As a false fan, you probably knew that the Mission Bay Dubs (aka Golden State Warriors) won the NBA Finals and you’re ready to move on.
Not so fast!
On Monday comes the big parade. Which means another street party. It will be covered by international television, the press, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and various podcasts, so additional material is needed to fill the crowd.
The festivities start around 11:20.., will end around 2pm and will likely include cameos and clichés from local favorites.
It probably won’t be as bustling as Thursday night, but it will be a good opportunity to show the sci-fi haters a brighter and more cheerful face of the city than they usually see in the gritty national media.
In case you forgot, here are the names of some of the key players. When talking about them, don’t forget to use names or nicknames: Steven (“Steph”) Curry, Draymond Green, Clay Thompson, Andre IguodalaIggy”), Kevon Looney (“Lun”), Andrew Wiggins (“Wiggs“), Jordan Poole and Gary Payton II (“GP2“).
Crushed among “real” fans, you may feel the need to show that you are minimally aware of what just happened. Here are some notes.
Despite Steph Curry’s admiration (deservedly!!), the Dubs’ victory underlined once again that basketball is a team game. To play as a team: they share, help, talk, trust, rely and move in sync with each other. At best they play basketball.
Pay tribute to the Dubs game, unique in the NBA, to the coach Steve Kerr. Yes, he has transcendental players. But Kerr constantly involves everyone, blends strengths and weaknesses, and weaves disparate parts into a coherent whole.
(Managers, take note).
On the other hand, even though the Boston Celtics are good defensively, their offense is mostly made up of two guys who grew up freelancing. This year they learned how to pass the ball, but throughout the series it was clear to everyone that they still had a lot to learn.
Time and time again, the Dubs pushed the Celtics out of their comfort zone. Their tendency to lose the ball due to a bad pass, a bad decision or a stupid shot was no accident.
The Dubs, behind Steph, scored enough points, but the defense won the championship.
This defense, led by Draymond (defense specialist), included outstanding play from Wiggs, Lun, GP2, Clay and Steph. Wait. Steph? Outstanding protection? Yes. Time and time again the Celtics attacked him because of his height, and time and time again he stood up to guys who were half a foot taller and ten years younger as a battle cry. “THE ENEMY WILL NOT PASS!” (“They won’t pass.) in basketball shorts.
The turning point came in Game 4 in Boston. The Celtics beat the Dubs in Game 3 to take a 2-1 lead, and Draymond was lewdly ridiculed by Celtic fans in what was probably the worst playoff game of his career. Even his mother expressed her concern. He got his revenge two days later.
Game 4 is likely to be known for Steph’s 43 points, which was critical. But it also marked the point where Draymond and the Dubs defense seemed to figure out how to consistently shut Boston down. Score 100 points in a game should be considered more or less average. The Celtics scored 97 points in Game 4, 94 in Game 5, and 90 in Game 6.
It’s worth noting that until 2022, the Celtics, in addition to having the best defense in the league, also had the best offensive rating, which held up through the first round of the playoffs and then faltered a little before the Dubs put them to bed. .
Game 5 showcased another aspect of the Dubs’ team play. As the Celtics defense was set to stop Steph from scoring, others including Clay, Jordan and especially Wiggs took the slack.
Back in Boston for Game 6, the Celtics hit the opening 14-2. Dubs’ defense then took over and Jordan, Wiggs, GP2 and Steph (naturally) earned offense.
Game 6 also showed the value of the Dubs experience. It was a game of ebb and flow. The Dubs scored 21 unanswered points to take a double-digit lead. The Celtics fought back. The Dubs took the lead again by double digits. The Celtics fought back again. With five minutes left in the game, the Celtics cut their lead to 8. The Dubs didn’t lose their cool and ended the game with well-timed shots from Wiggs and Steph (who else?) to close the game with the Finals edging the Celtics 17–12 .
In the end, the Dubs got champagne, Steph got the Most Valuable Player award, and fans, both real and fake, enjoyed a rare showcase of team basketball at its most compelling and breathtaking.
See you on Monday.