Ehhhh...okay. The Warriors got crushed by a better team tonight. I can't believe I just watched the entire game. It was never really close. The closest the Warriors got was 7 in the 2nd quarter. After that it was over. Nobody should be subjected to this kind of torture. I mean watching Austin Croshere for 23 minutes! Ahhh! There should be a mercy rule in NBA games so nobody gets hurt in garbage time. Maybe Minnesota would never get past the first quarter but still, mercy rule please.
Mad props to everyone who kept the open thread going strong. There are so many comments in there despite the blowout. I would have figured by halftime, people would be turning off their tv's and doing something more productive like watching paint dry. But we're Warriors fans dammit! We stick with our team no matter what! Anyways, thanks for sticking it out with me tonight. We all suffered through that one. Your recap after the j-u-m-p.
You guys stink
Right from the get go you could see this one getting ugly. The Warriors came out flat and had absolutely no energy tonight. The starters couldn't score or defend. Their heads were clearly not in the game and they just weren't ready. I can't explain this one. They just beat the Spurs, had a day off, and should have been pumped to play the hottest team in basketball. Instead we got, a whole whole lot of nothing.
I have nothing but praise for the Blazers tonight. They came out and played a magnificent game right from the beginning. They wanted to blitz and try to kill the Warriors morale early on and they accomplished that. The home team was up double digits by the 7 minute mark and never really looked back. They did it in all different ways, half court sets using pick and rolls, post ups and three pointers. The scored on fast breaks and also used their size advantage with Aldridge and Przybilla to get easy buckets. Jackson guarding Aldridge was disastrous. But you know who really did the Warriors in tonight?
Somebody stop him! Wait, nobody's playing defense.
As Blake ran back up the court..."See Mr. Jackson, that's how you shoot the 3, booya!"
"Steve Blake is killing us!"
Yup tonight was the Steve Blake show. Actually just the first half was and that's all he really needed. Swish. Swish. Penetrate and dish, swish. Pass, swish. Swish. Swish. And on it went. The way he played every shot he took it felt like it was going to go in. He could have shot with a blindfold and it probably would have went in. He had a season high 20 by halftime! Oy.
Stephen, Stephen, Stephen
Where oh where has Stephen Jackson gone? This is not the same player we saw in November and early December. The current form of Stephen Jackson is falling into some bad habits early in games. He's not spreading the offense well nor is he creating motion in the offense. He also seems to be settling for more and more jumpers than before. His first quarter tonight was quite ugly. He was 1-6 with an assist and a turnover. The shooting I can live with, I'm not happy about it, but I can deal with it. What I absolutely cannot stand is the whining and failure to get back on D. Earlier in the season, the missed shots wouldn't affect the rest of his game. But tonight, he was consumed by it. He seemed to be complaining to the refs while the Blazers were running the ball down the court. To leave your teammates while the other team runs the break, that's just unacceptable. He's a captain, perhaps he's forgotten what that means. Tonight wasn't only Jackson's fault but his trend of slow starts and complaints with the refs while the game is going on is worrisome.
The Bench Played Well
The starters looked horrendous, but the bench came on and actually made me think this game might get close. After being down 16 at the end of the first quarter, the bench came in and got the lead as far back down as 8. Croshere, Wright, Barnes, Watson, and Pietrus came in and kept this game from getting too far out of hand. Unfortunately, the starters came back in and the lead ballooned back up to 15 at the half and then 21 3 minutes into the third quarter. Game over. Nellie did what he was supposed to do, but I would have liked to see the hot squad stay in the game when the starters were as ineffective as they were.
The Blazers were on fire, but the lackadaisical Warriors defense helped them out quite a bit. The perimeter players couldn't stay in front of anyone tonight. When Blake wasn't shooting three's he was in the lane. Roy was playmaking too. Not being able to stop the penetration opened up Martell Webster and James Jones for uncontested, let me test the wind, spot up, wide open, I can hit this with my eyes closed, 3 point shots. Needless to say, those two shot 7-11 from downtown. On the interior, Jackson just couldn't handle Aldridge who was too strong and too tall for Jax to really challenge his shot. All that penetration and inability to get a stop on the perimeter made it tough for the big men tonight to keep their guys from getting good looks. Biedrins should have got more time tonight. He was the only one boxing out while he and Pietrus were the only ones hitting the boards. Al had 0 boards. Oops.
Another crazy stat, the Blazers had 32 assists on 40 made field goals, are you kidding me?! Maybe just maybe the Warriors might want to disrupt the passer or possibly disrupt the shooter. Overall, the defense was about as bad as you can get.
My best Fitz impersonation
I love Fitz because he always puts a nice little spin on things despite the inevitable suck. He's got to be the happiest, most optimistic man alive. Nobody, I mean nobody, can take a Warriors blowout and come up with at least 10 positives and say them in an excited voice like Fitz does. So here we go, my best Fitz impersonation:
This CJ Watson kid is something!
My my my. Mullin seems to have done it again. Last year it was Kelenna, this year it's CJ Watson. It's just one game, but he played well against the hottest team in the league. It's way too early to tell if he can be a legit backup PG, but he showed some skills tonight. He's patient on offense, yes patient, something the Warriors lack. He seems to know angles to pass the ball and set up plays. That pick and roll he ran with Croshere was pretty nice. He came off the pick, passed the ball to where Austin should roll to (which he did), Austin caught it and drained the 3. What I also like is that he doesn't force his shots. Even on penetration, if there was nothing there he'd dribble it back out or dribble through to the other side. He took jumpers that were open and within the flow of the offense. Defensively, he must have had at least 4 deflections which shows he not only has some quick hands, but knows how to step in the passing lanes and force turnovers. I'm looking forward to the next game so I can see some more of this guy.
Playing time for BD and Jax
Baron played 14 minutes, Jackson played 17 minutes. If the Warriors were going to lose, BD and Jax might as well play as little as possible and get them rested for the next games. We have a bunch of winnable games coming up, so we need these two to be ready to lead. This is the lowest number of minutes either has played in a game the entire season and it occurred in the same game. It's just one loss, albeit a bad one, but at least the guys who carry the team the most got the most amount of rest.
It was good to see BWright and BNelli get some PT. Rarely do they get a chance to play in a real game, and tonight was the perfect time for them to build some confidence. Even though it was garbage time, they played hard and showed us some things. BWright is long. He played some wing D in the zone and was able to get out and force some misses on the jumpers. He also showed he can get off the ground pretty quickly. On his two putback dunks, he correctly guessed where to be on the rebounds then smoothly and quickly, rammed the ball back through the rim. If he can get some consistent minutes, I think we'll see him grow. BNelli was strokin' the J tonight. He went 4-6 for 9 points and showed some confidence after he hit a couple. He started to shoot off the dribble rather than camp out at the 3 point line waiting for the ball. If he can get a rhythm and some confidence, maybe he finds some time down the road.
Okay, your turn. Do your best Fitz impersonation.
Mr. KBLX aka the Quiet Storm aka CJ Watson.
Your Warrior Wonder for tonight is the guy who has been on the team for all of 2 days. I guess that's a combination of the Warriors being really really bad tonight and CJ playing well. The Warriors have found a guy who's got some game and looks like he can give Baron the occasional rest.