The outrage hasn’t had time to build yet, and I have a stinking suspicion it isn’t going to actually crest at all.
The Golden State Warriors sat Stephen Curry for Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series with the Houston Rockets. The Warriors lost. The Warriors deserved to lose, quite frankly. On this night, they were not the better team, though not because Houston was anything loftier than less tedious.
And the Internet meme of the evening is the nearly total lack of reaction from the Houston bench (with Clint Capela the one exception) after James Harden’s game-winning shot, the one that gave Houston a 97-96 win and 1-2 deficit in the series.
It was as if they were inconvenienced by the notion that they had to pay attention for the full 48 minutes, or that they would have to fly back to Oakland for Game 5. In fairness, there were still 2.7 seconds to play and the Warriors are, well, the Warriors, but they weren’t the Warriors except for two runs the entire night, and it isn’t like Houston has such a massive cache of big wins built up over the Fighting Pixies the last few years.
No, the Rockets have become that nationally detestable team for just being who they apparently seem to be.
But that Vine obscures the fact that the Warriors have yet to get the standout games from Klay Thompson, Draymond Green or Harrison Barnes to hide Curry’s absence. And that Vine obscures the fact that nobody believes this win will suddenly revivify the Rockets. America wants them eradicated from its sight because, well, it’s the Warriors.
In fact, that Vine also obscures any fevered idiots-with-time-on-their-hands-to-replace-the-ideas-that-aren’t-in-their-heads debates about whether Steve Kerr should be slaughtered in an abattoir for not letting Curry play Game 3.
And that debate will be forced because, well, ain’t nobody talking Thunder-Mavericks or Raptors-Pacers, and because nobody back east stayed up late enough to watch the end of Blackhawks-Blues, the candypants narcoleptics.
No, the Rockets’ win didn’t do anything to reinvigorate this series, or this postseason. Nobody is buying Houston, and the other 16 games have been almost completely drama-free. Even with the one-point margin in Houston Thursday, the average whipping is still 17 per game.
And the will-Curry-play debate will have fizzled, given that he is fully expected to play Sunday. Now if he is held out then, maybe you’ve got something, but you don’t have any somethings yet, and therein lies the problem.
Under normal circumstances, a team smacking down the emperor would get some appreciation, if not love. It is not anomalous that the better team over the regular season is 16-3 over their underlings this postseason, that the home teams are 15-4 and the favorites are 14-5. Hell, even Scott Foster, the official best known for his spectacular disdain of home teams, is 2-1 for the gents in the white jerseys.
Now where’s the fun in that?
Normally, the fun would be with the longshots. Detroit gave us some hope in Game 1 of its series with Cleveland, but fell in five and then lost by 17 in the second game. Indiana stood up and won Game 1 in Toronto, but lost the next two by 11 and 16. Dallas inserted a one-point win between Oklahoma City beatdowns of 38 and 29.
So there was Houston, and they’re almost nobody’s idea of fun. Well, except in Houston, and frankly, Houstonians are too busy being neck-deep in rainwater to give them the attention they could use, if they merited it. They’re down 2-1 in a series in which the other team’s best guy has played 19:47 of a possible 144 minutes, or 13.7 percent of the series’ available minutes.
This puts a lot of pressure on the Rockets to make a game of Game 4, not only for their own sakes but for the sake of the NBA’s postseason narrative that anything can happen, even though it almost never does.
Instead, we get this. In a word, feh.
In a few more words, feh with a side of “can we get a new series in here, stat?”