What a game, what a game, WHAT A GAME!!!
Tonight the Warriors were winners.
Tonight the Roaracle Crowd were winners.
Tonight all who saw this game nationwide were winners.
So where were you tonight? Did you see the game? Thank god for Tivo because I can watch this game all weekend. I'm pretty sure what we just saw will be more entertaining then anything the all-star weekend can conjure up; even the dunk contest. If you missed the game ...well then what the hell is wrong with you? There are always certain games you circle on your calendar to watch because you know great basketball is going to be played. Ok, maybe not great basketball, but tonight was purely an offensive display of beauty.
Oh and our own GSoM member "ON THE RUN" came away with the prize by guessing the outcome of the total score, 238. Details to come my man.
So let's dive in ...
I have to say, I'm on a basketball high right now. Sure I'm blowing this out of proportion because we still sit 8th in the West and the Suns were missing the big Aristotle, but come on did you see that? Tonight was everything we expected, no defense and a lot of offense. Right from the start both teams were scorching (no pun intended), scoring 70 combined points in the first quarter. The second quarter went by in a flash and at the half the Warriors were up by 4.
This game came down to the final 2 minutes as both teams were shooting over 50% FG, keeping the score close the entire game. With 3 seconds left in the game Amare hit only 1 of 2 free throws, ending the night with 29 points and the inability to tie the game. With just 2 seconds left on the clock the Suns had one last opportunity to tie or win the game, but thankfully Barbosa fell just short, rimming a 3pt shot.
Apart from the constant stars of Nash and Amare, I was impressed with Grant Hill and Barbosa from the Suns. These guys both had 26 and 24 points and kept their team close in the hostile Roaracle stadium. With Hill grabbing 15 boards, it seemed as though both players were all over the place on defense and offense. On our Warriors side, I was impressed with Azubuike and Barnes playing clutch towards the end making tough shots and closing out on defense. Both didn't play many minutes but had major impacts every time they were on.
As for the Stars of the game:
Ellis: Most Improved Player back to back? I heard it again tonight on ESPN and I have to say I completely agree. Monta is blowing my mind this year with his improvements. Actually let me paraphrase ... with his offensive improvements. His lack of defensive still drives me crazy and I won't consider him a great player until he improves; but tonight he showcased his offensive weapons for everyone to see. Swift cuts to the basket with his gorgeous finger roll, Ellis ended the night with 37 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists. What's most impressive was his desire to close out the game and take control. With a couple minutes remaining, Ellis drove to the basket, proving his strength by knocking Nash to the ground. I think he's ready for the playoffs (we just have to make them). I can't wait to see how he performs.
Baron: Boom didn't disappoint. I knew he'd come out hot and he did just that. Controlling the game until the very end, he closed out the victory with his game winning shot when he took off from what looked like the free throw line (thinking he was going to dunk) and rolled the ball in as he crashed to the floor over Nash (no foul). Baron had 27 points and 13 assists but more impressively, he help contain Nash and Raja Bell to only 28 points combined.
The Warriors end the first half of the season 32 and 20 and tied in 7th place in the West with Denver and Houston. I'm mad no one on our team made it to the All-Star game but I'm also glad that we have 5 days off to rest so we can make a strong stretch in the second half of the season. Lord knows we need it because right now one of us three will not make the playoffs and we all sit with the same record with Portland looming in the closely.
People I agree with:
My sentiments exactly. I wish I was there to see everything unfold in person. My favorite moment of the night came in the end watching the post game interview with Baron and Monta as they joyfully played pushed each other for not guarding Barbosa correctly. Classic.
Need I say who the Warrior Wonder is? Growing up in front of our own eyes Monta Ellis is our rising son. Apart from the impressive stat line, his grace towards the basket, speed and jumping abilities makes this kid so much fun to watch. Put him along Bukie and Wright, our future is bright!
This is what I like to see ...