How the superhero mentality sunk the Warriors


Did the Cavaliers just want this win more? How much better did they play than the Warriors? Originally answered on June 25th, 2016.

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Answer by Chris Lynam:

“Win or go home.”

It was wrapped up. The Warriors had started believing the hype, celebrated prematurely, and their confidence was their undoing. There was nothing in the Warriors' game that resembled a “win or go home” attitude until Game 7.

It had been “Win one more so we can have another parade.”

It was the NBA championship equivalent of partying the night before a midterm, but being talented enough to squeak out a B.

There’s a lack of urgency due to ability.

Why Superheroes Can Be a Bad Thing

Imagine if you lived in modern day Metropolis. How many “everyday heroes” would we have if we knew Superman would always show up, save the school bus teetering on the edge of the cliff, grin, and fly to his next gig?

We’d start to watch.

We’d lack initiative.

We’d say things like, “Good thing he’s around,” or, “Don’t worry … Superman’s got this.”

Steph Curry is the Warriors' Superman, and too many of the everyday heroes got too comfortable standing and watching him do his work. Curry saved the day on so many occasions that the everyday heroes lacked initiative; they folded when they were needed most, all while Curry was suffering from kryptonite exposure.

The Cleveland Cavaliers had to “win or go home.” They were embarrassed early in the series, and it was the threat of losing, combined with the Warriors' taste for winning, that turned the tide in the series.

Cleveland’s Recipe

The Cavs should send the Oklahoma City Thunder a big fruit basket. They tired out the Warriors, but, most importantly, they gave Cleveland precious game footage that gave them their Steph Curry kryptonite recipe.

They muscled through pick and rolls. They left the Golden State big men and turned their attention on Curry, and why not? Outside of moments from Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, no one proved to be a threat. The Warriors' citizens of Metropolis watched as their hero was falling, pushed into bad offense and suspect defense.

Curry was Cleveland's target, and his diminished play was the key to their prize.

When Push Comes to Shove

Sure, t

here was a huge momentum shift with the Draymond Green suspension, but when push comes to groin shot, it still came down to one thing: Mentality.

“Win or go home” has more urgency, provides a greater threat, and sharpens a team's focus. LeBron and the Cavs realized this, and how they capitalized on it makes their comeback one for the ages.

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