We can talk about the Dubs blowing an incredible start and a 20 point lead. We can talk about the excessively poor shot selection that practically invited the Raptors back into the game. We can talk about how we let the Raptors come back to actually take the lead in the fourth quarter, practically giving all of Warriors Nation a simultaneous heart attack...
But we don't have to. Thank god the Warriors won this game. The last thing we needed tonight was to slow down our current tempo with a loss to a Bosh-less Raptors in our own damn house. Sure, there were a few things that went wrong. But in the wake of a victory, what would have been major issues became minor concerns.
A refreshing spark.
Our Warriors have 40 wins tonight. And we still have 19 games left. Don't look now but...
Life is good. JUMP
We definitely owe this game to our incredible start. That first quarter might have been the best 12 minutes I've ever see the Warriors play. Our 5 starters looked like The Dream Team while the Raptors looked like a bunch of Oompa Loompas on the court.
These cats can't ball. Well, maybe Gene Wilder can...
Okay. I'm assuming of course that Oompa Loompas are bad at basketball. What with their shortness and all. Plus their knees stick out sideways, which would probably cause a lot more kick balls and blocking fouls than someone of non-Oompish Loompish descent. But then again, there I go assuming again!
GSoM would like to officially apologize to any Oompa Loompas out there that may be offended by our statements. Okay, let's move on.
I wouldn't be doing our first quarter any justice if I didn't bring up at least two things:
* Pietrus' dunk. Holy crap. Where was this guy during the first half of the season?! I felt the vibrations from the dunk all the way out here in the East Bay.
* Baron's swat on Nesterovic. Rasho, that's just embarrassing man. You're 7 feet tall. Wow.
At the end of the first, the Dubs had 33 in the bag to the Raptors' 17. MP2 had already put down 8 with some extremely aggressive and energetic play, Beans had 6 points and 2 excellent swats, and Monta was on his way to a lights out night with 11 points. In fact, despite my Open Thread prediction, Jax was the only man out there who looked like he was having an off night.
Unfortunately, it would appear that the Warriors still haven't figured out a way to control the tempo of a game for 4 quarters. Despite our poor results from downtown, the second quarter gave way to about 7 or 8 three pointers. Of which we made zero. The frustrating part was that we were in a position to drive the ball almost every time. None of the long bombs came at the expense of a waning shot clock. In addition, all of the 2nd quarter three point attempts were taken when we had a comfortable lead.
It was evident that the Warriors were using the threes in an attempt to blow their 16 point first quarter lead into a demoralizing 30 point lead that would eventually allow our starters to ride the pine and rest up for harder challenges ahead. I just wish that it had worked. Instead, our bricks slowed down the Warriors-like tempo of the game and allowed the Raptors to claw (no pun intended) back into the game. And while the real meat and potatoes of their comeback occurred in the 3rd quarter, their creep-up truly started in the dismal 2nd.
"Damn! It's way easier to make it from here! I gotta tell the guys!"
Parker, Ford, and Humphries were tenacious with their shots. Parker, finishing up at 22 points and 9 boards went a cool 10 for 16 from the field and I swear all 10 of his made shots were swishes. Humphries nailed all 10 of his points in the 2nd quarter on 5 of 7 shooting with a butter close range jumper. They were like three parts of a giant Warrior Killer Voltron Robot. And if you're asking yourself, "What's Voltron?", you should know that I now feel old. Really really old.
"...and it had different pieces see. And they all came together to form VOLTRON..."
Despite TJ Ford's monumental fourth quarter efforts (13 in the 4th), the Warriors pulled their act together and the heroes came out to play. Baron had himself an outstanding 4th with 10 points and 6 dimes (that's almost a double-double in one quarter!) and a couple of threes that broke the Raptors back. And a sold out Arena crowd and the entire Warriors Nation instantly remembered just how clutch the Baron can be. And they saw it was good.
And so here we are. Forty wins. Just two less than our entire win total of last year. Oh how different the Western Conference is this year. But it matters not.
Because we're ready. Now let's look towards what needs to be done against Phoenix. Let's take this road one game at a time...
Monta's 33 points and overall offensive consistency was really hard to ignore tonight. But I just can't over look 23 points and an incredible 15 dimes. Plus that one turnover for Baron didn't really count as it came in garbage time. So Baron effectively had a 15 dime to (technically) zero turnover ratio. Yowza. When push came to shove, Davis was the go to guy that made it happen. He takes it with a photo finish.