I wasn’t planning to recap this one, and I’m still not going to. Not enough in the tank. I just want to say a few words about this great game, that was made even more magical because I was seated at half-court for it, with my feet on the “parquet.” (Hey, Joe Lacob, how about bringing that over from the Celtics!) It was one of the best experiences as a fan I’ve ever had.
We saw a lot of great things in this Warriors win over the Thunder, not least among them Monta Ellis outshining Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry and David Lee shutting up their critics. But those great performances were not what stood out the most about this game for me.
Another lucky win, in a game that should have been a blowout. Why does it feel like the Warriors are stealing games when they win at home? Because they are stealing them. Stripped of the strictures of their coach by the desperation of the situation, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry are stealing wins for the Warriors in crunch time.
And they just may be saving the skin of their coach every time they do it.
Monta Ellis rewrote the title of this Warriors-Pacers recap for me. I had several titles in the works. “Outpaced” was one, jotted down when the Pacers were running away with the tempo and the game in the second quarter. Others had to do with how badly Dorell Wright — the putative Warriors stopper — was getting worked by Danny Granger, and how badly Keith Smart was getting worked by the very underrated coach on the other bench. There was a moment when I thought Stephen Curry might have overcome the abominable way in which he is being used to be the hero of this game. But we know what happened there.
The Warriors sleepwalked through this game against the woebegone Nets, which is only natural on a holiday day-game against a cellar-dwellar. So I’m just going to give a pocket recap of the game, before moving on to other matters that affected me more deeply on this Martin Luther King day.
…Uh huh, Uh huh, I like it. — KC & The Sunshine Band
This was the best win of the Warriors’ season. I say that first of all because it came against a very tough team, the Los Angeles Clippers. Don’t scoff. This isn’t your Daddy’s Clippers team. This is the Clippers team of Blake Griffin, who only needs continued health to erase all memory of Karl Malone. (Yes, I said that.) This is a Clippers team with Eric Gordon, who is rapidly becoming a bonafide star. And with Baron Davis. A healthier, slimmed down, motivated, gleam-in-his-eye Baron Davis, who has finally been freed from the half-court swamp of The Kamanosaurus by the emergence of DeAndre Jordan at center. Continue reading
It is more than a little sad to say that I’m somewhat pleased by this ultra-competitive Warriors’ loss to the Lakers. But that’s where we Warriors fans find ourselves in relation to our insufferable LaLa land counterparts these days. The Lakers are the defending two-time champs. They have a bankroll that dwarfs ours. One of the best big men in NBA history fell into their lap, even if they don’t completely know what to do with him.
And of course, they have a GM who knows how to build a winning bench. The Warriors have a GM — Joe Lacob — who gave us Lou Amundson and Jeremy Lin. Two players not good enough to even dip a toe into this game against the big boys. Continue reading
Posted in Golden State Warriors, Keith Smart, Recaps
Tagged Andris Biedrins, David Lee, Dorell Wright, Golden State Warriors, Joe Lacob, Keith Smart, Kobe Bryant, Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, Vladimir Radmanovich
Two late great Warriors wins in a row, what a wonderful feeling after these long weeks of teeth-grinding misery. And this one against a former Western Conference powerhouse, a team that the Warriors are going to be competing with for that 8 seed, if Monta Ellis’ prediction comes true. I say former because Brandan Roy’s bone on bone career is currently in doubt, and trade rumors are swirling around Andre Miller.
I’m going to get to this great Warriors win. But first, in honor of Christmas — which is my favorite holiday on a spiritual level, and now also on an NBA basketball level as well, thanks to the decidedly unspiritual David Stern — and also in honor of Don Nelson, whose style of basketball was greatly honored today — I’m going to gift-wrap you some bonus coverage.
Posted in Don Nelson, Golden State Warriors, Keith Smart, Recaps
Tagged David Lee, Don Nelson, Ekpe Udoh, Golden State Warriors, Keith Smart, Monta Ellis, Recap, Stephen Curry, Vladimir Radmanovich
As the third quarter came to a close, I wasn’t planning on recapping this game. The Warriors trailed by 14, and if they had gone on to lose, I was just going to write one line in the comments to the last post:
I think Don Nelson could have solved the puzzle of this game.
But surprise to end all surprises, Keith Smart stepped up and solved it himself. The key to beating the Kings in this game was to go small, with David Lee at center, and Vlad Rad at power forward. On offense, spread the floor and let your great slashers and shooters work. On defense, use your quicker players to deny King’s penetration, and when you get the rebound off of that inevitable Tyreke Evans brick, RUN.
5 straight losses? Are you getting the feeling that the Warriors would never win another game all season if David Lee remained out? I’m going to do my best not to repeat what I’ve been posting recently about Coach Keith Smart, but it’s not going to be easy. The simple truth is that with Lee out, Keith Smart is getting exposed. He is getting out-coached something fierce. He is giving every impression of a man so out of his depth that he is trying to out-smart himself.
Instead of risking stupefaction among my readers by letting myself go into another full-lunged squawl, how about I just lightly run down my bullet points? Like a funeral dirge for one finger….