Originally posted Dec 9, 2009 9:22 PM PST
(Floyd Mayweather looks excited about the opportunity to sit courtside. He probably didn't get the memo who he was watching, though)
Professional sports, particularly Warriors basketball, have a huge toll on my emotional well-being. Watching the Warriors self-destruct night-in-night-out against the NBA's worst ruins my evenings a majority of the time. I curse at the television. Make groaning sounds, in the most unerotic possible way. I usually have to have a beer by halftime just to calm down the nerves of watching turnover after turnover.
Well, lucky for me the Warriors played, arguably, the worst team in the league tonight. Meaning? Maybe I can fall asleep easily without replaying all the blunders that I was witness to.
Anyway, tonight's recap retells the story that was the clash of the anti-titans of the NBA. However, it will be told through the emotional highs and lows that the Warriors put me through. Instead of focusing on the game, we're going to analyze the game through my feelings...
Preview/ Game Thread: Please don't be Nets win #3
Warriors Web Links: Should have won, and we did
It's 58 degrees in my apartment and I refuse to turn on the heater. Why is the bay so cold?
Watching the pre-game show, the Izod arena looks as empty as school on a Sunday. I think I've seen WNBA games more packed than this (barely). You would think that all the business deals going on in the Nets' background could spice things up a bit. Heck, you got Jay-z bankrollin'? How can a team with so much extra-basketball influence have so little to offer? Hey Jay, how about pulling some of your star power and getting Memphis Bleek to rap the national album? Or why not perform "Empire state of Mind" at half-time...y'all will be in Brooklyn in no-time right?
I wonder if there are more Warrior fans watching this game on TV then there are fans in the Izod arena.
First quarter: GROAN.
Less than a minute in, Monta's first turnover. 92 down, 264 to go to break Artis Gilmore's record. C'mon Monta, give us Warrior fans something to believe in!
One minute later - heavier and louder GROAN. Monta dribbles into a crowded paint and attempts to pass through Boone and Brooke Lopez. Unless Monta is Superman, he's not going be able to push this ball though 500 lbs of flesh.
One of the great things of watching two bad really bad teams is how quick they get up and down the court. You would think it was the ABA with all the run outs each team is doing with each missed shot. The worst thing(s) about watching two really bad teams is how many missed shots, ill-advised passes, and guys flopping around on the floor there is. How many more passes are we going to see bounce off someone's back tonight?
Brook Lopez is deceptively skilled, but also full of contradictions. He got picked 3 times in the first 6 minutes. But he recovers and has the grace to move around the Warriors bigs, EASILY. I'm thinking he might be the end of the Stanford big man "bust" that includes a long line of gentle giants, Tim Young, the Collins twins, and Curtis Borchardt. Brook Lopez has game.
The non-existent ball movement makes me think the Warriors are playing hot potato. They are chucking the ball wrecklessly and Monta and Stephen Curry are both missing wide open jumpers as if they're shooting jumpers with blindfolds. Hmm, I wonder if I can catch the end of Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals right now... Man, Warriors are this bad that I'm considering watching the super annoying Rachel Ray.
Third GROAN of the quarter. Great heads up move by Anthony Randolph to save CJ Watson's blocked shot. Here we go.... WHAT!? CHARGE?? Oh Monta, why are you reverting back to your old ways of trying to run everyone over? I can't believe I'm watching this game right now.
(Harris: "C'mon coach, I know the 'pull-my-finger' trick...)
2nd quarter: Elated...
Hmm, the Warriors end the quarter on a short run. Maybe the Warriors won't lose after all?
Is it me or did Trenton Hassell gain some weight since his Timberwolves days? Looks like Trenton Hassell's been hitting up the Shawn Kemp School of weight "training" in the off-season.
Anthony Randolph is looking good on defense. Good to see him active but not falling on people to get a block. Maybe Keith Smart slipped a sedative into his Gatorade before the game?
Alright, here we go. The Warriors are starting to run and CJ Watson is getting into the passing lanes easy.
Andris Biedrins is sitting with Fitz and Barnett for some color commentary. Biedrins looks good in his suit but that weird hoop earring doesn't quite fit. May it's a European thing.
The Warriors are racking up steals like they're Ricky Henderson. The boom and bust of the Warriors offense depends on these steals.
Wow, what's up with Randolph playing so even -keeled? Usually after a few excellent plays, Randolph is jumping around making dumb fouls. Hmm, I wonder what's going on in his head when he gets the ball.
OOOH!! Randolph is hustling! Great to see him giving the Warriors the energy they need on both sides of the floor. He and Radmanovic are doing the intangible things that the Warriors need: grabbing boards, running the floor, some nice weakside defense and, most importantly, covering the mistakes of Monta Ellis. Wow, still no yelps or facial expressions. What's happened to him? I'm beginning to think Keith Smart is better at getting to his players than Nellie.
(The only way the Warriors could stop Brook Lopez)
Biedrins is still talking to Fitz and Barnett on the sidelines. He is discussing his friendship with Ronny Turiaf (France) and Radmanovic. The "European Union club" as he calls it. Can we expect to see this on a t-shirt? Maybe the next Tony.psd? Wink wink? Just playin' Tony.
