June 29, 2022

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BOSTON — The core of the Golden State Warriors, with their off-the-charts swagger and shared history that produced rings, have never seen them sweat. When they dropped Game 1 of the NBA Finals at home, there was no panic. Their level of worry was slightly higher than briskly walking inside an airport to catch a flight, but far below the feeling you might feel under the hands of a hair colorist on their first day of work. work.

Even after Game 3 on Wednesday night, when the Boston Celtics held on for a 116-100 victory and a 2-1 series lead, the Warriors of what worries me collectively shrugged. Draymond Green casually said that his performance reminded him of feces. Klay Thompson, because he has the aura of a surfer just woke up from a nap, talked about some serious vibes. And Stephen Curry put on his Fendi sneakers, walked slowly into the interview room and confessed that he had probably aggravated the same injury that had caused him to miss the last 12 games of the season.

Expect. Curry, who might deserve to win or lose Finals MVP because he shines so bright this streak, admitted he felt like he was straining a muscle in his foot again left? The 34-year-old superstar – who has to run and score most goals because his veteran teammates don’t do it regularly enough – may have a broken wheel? Uh, maybe it’s time to start sprinting towards that plane after all.

Celtics set to get off to a quick start, hold off Warriors for 2-1 lead in NBA Finals

The Warriors may never say this publicly, but now there’s no harm in panicking. To be concerned – very, very concerned – about Game 4 on Friday night and the outcome of this series.

Curry will play in Game 4, he said Thursday after sleeping in one night and taking time to assess what happened during the loose ball rush with Celtics big man Al Horford. As Curry dropped to his knees to secure the ball, Horford rolled over with a left foot. The two-time MVP acknowledged the same pain he felt in March, when Boston’s Marcus Smart also crashed into Curry’s foot while looking for a loose ball.

This time, Green said he heard Curry scream. His teammates crowded around him as he lay on his back, grimacing.

The moans and grimaces were the scariest sights and sounds for Warriors fans, but by then they should have picked up on the first warning signs.

The degree to which Curry’s mouthpiece hangs from his lips can serve as an apt barometer for the Warriors’ emotional state. Although he was holding up after making three bigs on Wednesday night, the protruding piece of plastic indicated a heightened sense of concern.

In the third quarter, Green committed one of his six fouls and Curry walked to the sideline for the team, shaking his head, spreading his arms slightly, his mouthpiece protruding telling the story of his frustration . Fans keenly aware of their star’s emotions might have used his spokesperson as an interpreter of their anxiety.

If this method is too obscure, Warriors fans could have sensed their team’s fate by watching Green’s performance.

Through much of this series, Green has been reduced to just a voice role. He played like a podcaster who likes to talk about NBA hoops, rather than an actual NBA player. While Green imposed his will as a bully in Game 2, his tactic failed miserably on Wednesday night as the Celtics proved they couldn’t be bullied twice in a row. Green finished with two points, four rebounds and three assists – and as host of The Draymond Green Show, he summed up his night as a fine podcaster who knows how to capture an audience.

“Like s —,” Green said of his game. Five-year-old Draymond Jr., seated next to his dad, didn’t flinch at the profanity. Because children also know the truth.

Thompson, the other half of the Splash Brothers, kept his postgame interview G-rated. , Draymond!”

“Dropping f-bombs with kids in the crowd,” Thompson said, in his zen-like way. “Really classy. Good job, Boston.

Although Thompson showed concern for the Boston kids and their impressionable ears, he didn’t seem all that worried his team was down 2-1. Instead, her mind wandered back to happier times.

Warriors star Stephen Curry to play foot pain in final

Thompson believes in the power of positive memories, and when he’s going through a slump, as he did in the first two games, he often watches YouTube clips of his best shooting performances. Falling behind in the final would be no different: Thompson has rediscovered a memory from seven years ago.

“We are not going to overreact. We have been in this situation before,” he said. “Getting great vibes 2015.”

That year, the Warriors trailed the LeBron-led Cleveland Cavaliers 2-1 but bounced back to win the series 4-2. Positive vibes. However, Thompson had to gloss over the vibes of 2019 – the last time the Warriors faced a 2-1 holeshot.

In the Finals game with the Toronto Raptors, the Warriors were hampered by an injury. Kevin Durant tore his right Achilles tendon in Game 5. The following game, Thompson suffered an ACL injury. Toronto wrapped up the championship in six games. Durant, a free agent, decided to rehab across the country with the Brooklyn Nets. Thompson would miss the next two seasons.

Curry’s left foot doesn’t compare to injuries to Durant and Thompson. Even so, if Golden State’s best player returns Friday night but is somewhat limited by discomfort, the Warriors could be in more trouble than expected.

“Well, we need him if we’re going to win this thing,” Thompson said. “I know Steph is going to do everything he can to play. I really hope he is okay because he is our identity, and without him it will be very difficult.

The core pieces of the Warriors are veterans who know what they can accomplish. They are too good at overreacting out of fear. On Friday, they could very well start the game with high school urgency during the last days of school – and get away with it. Then again, it wouldn’t hurt if the Warriors treated the Finals as Finals week and showed a little more concern.

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