Lowe’s 10 things: Melo’s hilarious yells, the baffling Celtics and the glorious return of the Warriors

    Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) is a senior writer for ESPN Digital and Print.

It’s Friday — time for a special Christmas Day edition of 10 things! This week we explore the Warriors’ undeniable basketball identity, Carmelo Anthony’s hilarious battle cry and baffling inconsistency from the Celtics … and so much more. Thirteen hours of NBA action starts at 12 p.m. ET on ESPN.

1. What having a team identity looks like

One thorny bit of predictive analysis is deciding whether a late-season run portends something real, or is the overblown result of beating teams with one foot out the door.

The Golden State Warriors’ 15-5 finishing kick last season passed the smell test because it connected stylistically to some of the best Stephen Curry-Klay Thompson-Draymond Green teams. The Warriors stopped playing newbies and ill-fitting interlopers. James Wiseman and Kelly Oubre Jr. lost minutes to Juan Toscano-Anderson, Kevon Looney, and Jordan Poole — holdovers who understood how to dance with Curry.

The Warriors looked like themselves again — playing a unique offense radiating from a unique superstar. That uniqueness alone holds value: Golden State’s offense is an NBA knuckleball, difficult to adjust to after facing a line of fastball pitchers.

Golden State doubled down on role players who fit that ethos. They welcomed back Andre Iguodala. They brought in two bigs — Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica — with shooting chops and feel.

They did this in the second game of the season!

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