A decade ago, only the most hard-core fans would have watched a basketball game that wasn’t on TV. Now you can watch every game live if you’re a subscriber to a cable network, or you can stream it over the Internet. Most of the games are also televised locally. That’s why you can still catch them on one of those early-morning stations that broadcasts every game during the season.
This year, one of those local stations is CBS-affiliated KOVR (Channel 13) in Sacramento, which is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting. The station doesn’t actually show its local team (the Kings) on TV in Sacramento, but it does show the games on its website and in its mobile app for Verizon subscribers. And now it has added live streaming of its games for Verizon customers.
The Warriors seem to be one game away from winning their third straight title, so there will probably be some people taking an interest in whether they win or not.
That might seem like an odd choice for a sports station to make. But if you look at Sinclair’s other properties, including its broadcast network—which has conservative views—and its publishing division, you get an idea of what they want their message to be. They’re more than happy to talk about
This is a good piece. It’s fun to read, but also professional and fair and objective. You have a great eye for details. The section that shows how hard it will be for the Warriors to win their third straight title is particularly well done, because you don’t just list things that have happened: you describe them in detail and compare them to what they would be like if the Warriors won their third straight championship. This gives a sense of how hard it will be for the Warriors, but also of how close they are to accomplishing their goal.
The tone throughout is thorough but not boring or stuffy, which I think makes this a good write-up. There are some sections that could be a little shorter, I think—for example, “how the Warriors got here” could be combined with “The Finals Next Year” so that it’s one short paragraph instead of two long ones—but overall this is very readable material. Its brevity doesn’t hurt it at all.
The Golden State Warriors, who won the NBA title last year-and lost in the finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers-are only 1.5 games ahead of the Portland Trailblazers in a tight race for third place in the Western Conference.
The Warriors have nearly played to their full potential this season, as they are 41-19 (75.6 percent) over the past two months and 17-4 (83 percent) in their last 21 games. They are playing some of their best ball of any team in the playoffs, and it’s not hard to see why.
Their three leading scorers have been playing at a high level: Stephen Curry has posted 24 points per game while shooting 51.7 percent from the field and 42 percent from three, Klay Thompson has averaged 26 points per game on 43.9 percent shooting and Kevin Durant has put up 28 points per game on 50 percent shooting. They’re also getting strong play out of Draymond Green, who is averaging career highs in rebounds and assists per game, as well as Ian Clark, who is averaging career highs in points off the bench and rebounds off the bench while also playing great defense.
The Warriors are a different team when Durant is off the floor than when he
This is not what the Warriors wanted to hear. In a season that has seen them play without their best player, they have struggled to a 39-40 record. But if they can win one game in the next three? That would put them on the cusp of becoming just the fourth team in NBA history to win three consecutive titles—with the first three wins coming at home.
The Warriors have been here before. They were 3-2 down to Dallas when everything went wrong last year and blew a two-game lead with eight minutes to go in Game 7. They have since become a team of champions, winning their first title on their home court in 2014 before following it up with another championship the following year, at home again. The Warriors’ dominance has been interrupted only by injuries, with Stephen Curry out for all but 10 games so far this year.
Don’t get too excited. The Warriors are just 36-18 in the playoffs, which is to say they have a winning percentage of .659. That’s good enough to win about half the time. It’s not quite as high as the .656 winning percentage of the ’88 Bulls, but it’s not bad: you’d expect a team that does what the Warriors do to win about half the time
The Warriors are the best team in basketball, but we hardly ever say so. This is partly because the NBA season is long enough and competitive enough that it’s easy to come up with reasons why they won’t win. But it’s also because they are a team people don’t want to acknowledge as great. The most obvious example of this is their home arena, Oracle Arena, which has no corporate sponsorship and is located in the San Francisco Bay area, where everyone hates the Warriors.
I’ve been going to Oracle since I was 3 years old. I didn’t know anything about professional basketball before then. But when I got a little older, my dad would take me to games against other teams in Oakland and San Francisco. It was always fun watching sports and rooting for the home team – especially when we were good; there’s nothing more satisfying than a win – but my dad just couldn’t bring himself to root for the Warriors. He thought they were uncool or something, hard to explain exactly why but it just came out sounding that way.
My dad wasn’t alone in this feeling; nobody in Oakland really liked the Warriors until around 2004 or so (the time of my seventh birthday). But once they started winning regular-season games, attendance at Oracle did increase
Well, the Warriors are up 3-1. If they win Game 6, they will be up 4-1. But if they win Game 7, it’s over. They can make sure of it by winning Game 6 and then beating Cleveland in Game 7 at home.
And if they do that, they would have a 73-9 record, which is definitely no fluke. This is a team that has lost only three times in the playoffs this year. The whole thing seems so self-evident that it almost doesn’t need saying: “The Warriors are playing like the best team ever,” but it does need saying.
After all: A lot of teams have won 73 games in the NBA Finals. But none of them was a 73-win team. They were all either mediocre teams that had a great year or good teams that had bad years. So what makes this Warriors team better than any other?
They’re not just really good; they’re really really good**But let’s look at why it’s not too surprising that 73 wins is so rare for a championship team: