Blame the rest of the NBA.
Last night Houston Rockets fans (self included) received a tough, bitter dose of reality.
They're nowhere near as good as the Golden State Warriors.
Neither is anyone else in the NBA. The easy road is to lay the blame on Superstar, and all-around bad guy, Kevin Durant but that's not really fair. Durant did what any player should do, go to the team that was offering him a crap-ton of money where he had the best chance to win a title. Golden State did what any team should do, build a roster that gives them the best chance to win.
The fault for Golden State's dominance lies with the rest of the NBA, who haven't been able to negotiate the maze of the salary cap nearly as well.
Yes, outside of Stephan Curry the Warriors are an utterly unlikable collection of players (unless you're a Golden State fan). Draymond Green is a jerk, Kevin Durant is utterly unlikable, but every team in the NBA has players like that. Hell, every team in professional sports has players who are the same.
As a 49ers fan I lived through the Terrell Owens days. Yes he was a prick but he was OUR prick. It's the same for Golden State fans. The rest of the NBA fans might not like their players, but it doesn't really matter because the home fans do and they're winning.
James Harden is a flopper, but he's HOUSTON's flopper.
Russell Westbrook is a Prima Donna, but he's OKLAHOMA CITY's Prima Donna.
And so on and so on.
(Of note: This doesn't mean that these players are necessarily bad PEOPLE, I'm referring to their image ON THE COURT. I don't know them in person and neither do you, they might be kind, caring sweethearts of human beings for all we know)
The biggest problem that the NBA has right now is that they are extremely top heavy. There is a ton of individual talent but few real TEAMS, let alone teams that can compete with the best of the bunch, the Golden State Warriors.
This was on display last night as Golden State moved the ball around with quick passing, excellent ball movement and, when need be, a great individual performance by Durant. Compare that with Houston's isolation dribble, dribble drive or shoot offense based primarily around Harden and the issue becomes very clear.
And it's not Golden State's fault. Just like it wasn't UConn's fault they dominated women's basketball, or UCLA's fault back during the Wooden era.
In the words of the great Ric Flair: "To be the man, you gotta beat the man."
Increasingly it feels that no one in the NBA is going to be able to do that.
Bring on the off-season. (It's more fun anyway)