So it fell to Klay Thompson last night to shoot and shoot again from 3-point land, launching 15 in all and hitting six. (“He stole like 10 of my threes,” Curry faux-complained. “I want them back.”)
No less important was Kevin Durant, the 7-footer with the moves of a point guard and the wingspan of a Boeing 737. He hit jumpers, floaters, balletic spinners from all directions, never once forcing a shot and rarely venturing out to the 3- point line, where he is in fact deadly.
One move in particular was hallucinatory. Durant faked right and drove left past the basket and seemingly headed for a landing in the third row. He reached back, Elongated Man style, and deposited a soft spinner in the hoop.
Later, Draymond Green played reviewer and gave five stars. “I think that was my favorite moment,” he said.
Defending Durant is a math equation with no solution. You do everything right and yet …
The Warriors are quite the show. They arrive on court like it’s a West Coast film shoot. They’ve got their Hamptons Five starting lineup, their all-stars-turned-Yoda role players, and endless helpers. They’ve got coaches and hoop mechanics, who work on every aspect of the game. There is the floater consultant and another to work hook shots and the fake up-and-under specialist.
Curry did his usual warm-up routine on Monday, ending in a hot potato game of catch with a Warriors security man. Here, catch the basketball. No, you. No, you. It concludes with a final flip of the ball to Curry, who as an afterthought falls away and tosses the ball back 23 feet toward the hoop. It hits naught but net.
Everyone ends up a bit player in this show. I found myself standing courtside, watching Curry and chatting with a father and son from Shanghai. The father peered at me carefully.