I'll be perfectly honest. I was sitting at home in the morning watching the game while eating my Cinnamon Toast Crunch and just waiting for the Warriors to lose. It's not that I've stopped rooting for the Dubs or that I don't want to see them win (UNSTOPPABLE BABY! 4 Life); but I've just gotten so used to them losing on the road, that now I expect them to add another one to the L column when they're away from the Bay.
Well, the Warriors didn't lose this game. The refs lost the game for them.
Drives you insane, doesn't it?
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
At this point I don't think anyone really cares about what happened in the first 47 minutes and 59 seconds of the ball game, so I'll run through this quickly. I did see a lot of positives in this game from the fellas and I don't want them to get lost because of the ref's incompetence.
JRich or Die Trying
These guys are by no mean the most talented or even smartest hoops players in the NBA, BUT (and I really want to stress this) these fellas are seriously trying out there. It's not like last season where you could tell pretty much everyone on the team aside from Jason Richardson had quit. All these guys want to win and go to the playoffs as bad as we all want this ridiculous 12 year streak to end. Sure they collectively make plenty of mistakes and have some gaping holes, but these fellas want to win. They just can't right now, especially away from The Oracle Arena.
The Warriors most glaring weakness right now is that they are not an NBA-level rebounding team. Night after night there's two things you can count on- 1) Chris Cohan being the worst owner in all of sports and 2) the Warriors getting dominated on the boards. Today thing were different. No Chris Cohan didn't sell the Warriors, but the Dubs actually won the battle of the boards today. Their 17 offensive rebounds really kept them in the game. Props to Al Harrington (13), Andris Biedrins (15), and Jason Richardson (10) for their rebounding efforts.
Sure the Warriors gave up 107 points, but this morning their defense was as good as I've seen it in a very long time. For the first time in awhile we can all rest knowing some random NBA player didn't light us up. Can you believe the Warriors actually held a team on the road to under 44% FG and 36% 3FG%? We'll take it!
The most surprising stat of the game was that the Warriors didn't get a single fast break point. This is a team that makes a living forcing turnovers and getting easy buckets in transition. Does this mean the Warriors played bad D today? Nope. The Warriors played tough defense and got some stops. They didn't gamble as much as usual and didn't suffer any consequences like missed defensive switches and help rotations. It's good to see the team playing defense to get stops, not just gambling to get fast break opportunities.
And now let's look at the final bizarre seconds of the game where the Warriors and Washington Warriors were tied up at 104 a piece (post in the comments if my aging eyes and hears failed me on any detail here):
- JRich missed a jumper which would've put the Warriors up by 2 with an excellent chance to get a road win.
- Biedrins got a hand on the ball and tipped it in the air.
- Harrington secured the tipped ball.
- Al took a few dribbles towards the hole and Caron Butler (man, he got slept on in the 2002 NBA Draft!) went for the steal.
- The refs whistled Butler for a somewhat ticky-tack foul.
- I didn't agree with the foul call on Butler especially since it was going to send the Warriors to the line to possibly win the game, but oh well- I wasn't complaining!
- Everyone in Warriors Nation was nervous like Warrior president Robert Rowell with any mention of the San Jose Supersonics as TMNHarrington went to the line to shoot 2 free throws.
- Al drained the first one with his trademark low-arc shot.
- I was looking up Warrior stats last night and it hit me how much Al has struggled from the line since becoming a Warrior. He's only been good for a little over 60% of his free throws. I just had to remember that stat in between Al's attempts, didn't I? Uh-oh.
- Al dropped in the second one free throw.
- HOORAY! The Dubs finally looked like they were going to get a win as long as Hibachi didn't pull off some magic beyond the 3pt arc.
- The Wizards called a timeout.
- As expected the Wizards inbounded the ball and quickly got the rock to Arenas.
- Mickael Pietrus was hounding Arenas above the free throw line. MP2 wasn't going to get embarrassed today.
