3rd conditional & useful vocabulary after the 2019 nba finals

the usa today ran this headline after the toronto raptors won their first nba championship by defeating the golden state warriors in game 6 of the nba finals.

Raptors deserve celebration, but Warriors’ injuries denied NBA fans classic Finals

deserve means the celebration is merited, the raptors earned it. injury is physical damage to the body. deny means the warriors injuries didn’t allow it.

kawhi leonard holding the larry o'brien trophy

mvp kawhi leonard of the toronto raptors holds the trophy after the raptors’ victory (ap)

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the article, written by dan wolken, describes the series like this

the nba finals turned into a war of attrition, and [the raptors] were the team left standing after six games.

turn into means become. a war of attrition is won by gradually destroying the opponents resources. left standing means still on their feet, they survived.

david banner turning into the hulk

david banner turning into the hulk

wolken expresses disappointment and empathy for the warriors depleted condition.

even if you wanted the warriors to lose, even if you were rooting for their dynasty to end, there was no joy or justice in this.

root means cheer for, support. dynasty refers to the warriors winning 3 of the last 4 nba titles before this season and playing in 5 consecutive nba finals. joy is extreme happiness. even if emphasizes that fans rooting for the warriors to lose couldn’t really enjoy winning this way.

fans rooting for the golden state warriors

because of the devastating injuries that golden state suffered, the article is full of hypothetical examples in the past (3rd conditional) that imagine alternatives to what actually happened.

  • but outside of canada, where they will rightfully celebrate this as one of the greatest sports moments in a nation’s history, this has to go down as one of the saddest finals we’ve ever seen. because of what it could have been. because of the cost to ligaments and tendons that left us cringing at the sight of kevin durant grabbing at his achilles on monday night and klay thompson holding his knee on thursday.

could have been is third conditional. the nba finals this season didn’t reach its full potential because of the injuries to kevin durant and klay thompson. rightfully means it’s correct and justified that raptors fans and canadians in general celebrate this championship. go down refers to how this event will be remembered in history. cringe is a facial and bodily reaction to the unfortunate, ugly injuries that kevin durant and klay thompson suffered. grab and hold both refer to taking something with the hand. grab indicates more force than hold.

kevin durant talking to klay thompson as he grabs his heel in game 5 of the 2019 nba finals

kevin durant talks to klay thompson while holding his injured right heel (getty/gregory shamus)
  • it says a lot about the grit golden state has that it made the raptors sweat this out until the last possible second, long after the series should have been over.

should have been over is third conditional. it means the raptors took longer/struggled more than expected to defeat the warriors. grit is strong character. sweat out means worry about. in fact the raptors didn’t sweat it out till the last possible second. the series could have gone (3rd conditional) to the final seconds of game 7. but it didn’t.

raptors fans watching game 6 of the nba finals--sweating it out

raptors fans watching game 6, sweating it out (ernest doroszuk/toronto sun/postmedia)
  • they didn’t go and grab it as much as they held on by cuticles as the warriors physically fell apart. it shouldn’t have been so hard, but it was, owing all to toronto’s own demons in closing out its first title and the ever-present threat of stephen curry having just enough juice to do this all by himself.

shouldn’t have been so hard is third conditional. wolken’s opinion is that it was more difficult than expected for the raptors to win the series. held on by cuticles demonstrates that the raptors didn’t have strong control of the moment. held is the irregular past tense of hold. fall apart means collapse, disintegrate. fell is the irregular past tense of fall. owing to means because of. ever-present means always there. threat is imminent danger. juice here means energy or power. fortunately for the raptors, curry didn’t have enough juice when he shot a three pointer with 7 seconds left in game 6. if he would have made it, the warriors would have taken the lead (more third conditional). wolken’s opinion on the missed shot is…

  • it probably wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the series had it gone in. but it sure would have given the raptors a lot to think about for the next 72 hours.

wouldn’t have changed and would have given are third conditional. had it gone in is past perfect, but expresses a hypothetical idea too. all three of these ideas speculate on the possibility of curry making the three pointer at the end of the game. outcome means result. 72 hours refers to the 3 days that would have passed (third conditional again) between game 6 and 7.

tacos, especially the crunchy gringo kind, often fall apart when u take a bite
  • if there’d been a game 7 with a healthy thompson and momentum and the raptors starting to lose some belief, this was destined to be the coin flip of all coin flips. it could have been a classic.

could have been is third conditional. if there’d been is another example of past perfect expressing a hypothetical idea, possibly easier to identify because of the use of if. the idea here is that with a game 7, this nba finals was going to be a classic, without it (what really happened) it was just interesting. healthy means without injury. coin flip means it would have been difficult to predict who would have won a game 7 in this series, the odds would have been 50-50 (three final third conditional examples).

a hand flipping a coin

game 7 would have been a coin flip

are u an nba fan? what did u think of the 2019 nba finals? share your observations under leave a reply




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