Randolph is everywhere!!! Plus the Nets look like the Warriors on their bad nights. The lazy passes getting picked off and wide open driving lanes are making me realize why they were 0-18. They're not getting back on defense in typical Warriors fashion. Too bad the Warriors are picking up ticky tack fouls, which is keeping the Nets in the game.
Question: Are the Warriors better when Monta ISN'T shooting all the time? At this point in the game, Monta has been a non-factor, scoring-wise. The ball is moving a lot more and the other Warriors are getting involved ... and hey! They're actually winning, right now? I'm not suggesting the Warriors are better without Monta. That would be completely ridiculous. But its nice to see the other Warriors trusting in each other when Monta isn't trying to mimic Stephen Jackson in his shot selection and his complaining to the refs.
OK, I've had enough of watching Randolph fouling Lopez. It's clearly not Randolph's fault that there is a bad matchup. Where's Chris Hunter?
The Nets are blocking out as "well" as the Warriors as Randolph gets a follow-up dunk to a missed jumper. I am feeling at ease now...
CJ Watson is definitely the front runner for Warrior Wonder by the way he is getting steals and converting layups at the other end. His anticipation in the passing lanes is beautiful.
Wow, that last play of the half was beautiful. Heck, it was SEXY. I'm surprised that Monta gave up the ball to Curry and let him thread that pass to Watson for the open reverse under the hoop. Now THAT was the best closing of a quarter/half I have ever seen from the Warriors. Can we see the ball NOT in Monta's hands at the end of the half?
(Curry and Moore are both impressed by the dunk. What kind of shoes are those?)
3rd Quarter: Hungry
Early on , we see a power move by Mikki Moore dunking over Brook Lopez! I love the post-dunk intensity ala Kevin Garnett, but is it really necessary or kosher for Moore to throw signs when they're playing, arguably, the worst team in the league? That would be equivalent to bragging that you got Susan Boyle's digits.
Looks like the Warriors are finally hitting the offensive boards. Why are the Warriors so afraid to grab rebounds? I miss Biedrins.
My girlfriend: "That guy (Radmanovic) looks like Wolverine. But uglier."
Wow, an Ill-advised shot by Monta, again. Nice move slashing to the middle and trying to lay it up over Lopez, except way off target. Sigh. I ask again, do the Warriors score better when Monta has the ball in his hands LESS? There's seems to be a lot more scoring this game when he isn't trying to score on every single possession.
I am still waiting for dinner to finish cooking... hungry. I wonder what NBA players eat before games?
Towards the end of this quarter, the Warriors frustrating play is finally getting to Fitz. He sounds like he's about to yell at Morrow post-game after seeing him commit his bazillionth turnover of the game. That's what I love about the Warriors color commentary; they never gloss over the Warrior blunders.
Damnit. The Warriors are starting to look complacent out there and there are still 6 minutes left in the quarter. It's like Cinderella and the clock struck twelve. The Warriors' chariot of marvelous game play has transformed back into the pumpkin of bad shots, dribbling into crowds, and porous defense. Are the Warriors trying to lose? Are they trying to throw games like Tim Donaghy?
Whew thank goodness for players like Josh Boone. Boone shoots freethrows like he doesn't want to be there. It's almost like he can't wait to get over with by how rushed his shots are.
(Mayweather: "Damn, I thought the Nets gave me the gift of a superstar..." Mayweather's friend: "Dude, I though we got tickets for Madison Square Garden...")
4th Quarter: Satisfied
Great feed by Cj Watson to Maggette (no look) to start this quarter. Watson is definitely the Warrior Wonder for tonight...either Watson or the Net's terrible defense. Whereas Ellis and Morrow are looking like the Warrior ‘blunders' with the turnovers they are accumulating together. Can't complain though that Keith Smart lets his players work through these problems in the flow of the game.
Commercial break: "Give the gift...of a super... star... this holiday.. season" ...whew, I never get tired of that commercial. How many takes do you think that took for Monta to say that? Also, does anyone else think its weird that Monta is basically trying to sell tickets to see Kobe and Lebron? Do you think opposing teams run the same commercials and say that about Monta when the Warriors are about to come to town?
Ball movement! Thank goodness, the Net were within 7 but the crisis has been averted. Monta is finally scoring, but not forcing the issue. I'm more pleased that he's using his speed to benefit his teammates by hitting them with open shots.
Thank goodness the Nets cannot shoot threes. Can the Nets poor three-point shooting be the Warrior Wonder for tonight?
Question of the night, why is Sean Williams getting more playing time than Terrence Williams? Every shot of Sean Williams face as he checks in, gets fouled, or fouled someone is look of "........." or "What am I doing here?"
Mikki Moore TRULY has the best dunks. AND best post-game dunk celebrations. After two great passes from Monta, he's cheering like the game was on the line as opposed to being up 13 against the worst team in the league.Gotta love that intensity though.
I have to give it up to CJ Watson. Watson's 15 points in the second quarter, half of those off great anticipation on defense, really jumpstarted a sluggish Warriors team.