There’s no team that embodies the feeling of wanting to turn off your Playstation and whip your controller against the wall more than the Warriors.
It’s everyone’s favorite team on NBA 2K, who is not a Lebron sidekick of courseand it’s really hard trying to contain Steph Curry and Co. when you’re not an NBA coach savvy enough to make adjustments against guys playing video games with an open bag of Cheetos and a paper towel handy.
If Curry doesn’t open then it’s Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson or Jordan Poole throwing a 3 with your little digital drive so far it’ll bounce when you hit the triangle to contest the shot. Midway through the third quarter, like in real life, it’s a shooting clinic and the lead swells to the point of wondering if the XP is worth it. It’s even more upsetting that you can’t tell how unrealistic it is, as is the case when other teams burst for bottomless 3s in the space of four five-minute quarters.
Eventually you yell at the TV, “Cool, mate, you picked the fucking Warriors!” followed by another stream of the profanity and crack of plastic hitting the drywall.
However, it’s Golden State’s real-life ability to make professional NBA defenses look amateurish that’s so impressive. The Celtics are a great team defensively, but left poor Al Horford on an island against Curry in the fourth quarter, with Ime Udoka bowed to the sidelines, clutching the sticks so hard you think he might snap them in half.
2K’s favorite defense is to pick your big man and stand in the paint to challenge dunk attempts, so it’s not uncommon to see the smarter brother of this strategy employed by NBA coaches against the Warriors to take advantage of Draymond Green’s lack of shooting. And that still seems like a good idea at the time.
The little two-man action that Curry and Green threw to counter it is so clever that NBA players and teams have copied it. It’s not so much a game as it is a play away, with Green playing the role of “big kid holding the ball out of a little kid’s reach” which ends with Curry dodging/passing back and forth enough times to lift an opening 3 as Robert Williams stands in the paint.
Arguably the biggest problem was Wiggins, who had a fatality in Jayson Tatum’s final. He ripped the soul out of the Celtics star, holding him to 13 points in Game 6, including just 2 points in the second half. Time and time again, it looked like user error as Tatum’s drives ended in a save pass, a clumsy shot attempt in between, or a turnover.
However, to say that the former Timberwolf did not possess the physical traits – as his athletic ratings did not reflect those of an extremely athletic 6-foot-7 overall pick – to be a defensive stopper when controlled by capable thumbs. would be the blatant surveillance of programming. (If you’re wondering if I’m implying that Minnesota is run by the equivalent of a kid who hasn’t yet learned the button layout – yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.)
We’ve all been there, Boston, and the C’s fight against the Final Boss was admirable. The worst part is that there is no reset button or progress to reload. Restarting after spending hours chasing a false goal is the worst, so I can’t imagine what it’s like when you’ve dedicated your whole life to beating the game and there’s no easier setting .
Unfortunately, the Warriors can’t play on any difficulty other than Hall of Fame, and that lends itself to “Fuck you, computer!” moments. There were a few at the TD Garden on Thursday night. Any of the 3 after which Curry made a move would have triggered me. (Please don’t add the sleep time and point the fourth ring finger celebration animations to 2K23. Boston fans don’t need to be digitally taunted either.)
The specific moment I can think of was when Green hit that jumper late in the shot clock in the second half. The one who made Jeff Van Gundy admit that Draymond felt it. That’s when I would have broken something if it was 2K.