- Arena drove and met JRich who stood his ground.
- With Pietrus trailing, Arenas initiated contact with JRich and threw up a prayer.
Yo refs- red means OVER.
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/NBAE via Getty Images)
- A foul? Are you kidding me? Time's over!
- The refs went to the scorers' table to review whether the shot was attempted before regulation was over.
- A technical foul on Don Nelson? Huh? Where did that come from? Nellie looked as cool and collected as you could possibly be for a highly questionable foul call with the game over.
- The refs then put 0.1 seconds on the clock and sent Arenas to the line for the first of 3 free throw attempts.
- Arenas swished the technical free throw. Warriors 106, Wizards 105.
- Everyone lined up around the key and Arenas knocked down the second free throw. Tie game- Warriors 106, Wizards 106.
- Nellie called a timeout to ice Agent O.
- Arenas drained his final free throw. Warriors 106, Wizards 107.
- Game Over.
Before I give you my take on the refereeing in crunchtime, let's survey a few good people (via AP report).
Our old friend Gilbert Arenas:
Our favorite TMNT Al Harrington:
Our resident hoops genius Don Nelson:
"Eddie was on the floor, as well," Nelson said, referring to the Wizards coach. "If they give me one, they have to give him one.
"It's unfortunate a game has to end that way, but I think the league will be very disappointed in this game the way it ended when they review the plays," he added. "Really, that's all I have to say about it."
Referees are out there to call the game, not DECIDE the game, but unfortunately that's exactly what they did today. Neither Al nor Arenas should've gotten those foul calls, but at least the refs were somewhat consistent (putting aside the fact that time expired before Arenas got off his shot attempt), but letting the game be decided on a technical foul on a coach who was understandably upset? That's just silly.
Unless Nellie said one of these things to the refs, there's absolutely no excuse for them to T him for being critical of their HIGHLY questionable foul call on Mickael Pietrus on Arenas as the backlights on the backboard struck red (fron Aha! Jokes):
- Yo mama so fat people jog around her for exercise.
- Yo mama so fat she went to the movies and sat next to everyone.
- Yo mama so fat when she has wants someone to shake her hand, she has to give directions!
- Yo mama so fat when she wears a yellow raincoat, people said "Taxi!"
- Yo mama so fat when she gets on the scale it says to be continued.
- Yo mama so fat she's got her own area code!
- Yo mama so fat when she plays hopscotch, she goes New York, L.A., Chicago...
- Yo mama so fat she stands in two time zones.
- Yo mama so fat she's on both sides of the family.
- Yo mama so stupid that she tried to put M&M's in alphabetical order!
- Yo mama so stupid she could trip over a cordless phone!
- Yo mama so stupid she sold her car for gas money!
- Yo mama so stupid she bought a solar-powered flashlight!
- Yo mama so stupid she took a ruler to bed to see how long she slept.
But since Nellie probably just said something along the lines of "You friendly idiot!" I'll say it myself. Yo refs--
This game should have at least gone to overtime. We were robbed.
Warrior Wonder (logo contest voting will start soon!)
Today's breakfast award goes to Rich. This might be the all around best performance that I've seen from Jason this season. The points were there, but I was most impressed by his rebounding, defense, hustle, and passing. 28 points, 10 rebounds (4 on the offensive end), 8 dimes (to only 1 turnover), and 3 rejections. Yes, he was the JRich of last season today, maybe even better.
It's looking more and more like the Warriors are going to miss the playoffs for the 13th straight year. Many Warriors fans are understandably already looking forward to a loaded 2k7 NBA Draft Class and possibly The Yi Movement. Me? I think I'm most excited about seeing what a healthy, hungry JRich can do next year. Can he elevate his game to the level of a shoo-in for the Western Conference All-Star roster? I think so.
And to all my folks in this mighty GSoM community- forget the refs. We true warriors... We true warriors... We true warriors...