I keep thinking this shot is going to miss
Before we get started, your boys, Atma, FJ, Hash, and YaoButta of GSoM were at the game tonight courtesy of FSN. We even got to bring one of our fellow bloghers, Miss SunsGossip. She hooked us up with a great photograph. Now you all know what we look like in person.
In order: YaoButtaMing, Fantasy Junkie, Hash, Atma Brother ONE
I guess Nellie's 1200th win will have to wait another day. The Warriors had a chance to win tonight but didn't play like they wanted it. We shot better than the Pacers, were pretty much even on the glass, and had more points in the paint. So why did we lose?
Honestly, I hate it when people complain about the refs, but this game was poorly officiated. The Pacers had 26 free throws to the Warriors 12. The Warriors had 62 points in the paint versus the Pacers 48 so it wasn't like the Warriors were settling for jumpers all night. They were aggressive and took the ball to the hole strong. I can't see how all the drives by Monta, Baron, Dunleavy, and company didn't draw more fouls. For a team to be that aggressive and attack the basket that often to wind up with 14 less free throws than their competition is puzzling to me. Maybe the drives were clean and there were no fouls, but rarely do you see that big of a free throw differential when a team is being aggressive.
The worst call (or non call) of the night and possibly the worst blown call I've ever seen, was the goaltending by the Pacers on a Dunleavy layup that wasn't called. Check out warrior fan 23's diary, Warriors Got Screwed for some detail. But basically, Dunleavy's layup attempt hit the backboard and was about to drop in before one of the Pacers spiked it back off the backboard. Didn't any of the 3 refs see the ball hit the glass twice? Do they know what goaltending is? It changed the whole game. It wasn't the sole reason the Warriors lost, but it affected the outcome of the game.
I thought another big problem tonight was the defense. Despite the 15 blocks on the interior, I really felt the Warriors perimeter D let them down. The Pacers had a ton of open jumpers and most NBA players will knock down an open jumper if you give it to them. I'm not sure what happened to the D tonight, but they looked a step slow on the perimeter. Why didn't somebody tell the Warriors that Al Harrington can shoot the 3? Coming into the game he was shooting 50% from 3. I remember telling Hash and YaoButta as we watched the game that the guy is a very good 3 point shooter. So what does he do tonight? Just score 28 and knock down 6 of 8 three pointers. The last one was huge as it brought the Pacers within one and put pressure on the Warriors to score on their final possession. I mentioned in the preview that he would be the wild card and I really felt that he would be the difference maker. As he went, the Pacers would go. Sadly, he changed the entire complexion of the game with his scoring and literally kept the Pacers in the game with a barrage of 3-pointers in the 2nd half.
Aerodynamiclly sound hair helps you shoot 6-8 from beyond the arc
The Warriors showed their still going through some growing pains tonight. As great as they looked putting away the Jazz and the Spurs in the 4th, they looked equally bad tonight trying to not lose the game rather than going out and securing the win. They were just unable to put the Pacers away. I give the Pacers and Coach Carlisle credit for sticking around long enough to pull out the win, but the Warriors really gave this one away. The Warriors just couldn't get a run together that would push the lead higher and higher. It seemed like the Warriors would be up 5 at one point and then a minute later the Pacers cut the lead down to 1 or 2. Back and forth it went all night until the final 3 possessions. I don't want to bring it up, but I just have one question. Why did Baron spike the ball out towards the perimeter on that final rebound? If he could get so much hand on the ball, he should have just grabbed it or tipped it to himself. If he does that, game over, Warriors win. I felt it was just a poor play on his part.
A couple of notes:
I really hope Pietrus isn't regressing again. He seemed much to content to run to his favorite place to take a 3, the baseline corner, receive the pass and launch. I don't remember him taking it to the hole enough or being that active on the glass or on defense. Hopefully it's because this was his first game back from the stomach flu because that flat out cannot continue.
JRich was only able to play 7 minutes tonight because of soreness in his surgically repaired knee. He says he'll be back for Saturday, keep your fingers crossed.
Where was Beans tonight? Just 9 points and 5 boards? He didn't seem as active tonight and really didn't seem to get into the flow of the game. He's setting high expectations right now which is great, but it's disappointing when he doesn't match those expectation. I guess we can't expect 19 and 15 all the time.
Monta had an up and down game. He had a couple costly turnovers early on and got shy when he had a breakaway layup with just Jermaine O'neal guarding the rim. What happened to the "Ellis to the RIM!" guy from before? I thought he should have tried to hammer it down on Jermaine. If he gets blocked, he gets blocked, but he could have drawn a foul. Instead he double clutched and spun forcing him to miss the shot. He did score 27 on 10-15 shooting, so I can't complain. He's still amazing and is the most fun Warrior to watch.
And then there was Dunleavy. He put together another very good game tonight. He hit a big three in the 4th and was able to post up the smaller guards and score over them. He's really hustling and busting his ass out there more and more. He's not perfect and he made some mistakes tonight, but he's quickly becoming a valuable contributor to the team. Despite just the two assists, what I liked from him tonight was his passing to cutters that either led to buckets or contributed to some good ball movement. But he'll be remembered for his poor pass on the inbounds of the final possession. He tried to get the ball to Baron, but wound up missing him wide right and it deflected off of Baron out of bounds. Turnover. Game over. The Warriors never did get a final shot.
Ugh. It's just one loss, but a painful one. It reminds me of the game last year when Houston came to town and Luther Head knocks down a game tying 3 to send the game to overtime. The Warriors season went spiraling downward from there. But fear not because Don Nelson is in town and will not let that happen this season.
The Bucks come to town on Saturday. Let's get Nellie win number 1200.
Warrior Wonder: This one is tough, but I have to give it to Baron for his near triple-double tonight, 24-9-9. Despite the foolish slap of the ball at the end, he kept the team in the game.