I don't want to discredit the Warriors. Actually, fuck that. I really do want to discredit the Warriors because I find them to be insufferably thin-skinned, but I can't - in good faith - discredit the Warriors. The performance that they put on was too surreal to be downplayed. Even for someone - like myself - that wishes them nothing but the worst, I couldn't help but be intrigued every time Klay Thompson pulled up for yet another flawless 3 and sent his bench into hysterics. The hail mary turned mid-air lateral turned alley-oop was a play that you can't help but appreciate as a sports fan. I almost couldn't even hate them for completely erasing the line between cocky and absolutely obnoxious because I probably would have done the same thing if my teammate was in the midst of putting up 40 points in a single half.
That said, I wasn't playing against them. It was easy for me to enjoy watching a Globethrottling for the ages because it wasn't coming at my expense. Steph Curry wasn't acting as if he was dancing to the 'Kangaroo Song' right in my face as I went down 20. The Warriors bench didn't start a mid-game celebratory mosh pit in the corner of the court while they were kicking my ass. Kevin Durant wasn't posing for pictures while someone else's shot was in the air instead of taking me seriously. I can assure you if I was having my pride stomped through the hardwood then I most certainly would have used the retaliatory flagrant at my disposal to try to peel my dignity back up off the mat.
I'm not saying the Pacers should have turned a one-sided NBA matchup into beer league hockey game, but showing a little bit of fight in response to a team going out of their way to humiliate them would have been worthy of at least a shred of respect. Throw a little elbow. Put somebody on their back. Borrow Draymond's "involuntary" leg tick. Do anything but non-chalantly stand around and have your ass pillaged on national television. I mean, the Pacers looked so weak and vulnerable in the second half that Zaza Pachulia felt comfortable throwing behind the back passes. I saw JaVale McGee's handicapable ass attempt to dunk over the entirety of Indiana's roster no less than 4 times and I didn't even watch the whole game.
It wasn't just the final box score that was an utter embarrassment, it was the Pacers tucking their tail between their legs as their opponent only took breaks from bullying them to mock mock them to their face. The Warriors gave you more than a glimpse into how good they can be when they are firing on all cylinders, but I'll be damned if their best rendition of an 'And 1 Mixtape' wasn't aided by the Pacers being so submissive that they should have had a ball-gag in each and every one of their mouthes.