How am I supposed to coach this guy?!?
Noon on a Friday is a strange time to have an intense and competitive NBA game that goes down to the wire, but that is just what happened. I'm sure you've all got places to go and parties to get ready for, so lets cut right to the chase. This game came down to the most bizarre last eight seconds of a game that I've seen in a while. Jump for thoughts on the game, and some audience participation...
The Warriors were playing pretty well today, and despite some occasional hiccups that might come with playing an east coast road game at a very strange time, the Warriors started the fourth quarter with a nice little seven point lead. Maybe it was the early start that was keeping me a little subdued, but there really wasn't much to get all that excited about. In fact, without looking back at the boxscore or reviewing the game again, I can't really think of much that was noteworthy in the first three quarters. Yeah, Curry was on fire from beyond the arc, and Charlotte was hurting us on the offensive glass, but that is hardly noteworthy.
Flash forward to the last few seconds of the game and there was plenty of excitement and intrigue to last the rest of 2010!(ba-dum tsh) The Bobcats were able to claw their way back in the game (buh dum ching) and narrowed the lead to a single point. The good news for the Warriors is that they had the ball, and with less than 24 seconds on the clock all they needed to do was inbound the ball, and probably make some free throws. How hard could that be right?
Well, the first inbound went pretty well, and the Warriors were even able to burn some time off the clock before the Cats were able to use their foul to give. I did have a minor heart attack when in the middle of their little game of keep-away Vlad threw the ball straight at the official standing near mid court, but thanks to some good reaction time from Monta that crisis was averted. The Bobcats fouled, which sent the Warriors back to the sidelines to inbound the ball again, and that's when things got interesting.
The Bobcats were playing very tight, physical defense as the Warriors were trying to inbound. It seemed like nobody could get free, especially Monta who was being guarded closely by Gerald Henderson. Henderson's technique on defending the inbound was interesting, and actually quite unique. I really wanted to break down the way he was expertly covering Monta and keeping him from getting open. I looked all over the internet to find a picture of the play that had a good angle that showed exactly what he was doing. It took a while, but thanks to the amazing photographers that were courtside, I was able to find the perfect shot:
Monta was game though, and he knew the perfect counter move to Henderson's Bear Hug. So Monta went ahead and gave him the ol' Irish Whip into the top turnbuckle. Unfortunately that was the exact moment that the refs remembered that they were officiating an NBA game, and not Wrestlemania. They blew the whistle and that meant it was Bobcats ball with 8.5 left to play. It looked like the Warriors had blown it. Charlotte had all the momentum, and only needed a two point shot to take the lead.
In a situation like this you need a player that doesn't buckle under pressure. You need a player who instead of wilting, will in fact thrive under pressure. Better yet, the Bobcats have a player that makes love to pressure!
Hey Stack Jack! Next time you get all dressed up for a date with Pressure, don't forget one of these...
Happy New Year!!!
Hey, what better way to kick off your New Years Eve celebrations than with a Warriors win? Go ahead and tell us what the rest of your plans are for tonight, and maybe drop a Warriors New Years Resolution or two.