Now that was close. Way too close. But still some serious Funleavy with the Warriors coming back from an unthinkable 17 points and overcoming a deep thigh bruise to Andris Biedrins and Stephen Jackson battling the flu to beat the Indiana Pacers.
Preview/ Open Thread (180+ Comments)
The Dubs let the game be close...
just for kicks!
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- From Mike Dunleavy's opening introduction to his final missed 3-pointer, the booing Golden State fans let their least favorite player know just how much they still despise him.
And after the Warriors finished their 106-101 comeback victory Sunday night over Dunleavy and his Indiana Pacers, the much-reviled forward confirmed that the feeling is mutual.
"I wouldn't want it any other way," said Dunleavy, who spent his first 4 1/2 NBA seasons with the Warriors. "I couldn't care less. It's hard to pay attention and care about something somebody says when you have no respect for them. They can do whatever they want."
I just wanted to win. Thanks for letting us do that.
We'll get to the Warriors past and present soon enough, but a few thoughts about the Pacers. Before this season began I had this team pinned as the second worst team in the Leastern Conference. Don't get it twisted this is still a very bad team and the roster is inherently flawed, but even after their loss tonight they're only 5 games under .500. Here's a two reasons why:
Jermaine O'Neal is a still very good player. People really seems to give this guy a hard time by focusing on his injury woes and failure to live up to his big money deal. Don't let that fool you though. Jermaine is still a very good player and an excellent interior defender when healthy, which unfortunately isn't often enough. He knows how to protect the house. Take away Jermaine from the Pacers and they're probably worse than even the Minnesnowta Timberkittens- yes, that bad. The worst part is that unlike the T-Wolves the Pacers have a front office that's actually trying to work in their best interests instead of trying to aid the Boston Collusion.
Young Warrior big man Andris Biedrins could learn a lot from O'Neal. Like Jermaine, Andris will probably never have a big, wide frame. Jermaine is still incredibly strong, skilled in the post, and a fantastic one on one and weakside defender.
Like Michael, Jermaine's still BAD!
- Coach O'Brien is one of the most underrated coaches in the league. I don't understand why the Celtics and 76ers didn't hold on to him. He knows how to turn water into wine. Obie got a Celtics team with Antoine Walker playing the role of Scottie Pippen to the Eastern Conference Finals and took a disgruntled Allen Iverson, a hobbled Chris Webber, and a pretty overrated Sixers cast to the playoffs. I have no idea how he has this poorly constructed team still contending for a playoff spot in the Least this late into the season. Props to him.
Boo Birds Chirping at the Roaracle
Well before he finally got out of town, Dunleavy came to embody all the empty promise of the Warriors' 12 straight losing teams. Golden State fans seem to hate everything about Dunleavy, from his inconsistent shot and tepid defense to his flouncy hairdos and perceived arrogance.
God I hated watching him be a revolving door on defense nightly. God I hated his "flouncy hairdos." God I hated his loser attitude and failure to accept responsibly for own failures and lack of focus. God I hated all the excuses the organization, the media, and his two fans made for him after every no-show.
In fact, Dunleavy probably was booed more regularly than any Warriors player since 1980s center Joe Barry Carroll -- otherwise known as Joe Barely Cares, a moniker that fans felt fit Dunleavy as well, even if most of his teammates disagreed.
Last year on The Don Nelson Show on KNBR with the Razor and Mr. T in the midst of another expectedly no-show stretch from Dunnuthin', Nellie said he understood why Warrior fans booed Dunleavy and said he'd boo him too. I'm just saying...
"He gave it all here -- played hurt, played hard," Davis said of Dunleavy. "He had great games when he was booed here, so I expected him to have a good game."
Haha I have a hard time believing that Baron said that with a straight face.
Let's celebrate this win, no doubt, but let's not overlook these issues:
- The 1st quarter was a disaster for the Warriors. They simply didn't show up. Maybe they thought the game started at the usual 7:30 instead of tonight's 6 pm tip off time? Take away that painful opening quarter and the Warriors took this one 87-67. They were fully capable of blowing out this poor Pacers team by 25+ points, but instead this game was a nailbiter because of their terrible start.
- I don't have a clue how long this bruise is going to bother Andris Biedrins, but hopefully it heals fast. Don't get me wrong, Austin Croshere stepped in and gave the Warriors some solid minutes tonight on both ends of the floor. He played his gave his all and it showed.
