I’m old enough to know that sometimes basketball doesn’t make any sense and you have to just let it happen. An example of this happened on Tuesday night as the Warriors, which trailed by as many as 29 points in the fourth quarter, started making a dramatic comeback with all their best players on the bench.
Despite the Mavs’ top guys, including Luka Doncic, out on the floor, the other Warriors ran out on a 32-11 run in the quarter’s first eight minutes. It was… wild?
Moses Moody knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers, and Jonathan Kuminga hit a 3-pointer to bring the game to eight points. The tides were turning and even Doncic, who, to be fair, got hit in the yeah and was, uh, clearly bothered by it, couldn’t stop the run.
I’d kept an eye on FanDuel’s live lines for fun, and suddenly Warriors moneyline, which hadn’t been available for the quarter, re-appeared at a +1800 (bet $100 to win $1,800) line. It was chaotic.
Steve Kerr had a big decision to make with an 8-point deficit and three minutes and 22 seconds: stick with the five on the court or bring in a handful of Hall of Famers who’d been sitting a whole quarter. Ultimately he decided to swap in Stephen Curry first, and Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins shortly after. The Warriors lost, 119-109.
It’s easy to say in hindsight, but even in the moment, it really felt like the bench should’ve finished the game. Not because they had some right to just for closing the gap, but because Kerr opted for a zone and the pair of rookies, plus Damion Lee, Jordan Poole and Nemanja Bjelica, were playing it to perfection. Golden State won the quarter, 39-20!
But a Doncic dunk and Reggie Bullock 3-pointer ultimately sealed the deal a minute after the sub came in.
Will this game matter? Probably not for Golden State. No team has ever blown a 3-0 lead, and do we really think a Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green one will be the first after a half-decade of 3-1 jokes?
But if it’s ever going to happen, it has to be one game at a time. Dallas has its first.
The Mavericks odds to pull off the NBA’s first 3-0 comeback are set at +1500 (bet $100 to win $1,500) while the Warriors odds to close the series are set at -3500 (bet $3,500 to win $100).