OPEN THREAD: Game #61- Warriors @ Heat

Warriors (W-L): 37-23
Heat (W-L): 11-47
TV: FSN Bay Area
Radio: KNBR 1050

More about this afternoon's matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Miami Cold... after the jump!

The last time the Warriors and Heat squared off it took a monumental 4th quarter comeback and some clutchness from Kelenna Azubuike to get the W. It was shocking in so many ways. Although they were struggling at the time it looked like the Heat were a formidable opponent and probably a better team than the Warriors. Back in early December it looked like the Warriors had a star SG in the making that could step in and fill the void left by the JRich trade and send Monta Ellis to the bench. But alas, things work out funny in the hoops world and it's funny how things turn out.

Since that game the Warriors have gone on to win 26 more times and the Heat have won only 7 times. (Seriously, read that sentence again.) The Heat are a terrible team. There's no other way to put it. I like what they did in the Shaq-Marion trade a lot, but through 10 games the Matrix has yielded a dismal 2-8 record. It's only fair to also point out that the Suns have gone 3-5 with the Big Phoenix Shadow. Our friends from Bright Side of the Sun broke down the deal extensively back in mid-February for us in a Q&A so definitely check that out.

As much as I love rooting for Kaz and watching him not even have to flex his biceps to look like a super hero (I need to get my hands on whatever protein shakes he's drinking!), he is simply not starter material in this league. His rebounding and shooting are good enough to keep him in the league as a serviceable backup, but his inconsistency, lack of foot speed, struggles to create for himself, and complete inability to create for his teammates, and awful defense will keep him on the bench for a winning team. My preseason pick of Kelenna as the heir to Monta Ellis' Most Improved Player Award and people's faulty proclamations that he's a young rising star (remember he's 24 and the "old" Jason Richardson is only about 3 years older than him), or that he's a better player than the 1 Man Fast Break Monta Ellis all look foolish now.

But let me be clear. He is what he is and there's nothing wrong with that. Kaz is still a D-League D-light and I'll take him as my 8th to 11th man any day.

I doubt the Heat will be this bad next year with what should be a top 3 pick and some Riley offseason brainwork, so hopefully the Warriors take advantage tonight. Winning at Miami next year will be much tougher next season and beyond. But it's like I said at the end of recap for the BETCats game earlier this week:

The Warriors have another back to back this Friday in the Southeast. They have to at least get a split. My boy FJ sees a W against the Heat and an L against the Magic (see Counting W's for Week 19). I will contend that that makes absolutely too much sense and this Warriors team makes absolutely no sense. I see a random loss against the Heat and then a surprise win in Disney World. Why? I really have no idea.

Let's all have faith in Nellie though. Sure he's not perfect, but Nellie knows how to make game-to-game adjustments as well as anyone in the history of the association. He'll make the necessary changes (hopefully something on DEFENSE), but can the fellas execute? We'll see soon enough!

Predictions:

  • Warriors by 1
  • Boom Dizzle messes around and gets a triple double.
  • DWade goes to the free throw line 10 times.
  • Jack heats up from beyond the arc and nails 5 treys.
  • The Matrix grabs 15 boards.

Also check out loyal GSoMer muritqua's preview: Facing the Heat (Part 2)

Drop your predictions and thoughts during the game in the comments. Let's get this W!

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