We interrupt this episode of “Oh My God Isn’t Draymond Green The Greatest Player You Ever, Ever Saw -- Ever Ever?” to discuss one new high-water mark in this platinum year in the Golden State.
Without anyone even noticing, the Warriors reached yet another milestone in winning Game 2 of this Western Conference quarterfinal against the New Orleans Pelicans. Namely, that they won the first two games of a series for the first time since 1989, and the second time since 1975 -- The Year Time Began.
That is, the Year Warrior Time Began. There is something in all fan bases that they come to a collective decision to begin their favorite teams’ history from the moment the first tasted greatness.
For instance, the 49ers existed for 35 years before 1981, which is the generally-agreed-upon Year History Began. The Raiders’ first three years are pretty much B.A.D. -- Before Al Davis -- and are to be ignored. The Giants started in 1958, then 1962, then 1989, then 2002. The A’s started in 1972, ended in 1975, then reappeared in 1988 and again in 1997.
And the Warriors? It’s 1975, the year they cheated fate (and the Lakers and Celtics -- the death stars of the NBA at that time) and won their first title since abandoning Philadelphia.
It also coincides with the beginning of the end, because that championship season also ushered in the two huge empty swaths of Warrior history from 1978 to 1987, and then 1994 to 2007, when they couldn’t even manage the minimal standard of making the playoffs. Even now they stand proud as the second-worst original NBA team in terms of number of times achieving the postseason.
It lent itself to disgust (the owners suck!), rage (the general managers can’t draft!) whining (it’s not fair that the Bay Area is on a planet that rotates right to left!) and general crushing malaise that seemed irredeemable.
Ahh, those were the days.
These are new days, and the superlatives smash into each like the day the drunks broke into the CERN supercollider and turned the machinery into a mosh pit. Stephen Curry this, Green that, Klay Thompson the other things, and yah-da-dah-yah-da-dah.
So it was that the Warriors’ Game 2 win, a 97-87 triumph of defensive attentiveness that would break the spine of the Chicago Bulls in a practice with no baskets, took their first 2-0 lead since their three-game sweep of the Utah Jazz in the first round in 1989. Back then, the first round was a best-of-five, and first-round sweeps were more frequent and less indicative of future earnings.
Plus, those Jazz had fired Frank Layden mid-season and seized upon Jerry Sloan as their new guiding mind, the man who figured out how to make Karl Malone and John Stockton be Karl Malone and John Stockton. In other words, they got better later.
So let’s skip over that one and go back to the last time they went 2-0 up in a proper series and that was, conveniently, the Finals of 1975 against the late and largely unremembered Washington Bullets. You’ve seen and heard more about that series than you can stand at this point, and yes, you know that’s true. I mean, Giant fans are getting sick of the endless references to the three World Series, and those are barely four years’ done.
Nevertheless, even if you want to include the ’89 series, it’s still been more than a quarter-century since the last time the Warriors won the first two games of a series. Moreover, the two other times the Warriors won the first two games of a series in their Bay Area history was 1967, when they swept the Lakers, 3-0, and beat the St. Louis Hawks in six games en route to the Finals and a quick dispatching by the Philadelphia 76ers.
In other words, there you have it -- one more way of saying the Warriors are pre-ordained to reach the Finals, by basis of events that happened before any of the current players had been born.
Now if that doesn’t make the expectations crushing enough to turn Joe Lacob’s brain into a diamond, I don’t know what would.
And let’s be honest here, the only thing more powerful than expectations are ... well, the games. Those damned things still have to be done.