John Legend singing the national anthem
Finally, a competitive game for one of our GSOM Night's this year. Opening night GSOM Night was a blowout loss to the Jazz while the second GSOM Night this year was a blowout win over the Bobcats. This third GSOM Night of the year was close throughout. As a wise man once said, "Both teams played hard" - can't complain except for the L instead of the W. The game could have gone either way, but it was close throughout and as entertaining as possible.
GSOM Night tradition
First, about GSoM Night
We always start our GSOM Night with a little pre-game bbq on Hash's grill. Hot dogs, corn, chips, beer, and a little whiffle ball and football action. We picked up our GSOM Night 4 t-shirts designed by Tony.psd himself and headed off to our seats. Props to Dana Knops and the other Warriors rep (didn't get his name), for handing out the t-shirts and the raffle prizes to all 400 of you. Also, props to Zorgon for coming out all the way from Oklahoma City on his spring break to check out his beloved Warriors. The Adonal jersey was tight. Nice hanging out with you Z. Lastly, one of the highlights of the night was definitely John Legend singing the national anthem and performing "Ordinary People" during halftime.
"We're just ordinary people. We don't know which way to go"
On to the game
A lot of times, I wonder how these recaps would turn out if the Warriors won rather than lost. Is my analysis of the game different depending on whether or not I am excited about the W or frustrated by the L? Well I have to say after last night that I really don't think this recap would be any different.
The Warriors played hard. The Rockets played hard. There was a definite feel in the arena as the game unfolded where you just knew this game wouldn't be any different if it was in the postseason. Bodies were flying everywhere, players showed a lot of emotion, and every bucket was huge. Jax even worked the crowd as he did last year in the playoffs by waving his arms up and down to get us on our feet. This was definitely a result of the playoff chase and the fact that Denver won earlier in the day. It felt like the last 5 minutes of the game the crowd was either standing or on the edge of its seat ready to explode. Definitely one of the louder games I've been to.
I believe. MP2 is back. I was skeptical when he first started playing well, but now I'm convinced Pietrus is going to consistently contribute for the rest of the season and deserves his starting spot. Maybe I'm late to this bandwagon. I wonder how many playoff teams are kicking themselves for not buying low on this guy at the trade deadline. He was a spark in that first quarter getting the Warriors off to a quick start. He had 9 quick points but it was his hustle, defense, and rebounding that really stood out.
Al had his bottle of Windex out
Nice night from Al with his board work. He worked hard inside grabbing 6 offensive rebounds, 14 total. I liked how he knew he wasn't shooting well so he stayed productive by playing in the paint and getting hustle points. He still has trouble finishing at the rim and his shot has been off for awhile now, but tonight he was active, I loved the hustle. Now he's just gotta fix that shot. He's valuable on the team if he can stretch the D with his 3 because it opens up the paint for the guards. He'll turn it around but hopefully it's not too late. We need him to produce more offensively.
Our big 3
Baron, Monta and Jax. They were solid, though not spectacular. Baron was good from the field but his 4:5 assists to turnover ratio was uncharacteristic. Overall the team didn't rack up too many assists as the ball didn't seem to move well. Lots of one on one last night, not enough movement. Monta was once again had a spectacular shooting night getting to the hole numerous times and finishing what seemed to be impossible shots. He still needs to make his presence felt on defense though. And lastly, Jackson was cold. He missed his usual clutch 3's in the 4th. Our big 3 were solid last night but we expect more out of them, more being a W, at home against a top team in the West.
He shot 11-23 for the game but for a stretch in the 3rd quarter and half of the 4th he just didn't seem to miss a shot. He literally kept the Rockets in the game with his lights out shooting. Jumper after jumper after jumper over Jackson and Pietrus kept the Rockets from giving up the lead and letting the Warriors make a run. He played big tonight. Gotta give him props.
I've read all the wonderful things John Hollinger has said about this kid, and last night he lived up to it. Check out his line in just 18 minutes of play: 17 points (6-9 shooting), 8 boards, and a steal. That's pretty nasty. Plus he's a good defender and just causes matchup problems. He's quick for his size, strong, and just knows his way around the court. I was impressed.
No, I'm not going to tell you that the officiating was bad, rather confusing. They let a lot of physical play go on underneath the basket in the paint - probably contributing to that playoff atmosphere. From the second level it's difficult to tell if these were fouls but with all the bodies on the floor, it sure seemed like they let a lot of stuff go. Here's what was confusing: on many of the fouls that were called that drew free throws, it seemed like there was hardly any contact. Maybe a slight slap on the arm or body bump but nothing compared to what seemed like an occasional wrestling match. It went both ways of course and at least they were consistent on both ends, but it was odd to see some ticky tack fouls called while lots of contact let go.
Hash rockin the Fear the Beard cutout beard
Overall, I'm okay with this loss. It's a tough loss, a game the Warriors could have won, but the Rockets were just the better team last night. They play tough, tough D. They seem to challenge every shot, are physical inside, and nobody outhustles them. What's more, their offense seems very disciplined. They made the Warriors scramble on D by rotating the ball quickly, setting screens, and making the right pass. That 22 game win streak was no joke, after watching them last night, I have even more respect for them.
To all the fans who started leaving the arena after a missed Baron 3 that would have tied it resulting in Landry at the line with 6 seconds left, that was weak. Landry missed one free throw, made the second. Baron then hit a 3 to bring the Warriors to within 1 with 3 seconds left. Then, Luther Head makes 2 free throws to put the Rockets up 3 and the Warriors had a chance to tie. Imagine missing that comeback because you wanted to beat the traffic. Weak. Weak. Weak.
A back to back against the Lakers is coming. Denver is just 1.5 behind us. Smells like trouble. Good thing this Warriors team thrives on these kinds of situations.
I don't think we thank Chris enough for taking care of us and making sure things always run smoothly, so he gets last night's Warrior Wonder. Think about this, in the last 3 GSOM Nights, he's taken care of over 1700 people getting them their tickets, managing the courtside shootaround, the high 5's, and the raffle - all without any hiccups. What's more, he even hooked up the GSOM crew and friends to get a chance to play on the court for a little while. That was an amazing experience. Some pics coming soon. Thanks for everything Chris!