Disclaimer: what you are about to read has some truths and many untruths. Some of these truths might accidentally be untruths causing the following recap to hold no more than 10% truth. With that, if you can count the number of untruths in this recap, you will inevitably receive spectacular a prize. Or will you? Enjoy.
Man, talk about a boring game. Did you see that? Whatever happened to the good old days when we had a good 68 to 64 point rout? Wait, there goes my sarcasm again. I'll try to keep it in check this time.
Our beloved Warriors moved up in the rankings with tonight's impressive victory over the Atlanta Hawks, 135 to 118. Now granted it wasn't the Western Conference standings, but we did manage to move up in the points per game statistic to #1. That's right. We now have the most impressive offense in the league scoring on average .6 more points per game than the Phoenix Suns. And boy did we shine tonight. With the stellar play of Austin Croshere scoring 63 second half points ...um ... sorry there I go again.
Let's find out what really happened tonight shall we?
During the Second Quarter: Al, Monta and Josh have a dance-a-thon! Croshere won!
With Webber and Biedrins sitting out with the injury bug, Coach Nellie decided to play the run and gun game. I can see him looking at his little black coaching book for the Warriors and picking "run and gun fast" over "run and gun super fast". Knowing we have a game tomorrow we didn’t want to play "superfast" and wear our players out. Nellie also knew that if we kept the game close we had Austin Croshere on the bench to close it out. Lucky for us it didn’t have to come to that.
But while the victory is sweet, we lacked heavily on the Defense. The best way to describe it is to introduce Charles Barkley’s new word of the day:
As in Turraable Turraable Defense.
However, while our defense was quite porous, I’m annoyed with the fact that the Hawks collected 40 free throw attempts compared to our measly 10. I hate to be a whiner but the Warriors truly get the short end of the stick when it comes to the refs. But I digress. The Hawks scored 42 points in the first quarter alone and a total of 70 points in the first half. This was obviously due in part to our excellent defense and stellar play by Joe Johnson. Joe had 38 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists schooling every single warrior who guarded him. Running alongside him were Josh Smith and Marvin Williams, each scoring 20 points. The Hawks were scorching in the first half, but leveled back down to earth in the second half to make way for the Warriors.
Our new approach to defense didn’t pan out. Block ball, not imaginary wall.
After the halftime break, our players turned it on once again to make a come from behind victory. This was extremely important to secure our lead over Denver in the playoff race to 2 games and now only 1 game off Dallas for 7th place. It was also very important to start our 4 game road trip with a victory against a team we should normally beat.
Pietrus was a key factor tonight. And with all the criticism I give him day in and day out, I’m extremely happy he was able to have a fruitful game. Scoring 19 points and grabbing 12 rebounds off the bench. He more impressively shot 5 of 7 from behind the arc forcing the Hawks' defense to spread out and give Baron a chance to attack the basket.
Jackson also had a great game. Maybe I should crack on Jackson on all my previews. Can I take credit for his stellar night? 29 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and made it easier for everyone else by shooting 6 of 12 from 3pt land. The Warriors have an amazing win percentage for every game Jackson scores over 20 points. I say we allow him to take the first 15 shots of every game. How’s that for a game plan?
Jackson and Williams doing the River Dance.
Interesting stats of the night:
Turnovers: Both teams went into halftime each giving up 4 turnovers. After the half the Warriors forced the Hawks to commit 18 total turnovers to the Warrior’s 10.
Transition Fast Break Points: It seemed like the Warriors pushed the ball up every time the Hawks scored, allowing us to score 87 points off transition baskets.
Austin Croshere woke from his slumber and saw that Baron Davis had another Baron-like night. Scoring 35 points and 9 assists, Baron took the game over the minute it started. As frustrating as it was to see he ONLY had 2 free throws attempts, he was still able to put up impressive numbers. With Baron playing 41 minutes, I’m hoping Monta will be able to take care of tomorrow’s game.
Side Note: No winners for tonight's contest. Warriors won by 17.
Photos courtesy of AP Photo/John Amis