The Golden State Warriors have made comebacks an art form


The Golden State Warriors have come back from huge deficits to win multiple games this season, and it has only proven more and more how dangerous this team can be.

On some nights over the course of an 82-game season, watching the Golden State Warriors play in the regular season reminds me of a 1-on-1 game between a teenager and his little brother.

I know it may sound ridiculous to equate pros to anything other than pros from other eras, but if you think about it, this statement really isn’t that far from the truth.

I think it’s safe to say that we all (yes that includes you) were kids at one point. It’s also safe to say that most of us tried to beat our older sibling at sports growing up, just to prove that we were more grown than we were.

When we were younger, they might let you score a couple easy baskets to get your confidence up and then they’d come back and win. When you got a little older, they might spot you an early 5-0 lead and then slowly but surely they would still come back and win.

All you ever wanted to do after facing these defeats is finally close out the game when you had the lead (and presumably the win) firmly in hand, but you just couldn’t do it.

Watching Thursday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs — still sans Kawhi Leonard — reminded me just how often the Warriors, the third oldest team in the league, succeed in this “older brother” role. While it may still be early in the season and teams are still rounding out to form, the Spurs pounced on the Dubs early.

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They led 31-12 at one point in the first quarter and ended that quarter up 33-24, but it was still early. Despite Kevin Durant being in shooting slump in the first half (1-of-9 from the field) and the Splash Bros kicking down the door like the main character of an action movie to bring them back, the Warriors trailed 55-50 at the half — but it was still early.

In the third quarter, as the Dubs have done time and time again, the flood gates opened as they went on 20-10 run to open the quarter and closed it with a 84-78 lead. And, by that point, it was too late for the Spurs, who lost the game 112-92 (not a typo, folks) and dropped to 4-4 for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign.

To most, the win may look “Oh shocker, the Warriors win another game. What’s the big deal?” But, to this fan, what this team is and has been doing is nothing short of #stephfortless (shout out to Ernie Johnson). Want to know why? Well, look no further than this jewel of a nugget of information from ESPN’s Chris Haynes:

"Golden State faced a 19-deficit in the first quarter, but San Antonio couldn’t hold on. It’s the Warriors 16th win when trailing by 15 or more points in the last four seasons. They’re tied with the Toronto Raptors for the most such wins."

I mean, how is it possible that this is even real life? If you need something beyond Haynes’ stat to wake you up, how about this?

The Dubs already have three signature comeback wins this season: coming back from a 15-point deficit vs. New Orleans to win 128-120 on October 21, a 10-0 run in the final 1:30 to beat the Raptors on October 25 and a 18-point comeback in the infamous “Beal-Green-Oubre melee” game vs. my hometown Wizards on October 27.

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Are those enough numbers to make your brain spin? Well how about a couple more for all of you analytic-heads out there: according to Team Rankings, the Warriors’ average scoring margin through three quarters ranks 9th (+4.4) but their scoring margin in the fourth quarter leads the league (+3.9).

Whether it’s comebacks like these or the biggest comeback in franchise history in last year’s playoffs, the Warriors have managed to make their comebacks a calling card that’s as recognizable as the Bat-Signal.

Watching this team in both the pre- and post-KD eras has been like watching an actor completely lose themselves in a role. To the viewer, it may seem like a superhuman feat but to the talent, it’s just second nature after training and preparing their whole lives for the opportunity. Evidence of this could be found in Klay Thompson‘s comments after Thursday’s game (via ESPN):

"“Our focus (sparked the rally), especially on the defensive end, and not fouling,” Thompson said. “Those two things are great because when we do that, we are able to get out in transition and get easy buckets. Our focus on that side of the ball was really good.”"

His explanation may sound simple but it’s just a showcase of how this can seem to turn on the switch whenever they want after being on cruise control and establishing their rhythm early on.

Now, I’m not one of those irrational fans who guarantees things not even 10 games into a season but, in my humble estimation, the Warriors already look to be gearing up for a fourth straight trip to the Finals.

Next: Warriors to endure Battle of the Big Men in Denver

There is, however, still PLENTY of basketball to be played and if the other 29 NBA teams want to stop getting “sonned”, they will need to march upstairs, knock on the door at 7 a.m. and tell that thorn in their side “ready or not, we’re balling right now” and then go on a 40-0 run…even though that still might not be enough.