I think most of us share the childhood memories of hitting the open road during the summer to go on vacations with our families. We all remember the experiences of being stuck in the back of an old minivan with the hot sun beating through the windows as our father fanatically refuses to turn up the AC.
The recollections of arguing with our siblings about leg room and whose turn it was to play with the GameBoy almost seem like yesterday. We can all recall going into these road trips of never wanting to go and feeling like they were the most stressful thing since last semester’s spelling test. However, it always seemed to change once we got to the destination and we eventually even started having a pretty fun time and shockingly bonded with the family that drove us crazy.
That’s the thing about going on road trips. The long stressful and tiring journey of arriving at a destination that ultimately brings everyone together.
I think the Warriors accomplished that and much more in their recent seven game road trip. The Warriors tore up the NBA during this trip where they went an impressive 6-1 and even took down the defending two-time champion Miami Heat in dramatic fashion. Their road trip was nothing short of a National Lampoon’s Vacation, where they crossed uncharted terrain and many shenanigans while traveling to their own personal Walley World.
It just turned out their Walley World was riding a roller coaster into the Western Conference playoff race by ending up with the sixth seed and breathing down the necks of the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers for the fifth and fourth seeds, respectively.
The Warriors’ win streak on the road, to add to their previous four-game winning streak catapulted them into the standings and showed a part of the Warriors we didn’t see all season. We finally saw them having fun again and reminding us why they were so good in last year’s playoff run.
They truly played team basketball during the road trip with everyone contributing and Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and David Lee alternating the leading scoring role so that one player was not forced to shoulder the load every night.
This is Warriors basketball: playing hard nose defense, playing uptempo with shooting from downtown, scoring over 100 every night and having fun with over the top celebrations on the bench. They needed this family road trip badly because it allowed them to find their identities on the floor and bond as a basketball family. The Warriors are getting hot at the right time and it will be interesting to see if they can sustain this momentum throughout the season.
It’s still not clear in how far they can go, but my hunches make me believe their road trip is not done yet. They’ve only stopped at a pit stop in a mediocre motel and haven’t arrived to their true destination of winning a championship in June. The Warriors are bonding together and still restlessly sitting in the back of the hot minivan wondering, “Are we there yet?”