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Limping Warriors sweep #1 seeded Miami Heat. Is that good?
SWIFFER MODE ACTIVATED IN SOUTH BEACH.
The Golden State Warriors defeated the Miami Heat for the second time this season in a thrilling 118-104 victory. Jordan Poole led all scorers with 30 points, while getting 22 points apiece from All-Star Andrew Wiggins, the rookie Jonathan Kuminga, and the veteran reserve Damion Lee.
Did I especially enjoy Wiggins icing the game by going directly at former teammate and current Heat star player Jimmy Butler’s neck? YOU BETCHA.
Apparently the Dubs put so much pressure on the Heat that Butler and his head coach Erik Spoelstra blew up on the sidelines out of frustration?
Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised the Warriors put the Heat in Shambles Mode for a night. Sure, it was the second night of a road back-to-back for the Dubs, arguably the hardest scheduled game to win in the NBA. And sure they didn’t have the franchise’s Core 4 of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, or Andre Iguodala available. Heck, they didn’t even have their #2 lottery pick James Wiseman.
And of course they were playing the #1 seeded team in the Eastern Conference, a team that had to have revenge on their mind after the Warriors had already defeated them earlier this season.
These two teams had identical records going into this contest, upper echelon seeds in their respective conferences despite having horrendous injury woes. For as much anxiety has been oozed over Golden State’s health concerns, the Heat have had to survive depth chart problems of their own.
Check this January article from the Miami Standard entitled, “Miami Heat: The NBA’s most resilient team”:
Place yourself back in October of 2021 before the NBA season started. If someone from the future told you that the Miami Heat trio of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Kyle Lowry would only play 14 of the first 41 games together, what would you have predicted the Heat’s record would be?
Despite this, the Miami Heat are on pace for their first 50+ win season since the Big 3 Era and are the only team in the entire NBA who post a top-6 rating both in offensive and defensive efficiency.
And then there was the piece from the Ringer towards the end of February entitled, “Are The Heat the Sleeping Giants of the East?”:
Tailbone and ankle issues cost Butler nearly a third of the pre-break slate. Thumb surgery shelved Bam Adebayo for six weeks; personal issues kept Kyle Lowry away from the team for two. All told, Miami’s three best players have played just 415 minutes together over 21 games; they’ve shared the floor with Tyler Herro, averaging 20 points, five rebounds, and four assists per game off the bench in a breakout Sixth Man of the Year–worthy campaign, for just 65 minutes over 14 contests.
Miami has more than persevered, though. It entered the break tied with the Bulls for first place in the East, with the NBA’s no. 7 offense and no. 5 defense, according to Cleaning the Glass. Despite hardly having its full complement of talent—or, weirdly, maybe because of it—the Heat head into the home stretch in prime position to finish atop the conference.
Amazing work in Miami, folks. That’s an ELITE team! Going into this game they were a feel good story about resiliency and togetherness and a credit to coach Erik Spoelstra’s championship-tested acumen and GM Pat Riley’s legendary wisdom.
But those Warriors though, the ones who swept Miami this season and have a better record than Miami? Depending on who you listen to (or read in the quagmire that is social media discourse), the Dubs are arrogant frauds squandering away a generational player’s prime while “gaslighting” (lmao) any fan who finds fault with their methodology.
Random question: hey did you think the Warriors were going to intentionally tank last night’s game?
Golden State has won 48 of their last 73 games, only good enough for a win percentage of 65% (Can somebody research if a team has ever won an NBA title with a win percentage that low?). Sure, that record would be good enough to be the top team in the East, but they play in the West so it’s only good enough for a third seed. Drats.
48 wins with nine games to play. I remember when the Warriors were so desperate for glory that I almost cried because GSW won 48 games in 2008 and shockingly missed the postseason. Those 48 wins are tied for most wins by a non playoff team ever, and it happened in what would turn out to be franchise hero Baron Davis’ last year on the team.
For me that was true agony, only one year removed from We Believe. Whatever’s happening now with the Warriors is more like a beautiful choose your own adventure mystery where perhaps by April the Dubs will have figured out how to avoid the dead ends and win their fourth title in seven years.
BUT WHAT IF THE WARRIORS DON’T FIGURE IT OUT?! We’ll know soon enough, my friend. I’m just saying if Coach Steve Kerr’s job performance is being called into question with 48 wins then how in the hell is Coach Spoelstra getting coach of the year talk???
You know what? I won’t worry about why the Warriors are graded at such higher standards than the rest of the NBA. Comparison is the thief of joy they say, and we know that joy is the fuel that powers the Dubs. I encourage you to enjoy this day Dub Nation, because your Warriors just humiliated the team with the best record in the other conference.
Or don’t enjoy the day and feel free to explain why this win doesn’t mean anything because they lost to Orlando the other night and are too inconsistent! It’s DNHQ baby, do you wanna do.