SAN ANTONIO -- There either will be a grand recovery or a total collapse for the Warriors after this Game 1 epic fail, and nothing in between.
Rise from the collapse of all collapses.
Or remain on the canvas, woozy and confused.
Because the Warriors' 129-127 double-overtime loss to the Spurs on Monday night felt like an entire series, an entire season -- maybe an entire multitude of lifetimes.
"It's not easy," rookie forward Draymond Green said. "But we've got to refocus.
"It's going to be tough, but we're going to try not to let this one carry over to Game 2 (on Wednesday).
"Try to do the things we did well tonight and correct our mistakes."
Emphasize the word: Try.
Who knows if that's possible after this manic merry-go-round, one of the wildest, most unpredictable, most entertaining games in NBA playoff history.
The Warriors played brilliant to get up by 16 with 4:31 to go, threw it away and were tied after regulation, then went down, back up, down, back up, and finally ...
Done, at least for a game, after Manu Ginobili's three-pointer with 1.2 seconds left in double-overtime and Jarrett Jack's missed desperation heave at the buzzer.
Really, it felt like a door shutting, to tell you the truth.
And in the wake of this melodrama, it took a brave or very foolish man to say that the Warriors will bounce back from this, only stronger.
That's what Warriors coach Mark Jackson said -- worn voice, worn eyes, but defiant words.
"They realize what took place tonight -- this was a golden opportunity," Jackson said of his players.
"But with that being said, they feel the same exact way that I feel right now. Some great things happened. We put ourselves in position to win a ballgame.
"We came here to win a game. And we've got Game 2 coming up, and we've seen enough things in tonight's game that tells me that could happen."
You could draw up a hundred things Jackson and the Warriors could've done differently in the final minutes, of course.
On another magical Stephen Curry scoring night (44 points in 58 minutes), Jackson could've put the ball in Curry's hands to finish, not Jack's.
Jackson could've gotten Andrew Bogut back in there earlier during the Spurs' comeback, or could've made sure the three-point line was properly defended.
But really, what Jackson and the Warriors didn't do was simple: They didn't finish what would've been one of the Warriors' greatest victories, and you are judged on that and only that.
They made many more mistakes at the end of their Game 6 victory over Denver, and they still won, and advanced.
On Tuesday in San Antonio, the Warriors delivered the first punch, and the next 100 or so, but then lost their way.
This isn't just a trend, it's now an Achilles' heel.
Mark, shouldn't you win a game when you're up 16 with 4:31 left?
"You should," Jackson said. "But we're not the first team to lose a game like this; we will not be the last team. That doesn't mean we're going to accept it -- we will get better.
"I thought even down the stretch, in the process of losing the lead, we did some things that were good ...
"I like a lot of the things I saw on the floor tonight. It's going to be a great series."
That all will be determined by the next 48 hours -- how the Warriors handle this, and how much resolve is left.
Also: How surely Jackson and the team leaders can guide them back to the emotions that fueled their early lead.
That's the good part that Jackson wanted to emphasize: They clearly outplayed the Spurs for most of this game, after losing 29 consecutive games in San Antonio.
The Warriors were incredible, flat-out incredible, for 44 or so minutes.
Mostly, of course, it was Curry doing the outplaying, but the Warriors now know he can get shots against the Spurs. And make them.
Then when Curry tired, after playing almost every second of the game, the Warriors went awry.
I asked Green what the Warriors proved by getting out to the big lead.
"Steph Curry can shoot," Green said quietly.
There was more to it -- the Warriors played great defense until Klay Thompson fouled out in the last minutes, and their role players mainly were terrific.
Everything was within reach for the Warriors. The Spurs were certainly teetering.
"Really, from the mid-fourth quarter on, we looked like a team who realized we were in the playoffs and it was going to be physical and you've got to compete on every down," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
"Until then I thought they were the more physical team. I thought they executed better. We looked like we were looking for answers, I thought."
Everything was possible for Mark Jackson's team: Everything gutsy, everything wondrous, everything maddening, everything stomach-churning, everything foolish.
You can't do more things than the Warriors did in Game 1, and you wouldn't want to.
Now all they have to do is wipe away the anguish of this loss -- this lifetime of basketball -- and play just as well as they did Tuesday, one more time.
Then they have to play the last four minutes as if it is the most important period in the recent history of the franchise.
Because it will be. As it was Monday, also.