The day we narrative sluts have been dreading has finally arrived.
The Golden State Warriors aren’t tired any more.
There had been signs on the horizon that they were finding their old vim, vigor, vitality and pep before Monday, but they dealt the final blow to the “The short, busy and China-enriched offseason really took it out of them” plot line was delivered Monday when they held the Miami Heat to the new NBA minimum in points in a 97-80 victory.
Their defensive rating has risen in the past week from 28th to 18th. Their opponents’ effective field goal percentage has risen from 26th to 10th. The 80 points they allowed was the fourth lowest by any team so far this year, and on their poorest shooting night of the year, they saw to it that the Heat shot poorer still. Their last three games have seen them allow 92, 108 and 80 points (an average of 93.3 per game), and they have the second-best record in basketball.
Yeah, check “exhaustion” off the list.
Now most fans will find that development a relief because they have gotten well used to the Warriors as the Atlas holding up the rest of the NBA. Their third losses in the prior three seasons came in Games 24, 39 and 19, so losing No. 3 in Game 76 this year was a discussable point. Some people even speculated that they were struggling at home because they were 2-2 through four games and lost to Houston and Detroit.
Now that’s all gone, and the regular season is about to become the cavalcade of sameness that the previous three regular seasons have been. The only thing a Warrior fan pre-conditioned to worry has left is injury, and nobody is ghoulish enough to root for players to get hurt . . . although we haven’t polled all 29 other general managers on this.
The point is, they have another 10 to 15 allowable defeats this year, and as long as they don’t clump them in a couple of massive clots, we have nothing left to fret unnecessarily about them. Either that, or we’ll have to invent something new -- like why they can’t cover the spread more often.
After all, they’re 5-6 against the line, 20th overall. But then, they’re also 7-4 against the total, best in all of the National Vegas League.
That means their offense is doing just fine, which we already knew, and if we already knew it, that isn’t much of a narrative at all.