If you want to focus on the negative and see an astonishing Warrior Wonder, then... JUMP!
I'm sorry, but this outing by the Warriors was absolutely painful to watch. As much as Stephen Jackson was clutch (more on our old friend- old, meaning not our friend anymore- later), the Warriors lost this one on their own because of sloppiness and stupidity. Again, I'm sorry. There's no other way to put it. There are ZERO positives to take from this game. To focus on the positives after a game like that would be a disservice and borderline propaganda. I believe in moral vicitories, but that's not what happened here. So onwards with the negatives and we'll spread the responsibility for this disaster to everyone involved:
- The Warriors were up by 16 late in the 3rd quarter, but lost by 8 at the final buzzer in OT. Doing the math, that means the Bobcats caused a 24 point turnaround in the span of about 20 minutes on the road in a fairly hostile environment. That's terrible. This Warriors team is NOT going to the playoffs.
- There was so much not to like about Monta Ellis tonight. You could make a good argument that he shot the Warriors out of the game by going 6 for 24 and not letting Stephen Curry do his thing scoring-wise. There is something really wrong with Ellis, Coach Keith Smart, and Curry for Monta to get 21 points on 24 shots and Curry to get 27 on 12 shots. It's called in-game adjustments and the Warriors didn't make any. Ellis' 5 turnovers were silly, but even sillier was his 3 point foul on Stephen Jackson in the closing minute of the 4th quarter. Just dumb.
- Stephen Curry shot the ball extremely well and looked aggressive on offense (well, as much as he could with Ellis and Smart holding him back), but his turnovers are what I'll take away from this game. His 2 turnovers in OT (one getting trapped in the left sideline and another a lazy interior pass to David Lee) really cost the Warriors any chance of coming through in the extended period. His turnovers need to go down if he's going to be a full time point guard in this league. If not he's just a combo guard that fouls and turns the ball over way too much.
- Another piece of the puzzle that was missing was David Lee. When he walks away 6 for 8 and Monta walks away 6 for 24 there's a problem. Get this man the rock so he can score. Defensively I have no idea what Lee was doing out there especially in the latter part of the game. He was picking up Biedrins-like fouls and playing Biedrins-like soft D.
- Andris Biedrins was finally aggressive attacking the rim. I saw some spin moves that I never even knew he had near the rim. It was Ike Diogu-esque if you will. It was the 46th game of the season and Biedrins' second double-double of the season. His 5 fouls and zero trips to the free throw line (yes, it is a good idea to get opposing players especially bigs in free throw trouble- which he simply doesn't) have become too commonplace.
- Kwame Brown averages 7.2 ppg, but of course he gets a highly efficient 12 points against Biedrins and the Warriors.
- Ekpe Udoh continues to scare me with his depressing rebounding rate. If that's Coach Smart's reason for not giving him more playing time I can somewhat sympathize.
- It's been two nights later, but I still have nightmares of Vladimir Radmanovic's absolutely idiotic unforced turnover in the closing minute of the game in the Warriors back court. There's a reason Nellie never gave him any playing time.
- D.J. Augustin is simply not 27 points, 12 assists, and 4 steals good. Ellis, Curry, Reggie Williams, and Acie Law really screwed up there.
- If you had to convince me to be positive about this game, Dorell Wright's outing is the only thing I'd like to remember. He had a very balanced 21-6-6 game.
I'll readily admit I was booing our old Captain tonight. Hey, he deserved it. Post- Malice at the Palace NO ONE wanted anything to do with Stephen Jackson. NO ONE. But Chris Mullin, Don Nelson, Robert Rowell, Chris Cohan, the Warriors organization, and Warriors fans gave this guy a second chance. Stephen Jackson wasn't perfect, but initially he responded with a mostly appreciative effort. Jack was a good man in the community and on the court thanks to Nellie he took his game to career highs. WE BELIEVE never happens without Captain Jack.
But then Captain Jack turned into Captain Jack--- (it's a family show, so we'll leave it at that). After providing his John Hancock on a contract (and a very silly one) from Rowell, his ego and sense of entitlement grew out of proportion. Jack was NOT a leader or mentor and essentially whined his way out of here claiming that he was a "winner" (more like "whiner") despite foregoing the option for free agency and signing up to play for a known loser just for some cold hard cash. Now there's nothing wrong with being all about the Benjamins, but there is in going after the dollars and then disrespecting the people who showed you love. I'm simplifying things here and glossing over some key details in interests of brevity, but let's just say Warrior fans had every reason to boo him loudly Friday night. He dissed us.
On Friday night Stephen Jackson did to us what he used to do for us. There was the whining. There was the immaturity. There was the sloppy play. There was the poor shooting.
But there was also the fire. And of course the clutchness. Stephen Jackson is this game's Warrior Wonder.
31 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 1 bank shot 3 pointer to send the game into overtime, and more hot shooting in OT.
It's really too bad Captain Jack--- pulled a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.