Recap: Warriors 116, 76ers 97 - Home Sweet Home

Yahoo! Final Box Score
firece drives

Fierce drives to the hoop!
(photo by AP Photo/George Nikitin)

The Warriors proved me wrong again.

I thought for sure this banged up team would get outrun and outhustled by an athletic one like the the 76ers. It is not that I root against the Warriors or actually think the 76ers are a good team, but the Warriors are like a box of chocolates, "you never know what you're going to get." (ba-dum ching!)

The Warriors continue their dominant play at home, improving to 12-5 at the Oracle.  At home, the ball movement on the break and in the half-court sets led to several easy buckets all night (see the latest The W Column). I wonder what it is about being at the Oracle that does not preclude jacking up 23 foot jumpers with 20 seconds on the shot clock. Perhaps it's just easier said than done, but the open looks and 23 foot shot attempts from continuous movement without the ball by almost every Warrior tonight, notably Barnes (7 treys tying a team record) and Pietrus who were the recipients of many of Davis' 15 dimes, seems to guarantee a win.

shut down d
We finally closed out on the shooters.
(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

But let's not forget that they played the now AI-less 76ers, a team that Billy King has now implicitly professed is in the hunt for Greg Oden. It was pretty painful to watch them because they slightly reminded me of the trainwrecks that the Warriors can be on the road. Their night was typified by errant passes, poor shot selection, and an incredibly marshmallow-ey soft defense. Their frustration led to a sequence ending with Andre Miller pushing Biedrins to the floor, showing off Biedrins' tumbling and gymnastic skills.

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Shutting down #1 picks all night
long.
(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

But the real story of the night, perhaps a subtext to the Barnes' story of his revenge against the former teams that slept on him, was Rodney Carney. That dude is going to be good.  Besides the athleticism that writers raved about, Carney showed that he could shoot the J, too. Logging 45 minutes, Carney poured in 25 points off 12-22 shooting, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals. As the saying goes, hindsight is 20-20, but Carney looks like a dude that came ready or somewhat ready out the box (some assembly required). Compare Carney's line to POB's for the night: 1 minute and a perfect 2-2 for the line. At least the dude can shoot freethrows?  

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Pietrus on his mask:   "I'm kind of struggling with the mask right now... I don't have a lot of options, so it's something I will have to get used to."
(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Warrior Wonder
It's got to be Matt Barnes (either that or Philly's defense or turnovers)!  The journeyman turned starter has now become the Warriors' most reliable shooter, leading the team from beyond the arc at 48.4%.  Last night, Barnes was 7-8 from three point land and, overall, 8-9 from the field.  This is the consistent shooting that the Warriors have desperately needed.  Here is a nice quote from Barnes on his unsuspecting stroke:

"It felt really good," Barnes said. "Especially having Mo Cheeks last year, and he told me not to shoot jump shots. He told me I wasn't a jump shooter, so don't shoot anything outside the paint. So when I hit a couple of those (three-pointers), I was looking at him, telling him I worked on my jump shot a little bit."

Said 76ers guard Andre Iguodala: "(Barnes') game spoke for everything tonight."

The shooting was amazing, but what continues to impress are the intangibles that Barnes brings night in night out.  If sports analysts are going to give out awards to people like Robert Horry for being the best outlet and post entry passers, I nominate Barnes as being one of the best in the leagues in pushing the ball up the court and getting the offense set.  If not that, he gets the "Next Bobby Simmons Award".  

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