I’ve Been There, Bro: Equating Video Game Agony to Golden State’s WCF Performance

The Defending Champion Golden State Warriors have lost two games in a row for the first time all season, and find themselves down 3 – 1 to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.  These are facts.

Golden State has been outplayed in almost every asset of these two games.  They’ve been outscored, outrebounded, and have turned the ball over much more than the Thunder.  These are also facts.

These last two games had to have been remarkably frustrating for the Warriors.  In fact, I know these last two games have been frustrating.  I know because I’ve been there before.

Now, you’re probably asking yourself “James, have you played basketball on a professional level? Or any level for that matter?” and the answer is a resounding no.  I did get cut from my high school JV team once, but besides that I have no “real” basketball experience.

I have, however, played a whole bunch of the video game NBA 2k. And if you’ve ever played 2k for an extended period of time, these games have looked remarkably familiar.

There are two basic types of 2k games: (1) games that are almost obnoxiously close, with each team trading baskets and a strong chance of overtime, and (2) total blowouts.  I don’t know if that’s what the designers meant to do when they created this game, but I’m not here to figure out “science,” I’m here to spit truths.

These last two Western Conference Finals games have all the trademarks of this second type of 2k contest. And having been on the ugly end of quite a few of those games, I can relate.  You see, when you lose these kind of games in 2k, you REALLY lose these kind of games.

It typically starts in the beginning of the game.  You force one or two shots right off the bat that don’t go in.  Your opponent hits an open 3 that you forget to close out on. You might commit a turnover or two, but it’s still early and there’s time to get into your rhythm.

All of a sudden, out of nowhere, it happens.  THE RUN.  You see, the run is the thing in 2k that can sink even the best of players.  When someone goes on a massive run, literally nothing goes right for the unlucky shmuck who’s on the receiving end of said run.  Literally every shot for The Runner goes in, and even when the shots don’t go in, there’s somebody conveniently in position to snag an offensive rebound and either put in an easy layup or kick the ball out to the perimeter or an easy three.

Meanwhile, on the other end, the victim has literally no flow.  Every pass is a turnover, every shot isn’t even close.  It doesn’t matter who you have on your team.  Even the 2k greats, from Lebron to Curry to Kris Humphries, no one is immune to The Run.  Sure, you’ll do something positive every once in a while, only for your opponent to triumphantly roll up the court and answer back before you have the time to relish in your one moment of non-mediocrity.

The despair that the 2k blowout instills in someone is all consuming.  You just get so pissed. Every shot that doesn’t go in is bullshit, because you released his jump shot at the exact right height and there wasn’t even a defender there anyway.  Every shot your opponent makes is just luck at this point, and you know that you’re the better player anyway it’s just that this game is fucking stupid.

Maybe not this angry
That’s what has happened to the Warriors in these last two games.  It’s an avalanche, nothing you can do is going to stop it.  The Warriors are clearly the better team, they’ve just been on the receiving end of some pretty ugly 2k losses.  Everything they do ends up being a mistake.  Passes they’ve made hundreds, if not thousands of times all of a sudden find themselves in the hands of the opponent and a fast break ensues that Golden State has no hope in stopping.  Their best player can’t buy shot.  I can see the metaphorical player controlling the Warriors slamming down their controller and saying “Fuck this, there’s no way that Andre Roberson makes this many 3s in real life.”

Is there any way for Golden State to pull out the series?  I’m not sure.  Durant and Westbrook at this point look near unstoppable, while Curry seems off and Draymond just seems like a different player ever since they Adams incident (an act that many 2k players have fantasized about carrying out against select opponents).  If they don’t end up winning the series, though, I’ll understand.  I’ve been there bro, and man is it frustrating.

Find me on Twitter: @SportsStanceJ