But I'd be scared- make that terrified- to count on him regularly. Watching him try to bang with Jermaine O'Neal tonight you could tell he's had to guard him plenty of times in practice. You could also tell that Jermaine's scored on him plenty of times in practice.
- Let's hope Jack recovers from the flu bug fast. His poor shooting tonight and lack of energy really made things difficult for the team tonight. I'm still wondering why Nellie played him 42:32 minutes tonight. Maybe Nellie knew how much this game meant to him and wanted to help Jack get some revenge?
- I love Al Harrington's defense, shooting, and great attitude, but watching him try to finish near the rim tonight was painful as his old buddy Jermaine stuffed him a few times near the bucket. Also, I would love to see Al stop trying to pick up charges in the key and instead play like a big man. Challenge and block those shots my good man! He was the only Warrior on the wrong side of the +/- tonight at an unsightly -19. Maybe Nellie knew how much this game meant to him and wanted to help Al get some revenge?
- Free throws. Good god. The Warriors almost lost the game at the charity stripe.
But let's not get too down. As my man Hash noted as we were leaving the Roaracle, with KBLX on the squad the Warriors now rep the numerical scale 1 through 5. #1- Stephen Jackson, #2- Mickael Pietrus, #3- Al Harrington, #4- CJ Watson, and #5- Baron Davis. (Yeah, I honestly have no idea what that has to do with anything, but I felt compelled to give my man's astute observation some deserved air time tonight.)
I think my mom has a fruit plate that looks like this award,
but nevertheless big ups to Mr. 100!
Still Charmin' Soft
Some things will never change. Abraham Lincoln will always be on the $5 bill. Thunder will always be BALCO's best customer. The Oakland A's will trade away their best players as soon as you know their names. And Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy will always be horrendous defenders.
The Pacers stocked up on these BIG TIME when they got ripped off by the Warriors in last year's trade.
Dunleavy's offensive output may have dramatically improved so far this season, but his D is still atrocious. The Warriors in-game production crew seemed to really relish the opportunity to expose Dun's hideous D with multiple video collages of the Warriors taking their turns scoring on him. It was the video equivalent of photographers having their Funleavy Foto Fun. They gave us more than 44 reasons (Part I | II | III | IV) to crack up.
Jamaal Tinsely: "Yo Mike- Are you EVEN TRYING on D?!"
BD: "No thank YOU Mike for switching over and trying to guard me!"
Troy Murphy got a few boos tonight, but not nearly the heavy dosage Dun got everytime the PA announcer uttered his name or he touched the Spalding. I like Troy and I wish the crowd didn't boo him. I made sure to clap for him during the intros to give the man his due and I hope some of you did to.
Aside from his last few months with the Dubs when the trade rumors and his nose injury really seemed to bother him and sour his attitude, he gave his all. He worked hard on his game and really improved since his rookie season. Troy put in the time after his first season and made himself into a good rebounder. After his second season he worked hard on his shooting and eventually worked his way into becoming a midrange and 3pt shooting threat.
On the other hand Dunleavy did none of the above and never worked hard to improve a single aspect of his game from his rookie season (the one after he threatened to not enter the 2002 draft if the Warriors selected him). Instead he made his teammates and coaches lives a living hell. It's unfortunate that Murph is so often clumped and associated with Dun. They're completely different cases- aside from the pitiful D that is.
Well the artist formerly known as T-Double gave the Pacers next to nothing tonight. Actually let me correct myself. He did give them some of that Charmin soft defense we've come to (not) love and expect from him. I'm probably in the minority, but I still think he's a better player than Dunleavy even though he's been pretty awful during the past 2 seasons. Troy's a better rebounder, shooter, and all around scorer. I'm not sure why the Pacers don't pair him up with Jermaine more. That's a nice inside-outside big man combo and Jermaine might be good enough of a defender to compensate and hide Murph's defensive shortcomings.
But I really do hope Donnie Walsh and Larry Bird enjoy paying these guys $62,485,832 till 2011-- haha SUCKAS!
You know come to think of it I feel like I'm forgetting someone the Warriors sent to the Pacers in last year's pillage that a few people in the national media who didn't do their homework were hyping up. Can anyone name that former Mullin and Higgins lottery pick bust?
Coming Up Clutch
Let's not get carried away here. The Warriors didn't really play that well tonight as I hopefully communicated in the Warrior Worries. They got down by a ton early and honestly weren't really rolling on all cylinders for some classic Warrior Tempo till late into the 3rd quarter. Against most teams that's just asking for a serious whoppin' but there's one thing the Warriors did that any team "featuring" Mike Dunleavy simply can not do. They came up big in the clutch.
