Pretty much the Warriors D the entire night
I honestly don't know how to describe what I'm feeling right now. It's a combination of pain while being upset, frustrated, and pessimistic all rolled in one. Part of the anger is with the loss, but the majority of my pain has to do with the way we lost. It's one thing to come out on the road in a back to back and lose a close one, it's another to completely not show up.
Regular season games don't get much bigger than this. The playoffs are on the line. A single win or loss completely changes the landscape of the standings. The games will be magnified from here on out. With the Denver matchup looming next Thursday, let's hope that game actually counts for something.
I'm trying to figure out what happened tonight. My exploration after the jump.
The game just didn't start out well. It was bizarro world tonight. Nellie's former team was playing the style of ball his current team plays while his current team was playing like garbage. The Mavs simply beat the Warriors at their own game. Actually the Warriors never played their own game. Dallas wouldn't let them. They ran up and down the court faster, defended much better, and played like a team.
The Mavs had it, the Warriors didn't. The Mavs challenged everything at the rim, contested every jumper and made it difficult for the Warriors to get any sort of a rhythm on offense. They're not usually known for their defense, but tonight they had a very good defensive plan to slow down the Warriors. They essentially let Monta and Baron do what they wanted - take jumpers and drive in the lane. What they took away was the drive and kick or drive and dish. Baron had 1 assist and the Warriors had 10 overall. So while Monta dropped 27 (12-19) and Baron scored 20 (8-17), nobody else seemed to find a rhythm.
Dallas dared Stephen Jackson to shoot. They let Al Harrington go one on one. Neither was hitting tonight as they combined for 8 points on 2-20 shooting. All of the one on one that Dallas let the Warriors do essentially took Biedrins out of the game offensively. The Warriors don't post him up and if Dallas doesn't double, Beans will not be left open for the easy 2.
Their gameplan worked tonight and the Warriors were ice cold.
Milk carton. Milk carton. Irrelevant.
On the other hand, the Warriors defense, if you can even call it defense, was awful. Nellie tried to switch from man to man to a zone but the results were no different - Dallas did what they wanted on offense. They let Josh Howard go one on one with whoever was guarding him because nobody could stop JoHo tonight. Jason Terry seemingly hit everything on his way to 31 points. But I can't stress this enough, the Warriors transition D was awful. It was worse than awful, absolutely horrendous. Dallas scored 44 fast break points compared to just 16 for the Warriors. How can such a fast team not get back on defense? The Mavs had so many 3 on 2's, 4 on 2's, 4 on 1's, it was ridiculous. There were uncontested layups, backdoor alley oops, wide open 10 footers, nobody's shot was ever challenged. It was truly disgusting to watch. Like Jon Barry said in the telecast, not getting back on D is just a lack of desire and heart. You have to want it.
The tired legs shouldn't be an excuse. These guys are in the middle of a playoff race so even on the 2nd game of a back to back, they shouldn't be tired. At least that was my thinking leading up to the game. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they got beat because they just had to deal with San Antonio last night. But I won't stand for getting blown out and embarrassed on national tv because of tired legs. No matter what, you have to keep the game competitive and give yourself a chance to win. I haven't seen the Warriors look this bad in a long, long time.
I used to love watching JKidd play at Cal, in Dallas the first time around, in Phoenix, and in New Jersey. I can't stand him in Dallas right now. Tonight he played like he was 5 years younger as he completely dominated the game despite scoring just 5 points. He ran that offense efficiently and continually found the open man. He rang up 17 assists, more than the Warriors had all game! The Mavs looked scary tonight and a big part of that was letting Jason Kidd run nuts in the open court.
I had this whole thing written up about Pietrus and my anger towards him for not sucking it up and playing. But I realized it was just a way to scapegoat him for not playing. It's funny how a little over a month ago, I considered him a detriment to the team but he's been playing so well lately, I get mad when he doesn't play. Oh how the times have changed. I believe he's injured enough to not play. I also believe he doesn't want to jeopardize his to be signed contract in the summer. Pietrus is not the reason we lost today or yesterday. But he does need to hurry up and try to get back on the court. This team has no bench right now.
At least we got a funny pic of Dirk, that's about all we got out of this game
These were 2 of the worst losses of the season and the first losing streak since the beginning of January came at the exact wrong time. With just 7 games to go and trailing Denver by 1 game, it's a tough road to the playoffs especially since we lose the tiebreaker to Denver meaning that we essentially have to beat them by 2 games. This Warriors team has been through this before and is mentally strong. Memphis is up next, time to get back on the winning track.
Nobody could stop him tonight and he came through. It's just too bad, outside of Baron, he got no help.