Yea ... it was that ugly!
Things I flipped to during the Warrior game for good luck:
Flavor of Love 3
Transporter 2 (I never realized they made a second installment)
Walker, Texas Ranger (don't judge)
It didn't work.
So folks ... I have to be completely honest with you. These are the types of games I dread writing recaps for. It's hard to find anything positive to write about when you have Nellie sitting Monta, Baron and the rest of our starters for most of the 4th quarter because we're getting our butts kicked. Granted, he also sat them to rest for tomorrow's game against the Celtics, but with 5 days off you'd think they would have had enough "rest" to prepare for this game.
Let me be clear about something real fast. The game was not as close as the score indicates. The 119 to 109 pounding the Warriors took tonight was ugly. It wasn't a lack of offense our Warriors had trouble with, it was the horrendous defense that let the Utah Jazz walk all over us. How did they do that, you ask? Let's explore.
How many ways can ugly look like?
The Utah Jazz swept the series against our Warriors tonight with a lop-sided win in Salt Lake City. The game started off exciting as both teams played the run and gun game scoring 36 a piece in the first quarter. Monta Ellis and Baron Davis looked as though they were going to have big nights individually and maybe keep the game close till the fourth where they would then close it out in glorious fashion. Monta looked especially nice with hits from a good distance as well as attacks on the hoop. Unfortunately, we had to play 3 more quarters after that.
Let's examine the keys to tonight's loss, shall we?(like I really need to point these out):
The Second Quarter: Quick lesson for the Warriors, if you leave a man open, he'll most likely hit a shot. If you forget to guard someone, they'll most likely score an easy bucket. If you all follow the ball, most likely the other team will find an open man, again, to score an easy basket. I know this seems fairly difficult, but if I can see it on TV, can't you feel it in the game? (for all those who don't know me, I like to use sarcasm). The Warriors allowed the Jazz to shoot 71% from the field in the second quarter to give up 41 points; after that they were never able to catch up. By halftime the Jazz had scored a ridiculous 77 points.
Deron Williams: What was supposed to be Baron's night to show the world he should have been picked for the All Star game turned out to be another reason why coaches in the league love Deron more. He was flat out a superstar. 29 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, and a whopping 12 dimes. Granted he played 10 more minutes than Baron, but it was evident that our starters could not contain the barrage of the Jazz. Deron used his speed and strength to cut through our defense and earn 7 freebies out of 8 tries from the line. He also shot 50% from behind the arc so had an overall excellent game.
Even fouling couldn't stop him!
Team Play: Jerry Sloan always brings out the best in his team every single year no matter what players he has. In my opinion he's one of the most underrated coaches ever. Jerry had his players playing a team game tonight with sweet passes and strategic cuts to the basket. Watching this made me realize why we brought Webber in; to help us learn how to distribute the ball without relying so heavily on Baron.
Assists: A result from the point above, the Jazz had 10 more assists then the Warriors, dishing out 31 to our 21. It's almost impossible to win when you have such a disparity in this stat line. While the bulk load came from Deron, 10 of the assists were from the Jazz bench (which is a great strength to have).
Rebounds: While it's bad to have 10 less assists in a game, it's even worse to give up 12 more rebounds. Obviously Okur and Boozer are beasts on the boards each grabbing double digit rebounds; but we didn't get any from Webber, Jackson, or Beans! This contributed to the spanking and I'm sure Nellie will address it before tomorrow's game against the Celtics.
The End: The fourth quarter was considered garbage time and it was fun to watch Azubuike get a little playing time. What I don't understand is why POB and Wright aren't playing more? Am I missing something? No offense, but we played Croshere and Watson and Barnes for nothing. We could have used those minutes to gain some playing time for our young ones.
So why am I freaking out? Well, now we are in 9th place in the West with one game out of 7th and 8th behind Houston and Denver. Is it time to hit the panic button or the trade button?
Warrior Wonder: While Al Harrington had a decent showing with 21 points, I'm still going to have to give the WW to Monta Ellis. Playing only the first three quarters, Monta was able to show his offensive weapons by creating open shots and draining them. He was also able to get to the line for 7 FT but only made 4. For a night that is considered a complete mess, Monta was able to shine for a brief moment. In the end, no one really deserved it.
Here's a random clip to cheer you up, it always works for me!
Side Note: No winners for tonight contest. 78 total rebounds. Next time!
Photos courtesy of AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac,