As you may recall, the Golden State Warriors became just the tenth team in NBA history to come back after being down 3-1 in any series during playoff competition. This only adds to the "magic" that has been their historic 2015-16 season.
But seriously, does it really shock us?
We were all surprised that the Oklahoma City Thunder made a comeback and won Game 1 at Oracle with a final score of 108-102. That game led many, myself included, to believe that the Warriors were in serious trouble because OKC had done their job, they wouldn't have to win on the road again in the series.
Following a rout in Game 2, where the Warriors seemingly built up all the confidence in the world and gained all their swagger back, the Thunder came back with consecutive blowouts of the Warriors at their home floor at the Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City; and the Thunder seemed poised as the representative from the Western Conference to square off with LeBron's Cavaliers.
Only nine teams had previously made a comeback after being down 3-1, and many had predicted it would stay that way when the series concluded. However, the Warriors battled and snuck out of Oracle with a 120-111 victory, which was expected.
On to Game 6. The Thunder came out of the gates strong while Steph Curry and Klay Thompson struggled. However, the Thunder were unable to amount to a large enough lead to bury the Dubs while they worked out the kinks. This led to the greatest three point shooting performance in NBA history, as Thompson figured out his stroke and buried 11 threes on 18 attempts and finished with 41 points. Curry chipped in 31 points on 6-13 from behind the line.
This set up the all anticipated Game 7 at Oracle.
The Thunder once again came out with a lot of power, leading by as many as 13 points in the first half. The Thunder got their lead by moving the ball a ton and getting guys like Steven Adams and Serge Ibaka involved early. Then out of the blue, Russell Westbrook started jacking up unnecessary shots, leading to long rebounds. Nevertheless, the Warriors came back again, winning 96-88 in the decisive Game 7; completing a 3-1 comeback.
But was it at all surprising?
The NBA, after all, is a business, Their only goal is to make as much money as humanly possible over the course of the season (floor seats for Game 7 went for $29K each). So they wanted to assure that the biggest and most-viewed series of the whole season could be dragged on for as long as possible. So the league allowed the Thunder to get up 3-1, leading many to think the Warriors were dead, only to have them come back and win the series and continue to jack up ratings in order to increase revenue.
On to how Game 7 was rigged. In the first quarter there were only three stoppages for fouls, allowing the game to be very entertaining as it was highly up-tempo. This up-tempo game clearly favored OKC, as they built an early 13-point lead. For the rest of the game, there was an average of 8 fouls per quarter; slowing the game down. Half court basketball favored the Warriors far more than the Thunder, allowing them to come back and eventually win. Also, at the end of the game there was a bogus foul on Serge Ibaka when Steph Curry pulled up from 3 with about 1:20 to go. The Warriors were up 4 at that point and, after the Curry FTs, put the lead up to 7. That same foul on Ibaka wasn't called on Durant in the first quarter when Draymond Green tried that lean-in jumper.
Everybody loves rematches, and thanks to the league, the fans get what they want. Golden State vs. Cleveland on Thursday night.