Recap: Warriors 108, Clippers 93- Now Lean Back!

As predicted here on the mighty Golden State of Mind (also see everyone's picks for the rest of January), the Warriors were destined to win this game. They did not disappoint.

Final Box Score
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Now that's what I'm talking about
!

Pesky Defense
On paper for tonight's matchup with the Clippers the Warriors were seriously undersized and unathletic, but the Warriors made up for it by playing good, pesky defense. BD, Monta, Barnes, Dunleavy, Murph, Ike, Biedrins, and Azubuike were all trying to knock the ball away at every opportunity and get in the passing lanes. Down low the Dubs were actively trying to protect the house with a little Project S.W.A.T. It's an encouraging sign from a team that had showed us very little defensive intensity in the three previous blowout losses. This is the type of basketball we all want to see.

Nice Job on the... Offensive Glass?!
Yup, shocking. The Warriors were having one of those awful shooting nights (although they did step it up in the clutch) shooting 42.4% from the field, 23.8% from 3pt territory, and 67.6% from the expensive throw line (they ain't free for this ballclub!), but they came up big with 20 (count 'em!) offensive boards. That's an amazing feat for a squad this undersized against a beefy Clippers' team. Nice work by Murph (4), Barnes (2), Biedrins (4), Monta (3), and especially Dunleavy (6) in this area. That kept them in the game on a night when Ray Allen probably could've outshot the Warriors with his eyes closed.

What's with the Clips?

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Sam tries to give Ref Jim Clark a little lovin', but he forgot his toothbrush in LA.

The Clips were simply outcoached. There's absolutely no reason why the Clips shouldn't be able to stomp on a Warriors' team only fielding 8 bodies, two of which have been recently dissed by their head coach publicly (see The Don Nelson Show on KNBR 1/11/07 and Dunleavy + Murphy = Mo' Money, Less Production). Here's some questions for Coach Mike Dunleavy Sr.:

  • How did the Clips let the Warriors win the battle in the paint? (Warriors 54 points : Clippers 30) Seriously, did the Clippers watch any game film from last season? They dominated the Warriors inside with Elton Brand, Chris Kaman, and Corey Maggette drawing fouls, knocking down free throws, and pretty much scoring at will. Anyhow, a big thank you from Warriors Nation for ignoring the Warriors' interior weaknesses.
  • Why did it take a full 2 quarters for your coaching staff to realize that the best way to stop Monta from gliding to the bucket at will was to give him room and dare him to shoot? I thought the kid was going to hit 50 at the rate he was going early on.
  • How can you be so eager to move Maggette when he's one of your biggest impact players? The Warriors had no answer for him at all tonight (as usual). Maggette got to the line 9 times today and finished with 18 points, 11 boards, 5 dimes, 2 blocks, and a pick. Hey, if you don't want the man, I'm sure Nellie would be happy to take him off your hands. Corey is one of the few guys in the league that forces you to defend him with your feet, not your hands. He's that explosive.

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Sam Cassell shows his grill for everyone at the Arena to uh... enjoy?

 

Time to Trade!
Both Murphy and Dunleavy chipped in nice games today. Although Dunleavy came out firing blanks and making some silly mental errors early on, both he and Murphy stepped up over the course of the whole game and were a big reason this squad beat a division foe. Let's hope a lot of other GMs around the league saw their play today and were fooled into thinking this is how they normally play. Tonight was the exception, rather than the rule- a much welcomed exception of course.

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Murphy attacked the hole?! Yes!

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Dunleavy demonstrating his amazing court vision.

Their good play tonight was a mirage, not a trend. 8 times out of 10 you can count on it to NOT happen. Not exactly a formula for success. Let's hope some other front office liked what they saw tonight.

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Maybe if we give Elton a big hug he'll demand the Clips trade him to the Warriors for Dunleavy and Murphy!

It's worth noting that Nellie seemed happy about Dun's play today (AP):

Nelson called Dunleavy a "disaster" on opening night and hasn't let up much since. But even Nelson was positive Monday, saying Dunleavy played a "great game for us."

"I wish he had tried to impress me that much the first 40 games," Nelson joked.

But Dun's dad had some tough love for him:

Dunleavy, Golden State's $44.5 million backup forward, was coming off a two-point game last Friday against Miami and has been a disappointment this season. The fans have been on him all season and even booed him when he went to the foul line during the 19-2 run that put the game away in the fourth quarter.

"It's one of those things where a player should get booed if he doesn't play hard, anything else ... you've got bad fans," Mike Dunleavy Sr. said.

 

Warrior Wonder
1... 2... 3...

BOOM!!

He could've easily just pouted and acted frustrated with the lack of help he's been getting , but instead Baron Davis came out to play tonight at a high level as usual. BD seems like he has plenty of things on his mind right now outside of basketball. Even after the big win he just looked like a sad, sad man when he was being interviewed on TV.

BD was the Warriors catalyst for great ball movement tonight dishing out 13 dimes. His shot wasn't falling tonight, but his leadership and on court smarts are a big, big reason for today's W. Stay strong dogg.

bd-lean_back
"Now lean baaaack!!"

Track of the Day: Fat Joe- "Lean Back"

* All Photos by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

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