When I went to bed last night, the Los Angeles Clippers were beating the Warriors 62-47. Yes, Harrison Barnes had just hit a ridiculous shot while falling backwards, but Chris Paul was cooking soup. The Warriors’ two best players, Steph Curry and Draymond Green, were in foul trouble. The Clippers were forcing turnovers and disrupting Golden State’s liquid passing. Midway through the second quarter, Los Angeles was up 23. A lot can happen in a half, but I was content with the fact that I was watching the Warriors’ first loss of the season. I turned off the television.
The Warriors won 124-117. Of course they did. They always do.
The Warriors are unflappable, even when they’re getting crushed. As Ethan Sherwood Strauss reported in his recap, they’ve adopted a mantra straight out of A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (or maybe French Montana): “Don’t panic.”
In the second half, the Clippers continued to do everything right and they still lost. For the last four minutes of the game or so, there wasn’t any doubt what the outcome would be. The Warriors weren’t perfect—far from it—but it didn’t matter. They’re on another level than any other team in the NBA right now. The Clippers provided a road map for the next teams that will try to ding the perfect Warriors—disrupt lanes, cause turnovers, hit pretty much all of your shots—but even that may not be enough. Right now it seems that only the Warriors can beat the Warriors, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen anytime soon.