Bonus basketball is back in the Bay – time to party like it’s 2007.
With Tuesday night’s 105-89 victory over the Timberwolves, the Golden State Warriors clinched a spot in the Western Conference playoffs for the first time since 2007 and only their third appearance since 1994.
So you can forgive long-suffering Warriors fans who exploded in the waning moments on Tuesday night into a raucous “playoffs” chant at Oracle Arena.
Oft overshadowed this season by their star-studded, drama-riddled Southern California counterparts, the Warriors quietly put together an impressive regular season largely behind the efforts of Stephen Curry, David Lee and a breakout season for second-year guard Klay Thompson.
Naturally, the Warriors are ecstatic to be back in the postseason fray.
“We celebrated, and rightfully so,” Warriors head coach Mark Jackson told The San Francisco Chronicle’s Rusty Simmons. “People questioned us, and they should have. People doubted us, and they should have.
“But they underestimated the heart, the desire, the work ethic, the determination, the willingness to put in the time and then the favor of God.”
With just two games remaining (tonight against San Antonio and Wednesday at Portland), the Warriors (45-35) will hope to cling to the No. 6 seed in the playoffs to avoid having to face the heavyweight Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round.
The ‘Dubs have a half-game lead over No. 7 Houston.
In the Warriors’ last playoff appearance, they famously shocked the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round, then eventually bowed out against the Utah Jazz.
The run spawned the phrase “We Believe” as yellow-clad fans created a feverish atmosphere at Oracle Arena.
In case you forgot, Baron Davis won the Internet with this gem during said run.
The Bay Area is Hot
Oh, and the weather is OK, too.
Life is good for local baseball fans. Not only is the sport back in full swing, but both A’s and Giants fans can boast to support two of the most sizzling teams out of the gate.
While their big-spending AL West rivals Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels grabbed most of the offseason attention, it was, after all, the A’s who won the West last season.
Seemingly, they haven’t skipped a beat.
While the A’s (9-4) couldn’t get a measure of revenge against the team that ousted them from last season’s playoffs, the Detroit Tigers, the series defeat still left Oakland atop the AL West.
So far, the A’s have been doing it with the lumber: no team has scored more runs than the A’s (73) and are second in on-base and slugging percentage in the American League.
Coco Crisp leads Oakland with four home runs and Brandon Ross has 10 RBI.
Let’s Retire the “T-Word”…
Because winning two World Series in three seasons is hardly tortuous.
But the Giants sure do enjoy making things ulcer-inducing, don’t they?
San Francisco finished off a 3-1 series victory in Chicago against the Cubs on Sunday after Hunter Pence tied the game up in the 9th inning with a two-out, two-strike home run to send the game into extra innings.
This, after the Giants had already rallied from an early 4-1 deficit as Tim Lincecum again struggled on the mound. The Giants scored three times in the 10th inning to seal the comeback with a 10-7 win.
Twice already this season the Giants (9-4) have erased five-run deficits to win.
They accomplished that feat only twice all of last season…
Ulcers welcome: @seanswaby