I just saw Game 7 of the NBA Western Conference playoffs. Golden State came back from 1 – 3 down to win it 4 – 3. Only 10 teams in the history of the NBA has every done this.
When I was watching the whole series, it was easy to think that OKC was the superior team. OKC were bigger, longer, more athletic. Every time I saw GSW drive into the lane, I almost always thought that they were going to get blocked, stripped or forced to take a difficult shot. Nothing was easy. Then I see the ease on how OKC gets the shot they wanted. Durant gets the ball at the elbow, and do a routine turn around jump-shot. Or I see a Westbrook drive at will. Or I see GSW get out-rebounded numerous times. Frankly, I thought OKC was going to win most of the time.
OKC was like a wall, a tank, like giants. They seemed to dominate GSW in every category. GSW couldn’t compete with them in terms of low-post, mid-post, speed, or under the rim. These are where easy shots are generated. There was no choice. They had to launch shots from long-range, and to shoot difficult shots from long range. Most of their shots were contested by lanky, quick defenders.
I couldn’t believe at the degree of difficulty on the threes GSW were attempting. Then with every one they dropped, they were still lagging behind in score. They kept going, they didn’t get discouraged. What stopped them from being frustrated or discouraged? It is so deflating to shoot lights out from three point range and still not even be leading for most of the game. For stretches of game 6 and 7, I remember seeing Klay and Steph’s face. They were stoic, no smiles, its like there was a tension between the belief the in the impossible, and the impending fear of loss player a team that would crush them if they didn’t have a stellar performance. It showed on their face.
With each ridiculous three they shot and hit, they just had to have faith that they have to keep shooting these shots. Even though there was a good probability of missing. Any shot % less than great would lead to losing because OKC was winning every other game categories. Never-mind, keep shooting. All the hours in the gym spent reconstructing his jump-shot and practicing all kinds of long distance shots from every angle came to mind. This is what I have been training for for years, thought Curry.
While everyone was spending more time developing obvious skills-ets like shaking and baking, quicker cross-overs, dunks and shooting over people, Curry was spending countless hours trying to shave off micro-seconds from his shot release. If I can’t out-jump and shoot over people, then I’m going to shoot so quick, defenders can’t react as fast. Change the emphasis. Change the game.
It was inspiring.
“I can do all things”. It’s written on his shoe.
“It represents a Bible verse I wear on my shoe,” said Curry. “Philippians 4:13. It says ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ It’s also my mantra, how I get up for games and why I play the way I do.”
The degree of difficulty was totally off the charts. Doesn’t matter. Keep going. Keep shooting. All of sudden, for three games in a row, these miracle threes would finally chip away at the giant until the giants faltered in the closing minutes of the 4th quarters.
Isn’t that just how God does things with His people?
When I ponder about how unbelievable the GSW season has been, I am forced to think about the engine of this adversary-beating but humble team. It seems obvious that this engine has imprinted himself on the team, and it shows.
What do Stephen Curry and King David have in common?
- Both took down giants from long range.
- Both changed the game with skill sets practiced in secret that the world didn’t recognize until it mattered.
- Both acknowledged where this strength came from.
Check out this article: http://billygraham.org/story/stephen-curry-i-can-do-all-things-through-christ/
If you feel that the world has boxed you in, or written you off, don’t forget that God can change the game. Ask him for help. Ask him for wisdom and commitment to make the changes to hone your mentality and skill-sets to be the person the world needs, but didn’t want. it is not based on “your faith”. It is all possible through Jesus. He’ll guide you where to go and what to do if you ask.