Recap: Warriors 102, 76ers 101- Saved By "The Drive"

The Warriors in Philly to take on the tanking 76ers minus traded for pennies on the dollar Allen Iverson and now #84 Chris Webber... boring right? HECK NO.

Final Box Score

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11 years later Joe Smith's defensive presence finally pays off for the Warriors.

The Drive
GSoMers' new favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle was having an awful night. Absolutely awful.

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Oooooh, Al's gonna hear it from Master Splinter tonight!

Al Harrington had a Mike Dunleavy-esque performance in Philly tonight, but I won't get into the gory details. I trust Master Splinter will have a sit down with this TMNT and he'll blow up tomorrow against the Charlotte BETcats.

Plus how can I knock a man when there was The Drive...

With under ten seconds left on the clock the Dubs were down by 1 point. It looked like another painful loss on the road. The Warriors inbounded the ball and things looked like they went wrong from the start with some miscommunication and a broken play. Baron Davis, the Dubs' best ball handler and clutch performer, didn't have the ball. Instead Al had the rock and was matched up against former Warrior #1 overall pick Joe Smith. With the seconds ticking away, Al penetrated, spun right, and rolled in a layup with his left hand which dropped in a la Allan Houston against the Miami Heat back in 1999. Andre Iguodala missed a 22 foot jumper on the other end of the court and the Warriors stopped an ugly 6 game losing streak away from the Bay.

Here's what Al had to say about The Drive:

"I needed it. I was struggling all night," Harrington said.

Yup, dogg- WE needed it. Thank you for stepping up in the clutch.

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After the game Iggy enthusiastically reads about The Drive by Al Harrington.

Props

  • First of all big ups to Nellie. He obviously knows way more about hoops than any of us and he's a Hall of Fame Coach, but since the trade I've disagreed with his insistence on playing so much zone defense. You can go for long stretches playing zone defense in college and high school, but in the NBA it's just a gimmick that will have short-lived success. Every NBA team has shooters than can embarrass you in the zone. It might have been a necessity with poor one on one defenders like Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy, but Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson are solid defenders. It was nice to see see Nellie go with more man defense tonight. Let's hope Nellie calls for more man defense in the future. In the long run this should help with reducing both the embarrassing rebounding differentials and the gaudy field goal percentages the Warriors have been surrendering to other teams this season.
  • For some reason the Warriors always come out flat and get dominated after halftime in the 3rd quarter on the road. Tonight the Warriors came out red hot and outscored the Sixers on their home floor in this key quarter 33-20. Whatever Nellie said to them at halftime worked.
  • The Warriors went 4 for 12 from 3-point land tonight. Nothing spectacular of course, but it's refreshing after they shot 1 for 15 against the Hawks and 2 for 20 against the Cavs from downtown.

But let's be real, it's sad this game was so close and the Warriors are still an awful road team. In my eyes they're still playoff pretenders until they can prove they aren't road weaklings.

The Negatives
Here's just a few of the many...

  • This is the 76ers! Everyone knows these guys are trying to tank it. It's not exactly the league's biggest secret. And the only reason our "playoff push" Warriors were able to collect this W tonight was because of The Drive? That's pathetic.
  • Memo to the Warriors: Andre Iguodala is NOT Scottie Pippen. He's not even Shawn Marion, but they made him look like a superstar tonight. Iggy got jiggy with it tonight dropping 25 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists, 3 steals, and a block. Props to him for the dominating performance, but shame on the Warriors for surrendering another career night. On many plays it looked like Andre was just outhustling and outthinking the Warriors. This should never happen.
  • The Warriors wasted more than their fair share of opportunities putting the ball in the bucket in the first half. There were way too many missed layups/ put backs and blown fast breaks. It was ugly basketball by the Warriors for most of the 1st quarter. Yes, it was that bad. Thankfully the Sixers were even worse in that opening quarter.

Warrior Wonder
When I first sat down to watch this game, I told myself that no matter what happens Baron Davis was going to get my vote for the prestigious GSoM Warrior Wonder tonight. I didn't care if Al Harrington collected 20 boards tonight. Heck, I didn't care if Andris Biedrins dished out 10 assists. Man, I didn't care if Adonal Foyle dropped 50 points. BD was getting the award tonight no matter what.

Why?

Because the man was ROBBED like the Warriors robbed the Pacers in their recent 8 player blockbuster deal.

It's become a favorite pastime of NBA fans to criticize the fan results in the All Star starters vote (ironic, huh?), but more attention needs to be directed towards the foolish All Star reserves vote results. How in the name of Zarko Cabarkapa (anymore remember that guy?) did BD not make the squad, but Tony Parker did? Also, how in the name of Sarunas Jasikevicius did Tony Parker make the squad, but not Josh Howard who plays for a team that's won more games than the Spurs? I would go into more detail, but honestly it drives me nuts and I'd rather not waste time detailing the foolishness of the coaches snubbing BD, so I'll pass the mic to GSoM friend Marcus Thompson who I fully agree with on this issue.

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Memo to NBA Coaches: This is what an NBA All Star looks like. Check the flyer if you're still lost.

Regardless of the joke that is the coaches' vote in the NBA All Star game, Boom Dizzle still dazzled us with a nice outing tonight: 25 points, 12 dimes, 6 rodmans, 3 steals, and some solid D. Fantasy Junkie and I were actually talking about BD's overall great effort and results on the defensive end this season. If any of you have ever seen Tony Parker play, let's just say Eva Longoria is like Bruce Bowen on D compared to him.

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Tony has dreams of being like BD.
Eva thinks: "If Tony can make the All Star squad in the mighty West with his poor defense, maybe I have a shot too!"

Photos by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

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