By Frank McLean
Do you remember Thursday nights in the 1990’s. NBC used to bill their Thursday night line-up of comedy shows as “MUST SEE TV”. The Cosby Show, Friends and Seinfeld were the network’s staple on Thursday night for years. The NBA right now has their own version of “MUST SEE TV”, it’s whatever night the Golden State Warriors are scheduled to play.
The defending champions are sitting a perfect 11-0 to start the season and are the next opponent for your Toronto Raptors as they continue their west coast tour. The scary thing is watching the star of this group Steph Curry. He wins a league MVP and a championship and looks like he wants more. The numbers he is putting up just 3-weeks into the season are nothing short of epic.
Curry is averaging a league high 33.4 points, shooting 51.7% from the field and 45.3% from behind the three-point arc. He’s averaging just over 5 rebounds a night and almost 6 assists. He has already made 57 three-point baskets. That’s more than the Brooklyn Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves have scored as a team and as many as the Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs have made. If someone can win an MVP award for the season in the month of November, Steph Curry would be the man.
The thing about Curry is that while he is kicking your team’s butt you don’t get mad, you stand there in awe, because you know you are watching this generation’s special talent. Speaking at the team’s practice in San Francisco on Monday Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said this about Curry.
“I have never seen anyone in the league in my 23-years or whatever or even in college like this,” Casey said. “This kid has deep range and that makes it hard to game plan. You say, ‘ok, we are going to get up into him.’ He takes two or three steps across half court and drills it. That is what makes him so dangerous. Also his passing is impeccable and then also he is surrounded by three other, sometimes four when Draymond Green plays the five, three-point shooters. It makes it difficult. This team is an extra special problem.”
The Warriors play basketball like they have overdosed on 5-Hour Energy Drinks. They play a very high tempo game and use very little of the 24-second shot clock. They are a nightmare for to teams to defend.
Go back to January 2nd when the Raptors faced the Warriors. The Warriors put up 40 points in the first quarter and went on to win 126-105. This team hits you early and hits you fast and by time you come to your senses the game is essentially over.
Tuesday night will be a great test for the new look Raptors defensive set up. They can’t repeat what they did Sunday night in Sacramento and blow a 10 point league late in the game. Casey was still bothered about the loss on Monday.
“All of our fundamentals defensively (disappeared),” Casey said. “We gave them easy shots. Instead of just keeping them in front we gambled and took ourselves out of position and it cost us. If they make a shot over our hand, you shake that hand and go the other way but we can’t shoot ourselves in the foot defensively and make mistakes defensively and not be fundamentally sound.”
So stay up late, brew a big pot of coffee and let your boss know that you will be late for work on Wednesday morning. The Golden State Warriors are “MUST SEE TV”, and a heck of lot more fun to watch than Jimmy Fallon.
Veteran journalist Frank McLean has covered nearly every Raptors game in Toronto since their inaugural season at the Skydome back in 1995-96. He has seen it all. The good, the bad and the really bad and he is one of the very few journalists in Toronto that has kept coming back for more.