Brutal. Is it just me, or have the Warriors had more ridiculously unlucky last second losses than even imaginable in the last 5 years? I remember a Lebron three, a banked in three (Also the Thunder? Jeff Green?)….
A lot to analyze in this Thunder game, but unfortunately I can’t get to it tonight. I realize that I’ve been dogging it badly on the blog lately, but friends and the nightlife are calling me….
A man can’t hang out in Mom’s basement all the time.
Regardless of the outcome, and despite the fact that I think his dogmatic belief in playing big throughout the game has cost the Warriors badly in several games this season, THIS game has to be viewed as a vindication of Mark Jackson. In this game, we saw the Warriors epitomize what he wants from them, play his style, and all but beat a great team in their home gym.
It’s perhaps good that I’ve taken a break, because the Warriors are evolving in ways that are difficult for me to analyze at the moment. Maybe it’s a good time for me to just shut up and watch a few games.
Barnes: His defense was far more significant than his offense in this game. Yes, it was a nearly flawless offensive game, one of his most efficient to date. But, yes, he was once again being guarded by point guards literally throughout the game. He SHOULD dominate these matchups.
A quick point: Much has been made of how playing with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson has aided Iguodala’s offensive game. If you accept that notion, then you should also consider how much it has helped Barnes’. What kind of player would he be on another team, drawing a good defender every night?
As for his defense, I was rubbing my eyes in this game. I had a scathing analysis of his defense in the last few games all teed up to go, but that’s for another day now. Was Barnes really this good, or did Durant just have a lousy game?
One thing is certainly true, and that is that Barnes had a lot of help from the men in the middle. Half of the battle in guarding Durant is denying him the rim, and Bogut and O’Neal did a great job of that. Barnes was actually playing within in a team concept most of the time, forcing Durant into spots where teammates could help, and where his shots were uncomfortable.
But it can’t be denied that Barnes did a great job when iso’d as well. For some reason, he made Durant extremely uncomfortable. Made him turn and fade. Made him reluctant to put the ball on the floor.
I think it’s safe to say that Barnes guards big far better than he guards small. He’s much better defensively against fours and stretch-fours than he is against threes and twos.
Bogut: You should not interpret my criticism of Mark Jackson for leaving Bogut on the floor in certain situations as criticism of Bogut himself. Bogut is a really good player (despite certain obvious limitations) when he feels good, and he’s getting better by the day. He has really stepped it up on both sides of the ball in the last few games, and I’ve been impressed.
That’s all I have time for now — I’ve been holding back a lot of thoughts planning for a bigger post, which isn’t going to happen, so look for them in the comments in the next few days.