Golden State Warriors: Wasting Away in Margaritaville

buffett1“Wasting away in Margaritaville. Searching for my lost sugar and salt. Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame. But I know. It’s nobody’s fault.
“Don’t know the reason I stayed here all season. Nothing to show but this brand new tattoo. But it’s a real beauty. A Mexican cutie. How it got here I haven’t a clue.”
So rings the words of the legendary Jimmy Buffett. And I’m drunk after the Warriors were bounced from the playoffs by the Spurs in Game 6 on Friday.
No, those lyrics weren’t simply concocted by a drunk sailor who had engulfed too many margaritas. Legend has it that it was meant for the Warriors.

It’s really quite simple. Wasting away in Margaritaville—that’s what I’m doing right now. Searching for my lost sugar and salt—a symbol of a team not knowing how it all went wrong. Some people claim there’s a woman to blame—every die-hard Warriors fan right now is accusing his woman of “not being there for him through thick and thin” in the NBA playoffs. But I know, it’s nobody’s fault—we’ve arrived at the fifth stage of grief, acceptance.
Don’t know the reason I stayed here all season—reverting back to the fourth stage of grief, depression. Nothing to show but this brand new tattoo—my tramp stamp of Mark Jackson’s face appears to have been a bad idea right about now. But it’s a real beauty, a Mexican cutie—getting back to the fifth stage of acceptance. How it got here I haven’t a clue—nobody expected the Warriors to get this far, the fact that they took a team composed of three legends to six games in the Western Conference semifinals is an accomplishment in itself.
Andrew BogutOK, well, I’m still really drunk, but that certainly helped.
The Warriors lost to the Spurs on Friday at Oracle Arena, 94-82. They were outscored in every quarter but the third quarter, but they narrowed the Spurs’ lead to two points with 4:52 remaining before San Antonio put the game away.
Contrary to my wise prediction (insert sarcasm here), both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson shot poorly in Game 6. Curry shot 10-of-25. Thompson was (gag right now) 4-of-12. Harrison Barnes, who had been terrific throughout the playoffs, was forced out of the game after trying to play after slamming his head down on the hardwood.
The Spurs had their best rebounding game of the season, out-rebounding the Warriors, 46-40. Five different Spurs had five rebounds or more, including second-year pro Kawhi Leonard, who posted 10 boards (he hails from my alma mater, San Diego State, which makes it sting even more).
But it wasn’t just rebounding. The Spurs, after shooting 52 percent in Game 5, shot 45 percent in Game 6. They did this despite Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combining to shoot 4-of-22 from the field. The Warriors, meanwhile, shot 39 percent from the floor.
The Spurs also attempted 25 free throws (making 21) while going a respectable 7-of-19 from beyond the arc.
The only thing that kept us in the game was the fact that the Spurs had more turnovers than us…for once.
Another thing: The Andrew Bogut who miraculously looked like a new man earlier in the series was clearly hurting. His athleticism simply wasn’t there and it was frankly painful to even watch.

Photo: Associated Press

Photo: Associated Press

Final thoughts: We did more than anyone ever expected. We knocked out the favored Denver Nuggets in six games in the first round, then took the favored Spurs to six games. We have nothing to be ashamed of and Mark Jackson is clearly the man for the job (I still feel like that tramp stamp is going to be relevant moving forward). This is still young team, with plenty of room to grow. Honestly, who expected Barnes to go off like that, against the Spurs no less? I’m very excited about the future of this team. Who knows if we’ll be able to keep Jarrett Jack (who was both good and bad during the playoffs). Who knows how long Bogut will last. But in Curry, Thompson, Barnes, David Lee, Festus Ezeli and even Draymond Green, we have quite the young nucleus. Plus, Carl Landry and Brandon Rush both have player options for next season (it would be nice if Andris Biedrins used his early termination option, freeing up money for free agency, but we all know that’s not going to happen).
You can’t feel bad about this team right now. In fact, as a lifelong Warriors fan, this is the best I’ve ever felt about the Warriors. This was a better team than the 2006-07 squad that upset the Dallas Mavericks in the first round.
So, instead of drinking to wash my sorrow away, I’m drinking to celebrate, because this is the best I’ve felt as a Warriors fan in the last 19 years. Job well done, Warriors.

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