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That running commentary on the Klay celebration gauntlet had all the hype and drama of a playoff game. Kudos Mr Apricot for raising the non playing time plays to your in game analysis standards 👌🏽

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Jun 15, 2022Liked by Eric Apricot

"If Steph goes to the bathroom then Marcus Smart is gonna stand between Steph and the toilet, and Robert Williams is gonna be outside the stall" I love this, nuanced and expository bathroom humor. Chef's kiss.

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author

This was so, so good!!!

Start to finish, a true work of art. Masterful sir!

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In fairness to Marcus Smart, a pushoff kind of like the one he did is a principle of safe landing: you redirect the momentum from your fall sideways to lessen the impact on the ground. I'm pretty sure he didn't need *that* much of a push, though.

Also, never doubt Klay's expertise on threes, high or otherwise.

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Jun 14, 2022·edited Jun 14, 2022Liked by Eric Apricot

As a long time curler....shoutout to the Marcus Smart reference....he just needed some sweepers to get to the button.

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So now that Boston has tried guarding steph 1-1 and gotten torched for 34 pts a game, and tried face-guarding and trapping more and got everyone else easy buckets, what are they gonna try in game 6? Stick with the current plan of taking steph out of the game and hope he goes 0-9 again? Go back to drop coverage and hope his 40 isn't enough?

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Jun 14, 2022·edited Jun 14, 2022Liked by punk basketball

Honestly I think they have done a better job with their usual switch everything defense. I think at least part of the reason they didn't play well to start the game is because they were spending a lot of energy focused on their abnormal (for them) defense on Steph. If they maintain their usual style of defense with some small tweaks they seem to play better.

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They blinked... they absolutely blinked and got all discombobulated.

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Exactly this. They should have said "well, Curry had a superstar night. That probably won't happen again. Let's keep with what won us G1 and G3 and stick with what works!"

Instead Curry spooked them into changing everything (which plays right into the Warriors' hands) and it all fell apart. Their miraculous streak of hitting 9 out of 10 3s in the 3rd is the only thing that kept the game close going into the 4th.

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TBF, he'd had 4 superstar nights, not just 1. And if they'd kept playing drop on him, I bet his night would have gone differently last night.

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I know I have seen games where teams try this kind of defense (or even constant shining twins), but can't recall if it ever succeeds. Seems like the Dubs always exploit it for a win. Do we recall cases where it has? Also, I have already seen an article saying while Steph is the FMVP fav, now Wiggs has and argument, as if Steph taking one of their players out nearly every play was not a significant factor in the rest of the Dubs having so many chances to score. Despite a poor shooting night, Steph was still unequivocally the most valuable player on the floor. Gravity.

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Jun 14, 2022Liked by punk basketball

Apricot generally doesn't do explainers for losses, so if a team ever does have success with this sort of thing, we won't even know!

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And I've seen an article showing how Curry getting their big (G Williams) switched onto him and standing in the weak side corner blew up their defensive coverage which resulted in Wiggins' big exclamation point dunk... and how that Wiggins play proves that Steph is the FMVP.

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It rankles how quickly even the media seem to forget Steph's impact, particularly when he is not filling up the stat sheet. It's like, "did you even watch the game? Do you understand what you are seeing?" I guess the answer is no they don't.

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Jun 14, 2022Liked by Eric Apricot

Most basketball media's memory sure does seem to stretch back exactly 1 game and no more. Also, a lot of the internet commentators out there are not watching the games, no. Maybe highlights or box scores. Even if they do watch the whole game, most people are not looking at stuff going on away from the ball like Apricot highlights in this video. A lot of commentators are going to look at Draymond with a wide-open lane to the basket and say, "Ooh, he's being way more aggressive!" without thinking even once about why the lane was so open this time.

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Lol, I heard one talking head saying that Steph needs a signature Finals moment for his legacy and he can now get that in G6 as it's a closeout game.

DID YOU NOT WATCH GAME 4?????

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Jun 14, 2022Liked by Eric Apricot

Smart's sheet metal sculpting was pretty annoying. Credit to the refs for not taking the bait. That said, come Thursday he will be making a Pamplona masterpiece I am sure of it. The Boston crowd, the chance to extend the series, the constant whining from Celtics players I think will all be too much for the refs to not call these flops. Hopefully the Warriors stay focused and don't let his flop hobby take them out of rhythm.

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It's gonna be Foster and Zarba... they're gonna tech the shit out of those guys for all the whining they'll be doing.

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A streak for a streak. Steph made a deal with the basketball gods for the Game 5 stone.

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I mean the "Maple Jordan" stone.

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The thing that impresses me most is that the Warriors still haven't put together a game where they have played their best for 48 minutes. in particular, in last night's game Curry and Wiggins combined to go 0 for 15 on pretty open 3s (Wiggins, really open, Curry, open for him). Klay had a nice game but he didn't go supernova. There is more offense to be had if the Celtics stick to face guarding Curry.

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Wiggins and Curry combine for even 33% on 3s last night and that's another 15 points! (Okay, it doesn't work quite like that, but it would have been more points than they got).

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Jun 14, 2022Liked by Eric Apricot, punk basketball

High Three!

Awesome as always, Eric. Saw some speculation on the Twitters that suggested something was off with Steph's shooting, perhaps with his finger/hand, perhaps related to his foot injury (per e.g. Dr. Pandya). Did you happen to notice anything either live or on replay that lends credence to that theory? Or did it feel more like the Celtics' extra loving defense plus carrying all of Dub Nation on his back for several games finally got to him a bit?

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I noticed almost all his shots early—even the technical FT—were coming up short, some of them way short. That usually indicates a guy is not getting enough lift from tired legs. Then later in the game, the shots were wilder and more off, which is often a sign that you're compensating with more hand/arm effort.

So yeah, I'd say it's plausible that his shot being off was a result of favoring a sore foot or something along those lines.

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BBallBrekdown guy suggested he was starting his arms early before his leg dip and losing some of his power. He missed the FT in the first half so, so badly. I assure you, it was not fatigue, but something else. I knew it wasn’t going to go well when his first shot attempt was a forced 35 footer. Now, he needed to keep shooting to remind the defense that they were supposed to keep a close eye on him to let everybody else keep running free…

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I did not notice but I would not be surprised. I figure everyone has minor injuries now and Steph has a pain management issue with the foot (not that it’s healed)

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Jun 14, 2022Liked by Eric Apricot

I believe Steph switched shoes at half time to the ones that accommodate the more intense ankle-bracing things he sometimes wears. I suspect the amount of pain the Warriors (and most pro athletes play with) would curl our collective nose hair.

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Jun 14, 2022Liked by punk basketball

The Nose Hair Collective sounds like a bad shoegazer band.

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Jun 14, 2022Liked by punk basketball

I’m trying to picture our collective nose hair — must be hella long, given the DNHQ family extends to NY, UK, Italy, and beyond… ;-P

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I'm picturing a tiny curling iron

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Another curling reference. All this probably in honor of Wiggins

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Jun 14, 2022Liked by punk basketball

The nose hair curled round the world!

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