I’m currently reading “Four Days in November” by Vincent Bugliosi, about the assassination of JFK and subsequent murder of his murderer two days later. I’m feeling inspired by this great book, so in the spirit of true investigative journalism, let’s break down last night’s spectacular Warriors footage frame-by-frame Zapruder-style.
We like to have fun here at DotB but sometimes you have to stiffen your upper lip and tackle the serious topics. So without further ado:
The evidence in question-
0:03 – Curry pushes the ball up the court and eyes the defense. For most that means a simple dominant hand dribble. For Curry, it’s a for-the-hell-of-it behind the back dribble, in stride, avoiding Klay Thompson who I assume is sprinting right in front of him purely to add a degree of difficulty. No big deal.
0:05 – Another totally routine behind-the-back move by Curry; this time a pass to Thompson on the wing, that absolutely freezes poor DeMar DeRozan.
0:06 – In the span of one whole second, Thompson catches, squares up in triple-threat position, pulls the slightest shot fake – causing DeMarre Carroll to sell out and go off balance – and switches to his right hand to whip a post entry pass to Draymond Green. The brilliance of the Warriors is on full display in these last two seconds: the unpredictable yet controlled artistry of Curry meets the rock solid fundamentals of Thompson. They are freelance ballers that are well-coached, flashy but always finding the right pass; a kaleidoscope of basketball potency.
0:07 – Draymond knows where Curry is going to be before he even catches Thompson’s bounce pass. Once he gets it he throws a one-time crosscourt rope to Steph. The pass is low but Curry is a master of lining up a shot from wherever the pass comes in. Now he’s looking at a wide open three. More Warriors wizardry.
0:08-0:09 – Curry catches and launches that patented 3-point stroke of his. Note that in three seconds, three different Warriors touch the ball, leaving a Frozen DeRozan, a reaching Carroll and generally scattered Raptors defensive set in their wake. The ball travels from the top of the key, to the wing, to the post and then back behind the arc. In three seconds.
0:10-0:14 – Curry instinctively looks right to a chillin’ Andre Iguodala, towel in hand (little known rule: it’s mandatory that all NBA players have a towel in their hand or on their person while on the bench), and reaches for the low-five. The video pauses to emphasize the ball still in mid-air as Curry gestures to Iggy.
0:16 – Conspiracy? Did the high (low)-five happen before the shot went down as many are reporting? Or did he hesitate, only finishing the hand slap ritual once the ball tickled the twine? Our parent’s generation had the grassy knoll and a suspected assassin murdered in a police station, but I challenge them to unravel a mystery of this magnitude. I think it’s clear he waited for the shot to go in, but he’s still taking a major risk. What if he clanked the shot and Iggy left him hanging as punishment? How awkward. But things like that don’t happen to this MVP or his team.
0:17 – Iguodala’s sheer display of towel-waving glee after the high-five reminds you why life is worth living. He wasn’t even this happy when hoisting the Finals MVP trophy last year. Priorities, man.
God bless the NBA.