This game mirrored the loss to the Bulls.
The first half was all about quick, crisp passing, ball movement, and drives to the bucket. At one point they built a 13 point lead. Despite some bone headed plays which allowed the Pistons to go on a 10-2 run, the Warriors were able to hold onto a 6 point lead at the half. On the road you just want to be close at the end to give yourself a chance to win and the play in the first half looked like the Warriors would have a chance. It was looking good.
The second half became another struggle for the Warriors to score. The 3rd quarter was a disaster with the Warriors going 5-19 and scoring just 12 points to the Pistons 22. They fell into the same problem they had yesterday, jumper, jumper, jumper, jumper. Essentially, the Pistons got the Warriors to play at the Pistons tempo, slow and deliberate. Half court to half court. Not many fast breaks. Too many possessions with the shot clock winding under 10. Slow and deliberate. Even though the Warriors nearly made a comeback as they went back and forth in the 4th with the Pistons to cut the lead to 2, they just weren't able to fully recover from the disastrous 3rd.
What's With All the Second Half Meltdowns?
I begin to wonder how much of these second half meltdowns are due to fatigue. This was the back end of a back to back so I can understand being tired, but to me, it looked like they had enough energy to finish the game. That doesn't explain the collapses at home against the Rocketes and Magic, as well as the poor second halves against the Bulls and Pistons. Are they tired because they were playing with 7 man rotations for so long? Or are these second half failures due to just not being a very good team? Or both?
If it's the fatigue issue, that's on the management. When you consistently trade healthy players for injured players (Devean George, Speedy Claxton, Raja Bell), your roster is going to be depleted. If it's the just not being a very good team, again, that's on the management, the coaching, and well, the players.
I'm not saying I know what the issue with the meltdowns is, but why does it happen so often? I could look on the bright side and say "at least they were in the game", but the only thing that really matters are W's and L's.
Anthony + Anthony = 0
I have no idea what happened to these two tonight but they contributed just barely more than I did, and I contributed nothing. Their combined stats: 32 minutes, 0 points (0-4 FG's), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 4 turnovers. Ouch! I think A-Mo has an excuse, he might not be there mentally due to the death in the family. I'll give him a pass for the last few games. He just doesn't look the same.
But I don't know what happened to Anthony Randolph. I don't know where he is mentally because he made numerous boneheaded mistakes tonight:
- He missed cutting down the lane to receive a pass from Curry who had drawn to defenders. Randolph would have had an easy dunk.
- He's still taking bad shots. In fact, right now, anything outside of 5 feet should be considered a bad shot for him. That airball from 15 feet out on the baseline was hideous.
- He's still leaving his feet on defense when he doesn't need to. I can remember two instances. The first had a guard driving the lane in what amounted to a 2 on 1. The guard jumps, Anthony jumps and leaves his feet, which allows the guard to just dump the ball to a big man for a dunk. Second time was when Stuckey grabbed an offensive rebound and Randolph was standing between him and the basket. Stuckey pump fakes, Randolph jumps, Stuckey draws the foul. Why does Randolph need to leave his feet every time a guard drives the lane? If he stays on his feet, keeps his hands up, he makes it extremely difficult to make the shot. And if the other guy leaves his feet, Randolph is quick enough to get up and block the shot.
Corey + Monta
These two guys played well tonight. Even though Maggette is still shooting 3's early in the shot clock (bad shot) he looked much better tonight than last night. He got to the line 8 times (0 yesterday) and shot a nice 8-13 from the field. He was more aggressive in attacking the bucket which got him some easy buckets and free throws, his bread and butter. He only grabbed four boards tonight, but it felt like he was much more active in the paint trying to secure rebounds.
Monta was great tonight. He played all 48 minutes and was still working hard until the end. He had a nice shooting night, 29 points on 11-20 shooting. But he also chipped in with 7 boards, 3 assists, 3 steals, with just 1 turnover. He was also very aggressive on defense going for steals and harassing the opposing guards. I've been impressed with the effort he's put forth on D this year. He says he's been doing it the entire time, but you, me, Monta, and the coaches know that he's stepped up his D in comparison to last season. And to be honest, it makes me smile. I appreciate effort, hustle, and desire on defense.
- Rip Hamilton played in just his 2nd game of the season. His presence just might make the Pistons a better team. He didn't shoot exceptionally well, but he hit some key shots in the 4th.
- But Rip wasn't the reason for the win, that honor belongs to Rodney Stuckey - 29 points (10-18 FG's, 9-10 FT's) to go with 7 assists. His 7 turnovers were a sore spot, but he came through in the 4th for them when the Warriors made a little run to cut the lead.
- The other guy I was impressed with was Charlie Villanueva. His post moves looked smooth and refined. He had a hook shot from about 7 feet, he caught an alley oop when Vlad turned his head, and he did some nice work with jumpers.