Monta's tip shot at the 1:11 mark was money and gave him 7 points in the final 3 minutes and 9 seconds of the game. Baron Davis also made some big scores in the final period. Mickael Pietrus [7:24 minutes left], Matt Barnes [2:39] and Andris Biedrins [17 seconds left] simply could not have picked a better times to score their first and only points of the game. On a night where the Warriors were really struggling from the charity stripe it was really nice to see Kelenna have ice in his veins and seal the deal with two huge free throws to put the Warriors up by 5 points to seal the deal.
THROW UP THAT W!
Before I forget- why does Mike trip on his own two feet so much out there?
The Opposite of Coming Up Clutch
I'm admittedly making a much bigger deal of this that is merited, but when you're talking about one of the least liked former Warriors of all time you can't help but rub it in.
Missing your first free throw in the final 1:34 with your team down by 2
And of course...
The game ended appropriately, with Warriors fans booing Dunleavy as he missed a meaningless 3-pointer.
Would you really have it any way? Good night Mike. I wouldn't want it any other way.
In the 3rd quarter Jamaal Tinsely committed a cheap flagrant foul on Monta Ellis, essentially elbowing Monta's head with a cheap shot. So what did Monta do?
He BLEW UP.
29 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 interceptions.
"Last year, a lot of times, Monta kept his head down after something like that," said Jackson, who had just nine points on 4-of-15 shooting while battling a flu bug. "If you knocked him down, he wouldn't always get up as fast. Now, you can't keep him down."
Like Puffy and Mase would say "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down"
BONUS Shout Out!
Special thanks to our good friends at FSN Bay Area for hooking us up with some great seats for this evening's festivity at the Roaracle. We were close enough to the floor that you could probably hear us "cheering our hearts out" on your TV sets at home.
Also before we head out for the night I just wanted to give a shout out to the unstoppable GSoMer in section 108 who was rocking a jazzy home-made sign with "Golden State of Mind" in pink lettering. She actually got on the jumbotron for what seemed like 30 seconds flashing that bright sign with incredible enthusiasm, even waiving it in front of her neighbor's (hopefully a friend!) heart-shaped "I Love Monta" sign. I'm not exactly sure what's up with the pink color scheme, but we're flattered. Keep it Unstoppable Baby!
Photos: Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images, AP Photo/Ben Margot
The fun don't stop!
- You Can’t Go Home Again (Warriors 106, Pacers 101) [Fast Break]: Adam and I were loving this W and talking plenty of hoops in the BART parking lot for way longer than I thought I could ever battle the frigid air of this harsh Bay Area winter. The man's that good of a conversation.
- Warriors 106, Pacers 101: Pacers Hand W to the Dubs [Indy Cornrows]
- Q&A: Indy Cornrows (Part 1 of 2)
Also in case you missed these in tonight's preview...
- Trade: Dun, Murphy, Diogu, McLeod for Harrington, S. Jackson, Jasikevicius
- The Warriors & Pacers Blockbuster Trade: Throwing Up W's and L's
- Basketball Obituaries -- Mike Dunleavy Jr. 2002-2007
- Dad's got my back!
- Warriors Head Coach Don Nelson Talks about the Blockbuster Trade
- Warriors-Pacers Blockbuster Trade Linkfest
- A Little Pacer Perspective on the Blockbuster Trade
- New Warrior Al Harrington Talks about the Trade
- Everyone's Talking About the Trade!
- GSoM Q&A with Matt Steinmetz - 01/18/07 (Part 1 of 2)
- A Reality Check on the Blockbuster Trade between the Warriors and Pacers
- GSoM Q&A with Marcus Thompson II - 01/30/07 (Part 1 of 2)
- Jon Barry on the Warriors and Pacers Trade
- Simulation Analysis of the Warriors-Pacers Blockbuster Trade
2006-2007 Report Cards:
- Sarunas Jasikevicius (D+)
- Troy Murphy (D+)
- Mike Dunleavy Jr. (D-)
- Josh Powell (C)
- Ike Diogu and Keith "Who?" Mcleod (Double D+)
- Al Harrington (B)
- Stephen Jackson (A-)
2005-2006 Report Cards:
If you click and read all these links that should keep you busy till this Wednesday's rematch against the Pacers in Indy!