Dub Nation HQ Rooting Guide: Conference Semis Game Sevens, plus open thread
All the friends, villains, grudges and petty rivalries, to help you decide for whom to pull
You can also read the complete Dub Nation HQ Rooting Guide for Other Teams.
Dallas Mavericks vs Phoenix Suns
Showdown of three of the most talented and flopping-set stars. In my opinion, home-court advantage is more important than any small differences in matchup disadvantage.
JaVale McGee. GSW resurrected his career, transforming him from a Shaqtin punching bag into the prototype high flying blocks-and-dunks big man. All GSW bigs since his time have been asked to play at minimum “a JaVale McGee role”.
Robert Sarver is known as one of the cheapest and most unpleasant owners in the NBA. From a basketball perspective, this has been bad for PHX and good for everyone else playing against PHX.
PHX mis-developed Marquess Chriss and let him go to GSW, so that was very helpful. (GSW also tried to re-habilitate mis-developed PHX draft picks Dragan Bender and Andrew Harrison, but with less success.)
Chris Paul. We covered the feud between Chris Paul and the Warriors, Dub Nation and most people in extremely vivid detail previously. In short, King Obnoxious with the Lob City Clippers, then Knight Obnoxious in the court of James Harden’s Rockets, he’s just continually getting in the way of the Warriors. He also brought out the best of the Warriors and Steph in particular. From the feud story:
What does Steph in Maximum Tryhard Mode look like? Between the Game 7 loss in May 2014 and January 6 2018, the Warriors went 13-1 against LAC, dropping only the traditional Warriors dud in Los Angeles on Christmas Day 2014.
Many of Stephen Curry’s most famous highlights came in that stretch against Chris Paul’s team.
He was elected Warriors Villain For Life, but unfortunately he was not able to dethrone James Harden as the most despised player in Dub Nation. Most recently, CP3’s 2021 MVP campaign irritated a lot of commenters here.
Let’s not forget his Tonpa role in the league, telling the world that small-time cheating (flopping, hooking, rip throughs) is good. Not as influential as James Harden’s cheating, Paul’s antics are more like the Athlete’s Foot of the league.
Devin Booker seems to be developing his Flop Force powers under the elder Sith Chris Paul.
Cameron Payne was a role player for the KD OKC team that almost took out GSW in 2016.
Well, PHX has been horrible from the 2010 last gasp of the Seven Seconds Or Less Suns through 2019. When you’re horrible, you get a zillion high draft picks and now they’ve drafted themselves into being a promising team. It also means there’s no way to develop a team rivalry since PHX has been irrelevant for so long.
However, this year PHX and GSW have definitely planted the seeds, as the two teams jockeyed for #1 all year. A playoff series would surely begin a real rivalry.
Tim Hardaway Jr is the son of… well you’re ahead of me on this one.
Marquess Chriss was a highlight of a dreadful 2019-2020 Warriors season, and has had many fans pining for his return as a rim-running, rim-protecting big man. But either GSW management saw him as too limited or knows more behind-the-scenes, and never brought him back, even when he was unclaimed by any NBA teams.
Boban is everyone’s friend, especially if you need something on a high shelf.
For completeness, I will list Coach Jason Kidd’s local connection to Cal basketball and growing up in Oakland.
Luka Doncic was hailed as the successor and supplanter of Steph for MVP consideration, but in 2020-21 DAL never took the next step that everyone expected. 2021-22 looked not great until a late surge put DAL back in the mix. Luka’s flopping game seems to be getting more prominent as he gets to play more important games.
If anyone should have a grudge, it’s DAL. After all, GSW is the one that We-Believed them out of the 2007 playoffs and ruined Dirk Nowitzki’s MVP season.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics
None, I think?
Jrue Holiday. Hard working, great defender, two-way talent. Fierce rival, but also a big public fan of Stephen Curry.
Giannis Antetokounmpo. He and Stephen Curry regularly pick each other first in All-Star games. Make googly eyes and godly plays together.
From Giannis’s Honorary Warrior For Life election (he fell short):
Dub Nation has been pining for this MVP to bolt Milwaukee and join the Warriors. We also have a soft spot for him for picking Stephen Curry first when he was All-Star captain, which Steph rewarded with this absurd alley-oop.
Giannis has also been openly humble about his MVP case, claiming not to care about it, in stark contrast to certain other bearded players who are obsessed with MVP. In fact, Giannis has been taking jabs at Harden and Harden has been taking bigger jabs back. Here’s the latest round from today:James Harden addresses the comments Giannis made during the All-Star draft about assists: "I average more assists him than him, I think....I don't see what the joke is." Later: "But I wish I could just run and be 7 feet and just dunk." youtube.com/watch?v=tUCf4p…
So the poll results were very friendly to the reigning MVP.Poll. Dub Nation, imagine you see Giannis Antetokounmpo in a game with no practical implications for the Warriors. (So not against GSW, ignore draft picks, playoff seeding, etc.) Do you want him to do well or poorly?
Well 73.4% / Poor 4.6% / Don’t care either way 20.2% / Don’t know who they are 1.7%.
Dub Nation has lots of affection for the Greek Freak, but he falls juuuust short of the 75% mark. He is hereby awarded Honorary Warrior.
Grayson Allen rose to fame in college as a talent who couldn’t stop cheap shooting opponents. Then for two seasons he was a merely annoying foil until he hit big shots in the MEM-GSW Play-In overtime. Then he re-torpedoed his reputation with his wild flagrant taking out Alex Caruso for weeks.
George Hill. Member of the 2018 CLE team that was roadkill for the Warriors in the Finals. Not sure anyone’s really mad at him. To be honest, he missed the biggest free throw of the series, failing to go-ahead in the last seconds of Game 1, which led to the iconic J.R. Smith “run out the clock while tied” play
Not sure who hates the Bucks, as they didn’t win a playoff series from 2002 to 2018, disappointed in two straight playoffs, finally broke through last year, taking out the damned annoying Chris Paul Suns.
Steph Curry and Jayson Tatum seem to have some mutual respect.
Marcus Smart. Reckless play injured Steph Curry and nearly took him out for the year.
Ex-GM Danny Ainge started a Boston tradition of announcing after every big NBA trade that he offered a better package that was rejected.
UPDATE (5/27): Ainge also made the baffling and factually incorrect statement that he’d never heard of Celtics fans being racist in 26 years.
Jaylen Brown went to Cal if you care about that. Abaddon writes: in the great Steph/Kyrie duel in 2018(?) Steph was seen visibly flapping his right hand at Brown after hitting a three over and around his defense. He also was jawing at Brown. It was a while ago and I’m not sure if there’s been anything since, but it is so rare to see Steph directly taunting someone that it sticks out in my memory.
Isaiah Thomas played through his sister’s death and various injuries at the cost of his career and was immediately dumped by BOS for Kyrie Irving. Pretty shocking move even if the league’s motto is “It’s Just A Business”.
Celtics fans talk a lot about their many championships, omitting the fact that they’ve won 1 championship since 1986, and most of the previous ones came from Red Auerbach ripping off other hobbyist owners when the league was eight teams that could barely get a highlight on TV.