Wait, maybe it was four.
That’s how many NBA games I’ve watched this season — right up until Friday night.
Well, maybe it’s because everyone is just too good.
There’s also a lack of emotion, or at least it seems that way.
Every NBA season (not counting the year in the bubble) feels like it’s going on forever, and the players will admit to that.
So, tuning in to watch these beyond-incredible athletes going back and forth, doing what they do and wondering how anyone manages to play defense, ah …
It just can’t hold my interest.
I’d rather read a good book.
However, there ARE exceptions.
I could feel one coming on Friday, and I was ready — even before tip-off.
The Golden State Warriors (you know them as the Dubs), were heading into Boston’s TD Garden — down 2-1 in the NBA Finals — with absolutely no further margin for error.
The physical, bruising, take-no-prisoners Celtics had built that series lead by roughing up the Dubs in the fourth quarter of the first and third games.
SO, NOW …
If the Celts could repeat the act one more time, right there at home, and they’d have the proud but crippled Warriors staring into the abyss.
To be honest, I wondered if this might be the end for Golden State — the team that re-invented beautiful basketball behind a trio of stars who should be inducted into the Hall of Fame together.
There have been other amazing characters along the way (including the marvelous Kevin Durant), but the three amigos have formed the heart and soul of a team that is trying for a fourth championship in six title series since 2015.
The Dubs were ruined by injuries to Thompson and Durant in the 2019 Finals, which they lost to Toronto, and now — with age creeping up on all three leaders — Curry was dealing with a sprained foot from that Game 3 defeat at Boston.
Friday night was pretty much now or never (and perhaps never again), which is why I decided to watch.
The so-called “Dub Dynasty” had reached the edge of a cliff, and I was fascinated to see how it would play out.
Mystery No. 1 …
Yes, Curry was in the starting lineup, despite being considerably less than a hundred percent.
The rest of the Warriors had no doubt that their leader was good to go.
“To be honest, as soon as he steps on the court, I just think Steph’s going to be Steph, you know, regardless of who we’re playing or how he’s feeling,” said Andrew Wiggins.
“I feel like if he steps on the court, he’s ready. He’s going to go out there and dominate.”
Wiggins picked the right word: dominate.
Gimpy or not, the magical Curry poured in 43 points and added 10 rebounds.
“He wasn’t letting us lose, that’s what it boils down to,” Green said. “You hear all the noise for a day or so, and I could tell in his demeanor the last couple days, even after Game 3, that he was going to come out with that type of fire. And he did, and we were all able to follow it.”
Curry was in such an emotional zone that he hollered at himself, at his teammates, and even at the Boston fans.
TO TELL the truth, we should have seen this outburst coming.
The Dubs are still locked in a rock fight with these bullying Celtics, although Golden State now has home court advantage — with a 10-1 overall playoff record at the Chase Center in San Francisco.
Golden State cannot be crowned yet, but we should have known the Dubs would not let go of their legend too easily.
The victory in Boston marked the 27th postseason series in which Golden State — with Curry, Thompson and Green all in the lineup — has won a road game.
And you’re right …
I’m so glad I decided to halt my NBA boycott.
If you could only watch one pro hoops game in a year, Friday would have been an easy choice.
Of course, I’m saying that without knowing what’s still to come.
Boston has the perfect kind of team to win on the road, as it proved in Game 1.
The Celtics will beat on you for 48 minutes, and you can’t make them go away with one or two quick blitzes.
You have to stay the course, which the Dubs finally managed to do with this series on the line.
Of course …
They got me.
I’m hooked the rest of the way.
Email: [email protected]
Steve Cameron’s “Cheap Seats” columns appear in The Press three times each week. He also writes Zags Tracker, a commentary on Gonzaga basketball which is published monthly during the offseason, and weekly beginning in October.
Steve suggests you take his opinions in the spirit of a Jimmy Buffett song: “Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On.”