks were playing out in real time and real life in front of his eyes. Draymond and Durant swarmed every Nuggets player, making a team with no real playmaker off the dribble, completely miserable. And it was capped with Zaza Pachulia rolling downhill on a fastbreak against Nikoa Jokic, finishing at the rim like we’ve never seen before.
The Warriors dropped a light 43 in the 3rd, onwards to a 127-108 victory, and solidifying its first place standing as the most points (120) and most assists (30) in the NBA. We’ve seen these types of runs before. We’ve seen the defense that suffocates and leads to fastbreaks. We’ve seen MVP Kevin Durant from afar. Defensive Player of the Year Draymond? Absolutely. Two-time MVP Steph? Of course. 11 dribbles Klay? Come on now. Yet when they’re all meshing together at the same time, on the same floor? Making that a regular sight might be the first step to breaking apart the NBA. The Warriors are slowly becoming that scary, and they were nearly unbeatable to begin with.
Oh, and Steph was a +44. Who is better?