Warriors Defense (n): challenging the shot from the left, right, and behind, but never in front
Ugh. You hate to lose a game like this. Jamal Crawford hits what appears to be the game winner. The Thunder are a young team and don't have any guys who've proven they can make clutch shots. 1.6 seconds is essentially just a catch and shoot, maybe a single dribble off the inbounds pass. Kevin Durant seemed to be the obvious option since he is their best player and he's so long that a jumper seems impossible to block. Plus, he's the franchise and you just expect him to take big shots. But tonight he was not the man. Jeff Green was. 26 points on 9-14 shooting, including 3-4 from 3 and 5-5 from the line. He didn't miss much and he stuck the final dagger in as the buzzer went off and the red light came on.
“I think it’s as simple as (it) went down to the last second and a lucky shot beat us tonight,” Golden State coach Don Nelson said. “I don’t believe (Green) called bank on the shot. I believe he shot it so poorly it went in. It was one of those shots.”
“Yeah I called it,” Green said. “There was a lot of time left. I just had to stay with my shot, not rush it, and it went in. It feels great.”
You think the Warriors have nice young talent? Moped, Beans, Rudolph, Wright, Rocky, Morrow, Kurz(!)? All you needed to do was look at the team in the other uniform to see what a set of nice talent really looks like. The Thunder have a nice collection of young talent, I'm jealous. Kevin Durant has been playing lights out recently (check the numbers for December and January), Jeff Green has consistently put up nice numbers the entire season, and Russell Westbrook is stepping up his game as well. For this game, the three of them combined for 83 points. Wow.
In fact if you check their numbers from December and January versus November, you'll see a very nice boost in production. Hmmmm think it has anything to do with the Scotty Brooks for PJ Carlesimo swap? He seems to be helping them developer and putting them in positions to be successful. Must be nice that despite having a losing record, have some hope for the future. I don't know what that feels like.
As far as the game was concerned, both teams decided that they would only play half the game, the offensive half. For the Warriors, when you shoot 52% for the game, 42% from 3, and 95% from the line, there's absolutely no reason you should lose the game. You should be blowing the other team out! C'mon, try putting your hand in a guy's face, boxing out, hustling a little extra, or moving your feet. DE-FENSE. The crowd is not chanting DE-FENSE for nothing.
The Return of Stephen Jackson
Jack has been back for 3 games now and he's playing damn well. It appears as if he was hurt and is back to healthy. He's shooting better thus scoring more and has kept his assists (6 per game) and rebounds (4.6 per game) at his season average. His turnovers are still way too high because his decision making has been so poor. Hmmm let me throw this pass in between 3 defenders off the bounce that has a 1% chance of getting to my guy, but I'll do it anyway. He has to handle the ball more often now that Baron is gone, but that's no excuse for making stupid decisions.
It'll be interesting to see how this team plays with 4 potential 20 point scorers (Jax, Maggs, Craw, and Moped). There certainly won't be enough shots to go around especially since a couple of them are allergic to passing. Achoo!
Interesting Starting Lineup
With Beans injured, Nellie threw out an interesting starting lineup: Kelenna, Crawford, Jackson, Randolph, and Kurz? Has the old man lost his mind? Does Rob Kurz have naked photos of Nellie in compromising positions? There's no other explanation for a guy who's best skill is playing H-O-R-S-E to be starting at center. I think I'd rather have Beans playing with one hand tied behind his back than have Kurz starting the game. You know how well that genius decision worked? 11 minutes, -10 +/- for Kurz. In his first 4 minutes, the Warriors were down 12-6. Yanked. Even if you don't like the +/- stat, you have to recognize that the guy is a scrub. So what if he can shoot if he can't do anything else? Our starting center had 1 rebound in 11 minutes. Yay. Start Turiaf, start the $50 million man, start CJ or Morrow and put Randolph at center. Please for the love of Jessica Alba, don't start Rob Kurz!
$50 Million off the Bench
Look it sucks that we gave big money to Corey Maggette and expected him to somewhat replace Baron, but that's just not going to happen. I have to give him props for accepting a bench role and thriving in it. It's a lot of money to be paying a bench guy in the first year of his contract, but it has been better for the team now and probably in the future when Monta comes back.
The Good Side of Losing
Well there's one good thing to this loss. The win column does not get another tally and our chances of a higher lottery pick increases. Suckas.
GSOM Night 6
Lastly, there are only a few days left to purchase tickets for GSOM Night 6, don't forget to grab some tickets!
Kelenna Azubuike for this one. 9-10 shooting for 21 points? Mad props. 0 turnovers. I wish he had grabbed more than 3 rebounds but he it seemed like he couldn't miss.