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Currymania Comes To Brooklyn - Coping with the No-Baseball Blues, Installment 4

On Sunday afternoon December 6, Davidson College alumni came out 148 strong to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to support favorite son Stephen Curry and the unbeaten Golden State Warriors. I joined the group as the guest of a special friend who breathes Davidson Wildcat red and black.

Curry did not disappoint, scoring 28 points, a tick below his season average. His 16-point binge in the third quarter broke open a close game and the Brooklyn Nets became the Warriors’ 22nd straight victim, losing 114-98. Curry shirts were sprinkled among a capacity crowd that were pulling for him more than the Nets.

The Warriors are, of course, not a one-man show. Former Michigan State Spartan Draymond Green is the fuel that makes the show run. He rebounds, he leads the fast break, passes beautifully (as do all the Warriors), and has an improved three-point shot. Not bad for someone listed at “only” 6’ 7”.

It is an unprecedented streak that could be jeopardized against the improved Indiana Pacers as early as Tues night Dec 8. [I was too pessimistic about the Warriors juggernaut.
They scored 79 points in the first half at Indiana, and never were seriously threatened in their 23rd straight win.]

Ultimately the Warriors will lose. The law of averages, whatever that exactly is, dictates the likelihood. Curry even jokes that they will lose before the NFL’s unbeaten Carolina Panthers from his hometown of Charlotte.

Yet the defending NBA champions and the reigning MVP in Curry don’t really want the streak to end - when the playoffs near it will be good for the pressure of the streak to be over. N.B. The Warriors don’t play the perennially contending Spurs until March 19 in San Antonio.

My Sunday excursion to Brooklyn was my first visit to the Barclays Center. It is an impressive edifice, looming like a neon spaceship directly outside the Flatbush/Atlantic Ave subway and Long Island Rail Road stops.

It is the location where Walter O’Malley dreamed of building a new baseball stadium for the Dodgers in the 1950s but the NYC government was in no financial position to offer him the land. (A complicated tale to be explored at another time but please don't think that NYC Parks Commissioner Robert Moses was the main culprit in the Dodgers' flight.)

The arena inside is pretty awe-inspiring with good sightlines to the court from almost all of the seats. But as someone very cautious about steps, I wouldn’t want to climb to the nosebleed sections. I also wish that there were some variety in seat colors – I found the black and/or gray colors too ominous.

My bigger complaint focuses on the incessant replays shown on the plethora of TV screens scattered all around the Center. They were shown so often – always Nets highlights and nothing else - that the actual game on the floor was missed at many junctures.

My ticket was in the Honda hospitality center at one of the end zones of the arena. At times I needed to watch TV because sight lines to the court were often blocked. I realize there are not many Nets highlights this year - after the Sunday loss they are a disappointing 5-15. But there are fans of the opposition who like to see the actual live action of the game.

Basketball is no substitute for baseball, of course, but a phenomenon like Stephen Curry and the Warriors doesn’t come around often. I was glad to partake in a little of it.

I am also happy to report that my Wisconsin Badgers, after being humiliated at Oklahoma, won impressively at Syracuse and at home against Temple. Am hoping that Bo Ryan’s patient coaching will lead to another compelling season. They stand at 6-3 right now.

And Kyle Smith’s Columbia Lions finally won a close game on Sunday December 6 over the pesky Delaware Blue Hens. The final score of 82-69 did not indicate how close a contest it was.

After losing twice in overtime and once by one point and once by two points, the Columbia faithful were getting very nervous, at least this alum was. But solid defense emerged in the second half aided by a breakout game by freshman forward Lukas Meisner. 5-5 is not what a preseason Ivy League favorite expected, but the team seems talented and deep enough to make a run towards contention once the Ivy League season begins in mid-January.

That’s all for now. Always remember: Take it easy but take it!
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