Curry and Bogut break down blowout win in Game 4
Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut combined for 43 points in the Warriors' Game 4 win on Sunday. (AP)
Yes, since you asked, that IS the soul of the Denver Nuggets hanging around Stephen Curry’s neck.
And yes, that is the Nuggets’ collective spine Andrew Bogut is using as a walking stick.
And yes, these are the nation's Golden State Warriors now.
The growing national phenomenon that is the Mythical Geographical Reference Point Warriors took on a new and more breathtaking dimension Sunday night in the locals’ 115-101 Game Four rout of the Nuggets.
What Bogut didn’t do to them in Minutes One Through 15 (12 points, four rebounds, intimidating dunks and glowers all through), Curry did in Minutes 31 through 38 (24 points on 11 shots to kill the game and further electrify the nation), and though many other Warriors contributed significantly to the evening’s hilarities, this will ultimately be known as the Bogut-Curry Game.
Unless you guys and gals can come up with something snappier, that is.
Fact is Game Four was the one in which everything we thought we knew about Denver became a lie. It was the one where everything we suspected about Curry became too understated by half. And it was the one where we finally saw Bogut at full wingspan and plumage.
And unless the Nuggets are setting us all up in some spectacular betting coup, there won’t be much more of them to debate.
“We have to find our confidence,” Denver coach George Karl said, sounding unconvincingly defiant. “Tonight, it was our defense, and we lost the pass. We have to find a way to raise what we do. The next 48 hours will not be pleasant.”
But Game 3 was supposed to be that game for them, and so was Game 4. Game 5 puts the Nuggets in a desperate mode that has to overcome emotion, magic and Golden State’s emerging advantages.
That’s what Sunday night showed the nation, and Golden State coach Mark Jackson pointed out yet again how late the nation has come to the obvious conclusion. “They’re just now coming to the hospital,” he said, “but the baby’s already been born.”
That was a reference to Curry, but it is worthy of distribution to Bogut and to the support staff that has put Denver in such an unenviable jam. Such was the nature of the evening. Such is the nature of this series. Such was the incandescence of Curry’s extraordinary third quarter, when he overcame his increasingly nettlesome left ankle in the first half and hit eight consecutive shots in four minutes and change. And such was Bogut’s facial expression as he bullied, muscled and all but shredded Denver’s big men.
Now comes the caveat. This series actually is not yet over. Denver isn't Denver yet. But you can see over where everyone is standing, and over is wearing a Warriors jersey with 30 in the back, and 12 on the front.
True, this necessarily diminishes 2 (Jarrett Jack), 40 (Harrison Barnes), 23 (Draymond Green) and 7 (Carl Landry), all of whom put numbers on the tattooed Nugget faces.
But this series is now reaching its end times, and it was taken there mostly by Bogut and then by Curry in Game 4. And while it is considered bad form to bring up the San Antonio Spurs so soon, we’re figuring that unless the Nuggets can find what they have lost, the first half of Tuesday’s fifth game ought to be time enough.
History will determine soon enough if this series is a higher peak for this often troubled franchise that the We Believe cuffing of Dallas in 2007, or even the sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 1975 postseason.
You know, the only year that the Warriors have ever been the best team in the NBA.
But this was a genuinely shocking performance for the two men who are linked to the once-iconic local, Monta Ellis. Bogut was acquired for Ellis, Curry made Ellis expendable. And between them, even with Curry’s ankle and now his cyborg-red right eye, and Bogut’s general not-yet-health, they have changed the nature of Warrior basketball.
We are close to seeing how enduring that change will be.