Uh-oh - Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Panic button remains unpushed, for now.
Well, you know, the good news is that we didn't lose.
The Warriors played an 18-36 team who was playing the second half of a road back to back. We got the win. Yay?
The hallmark of the Warrior losing streak was terrible defense. The Suns shot 48% from the field and 53% from deep. Inspired yet?
The team still features the questionable fourth-quarter offense which too often took the ball out of Curry's hands. A typical possession would start with Jack handling the ball, Curry running off a screen, the play not working, and Jack trying to make something happen. Secondary action in the offense was frequently nonexistent. Feel the excitement?
Klay was good in the first quarter. He had some bonehead plays - missed a tough layup, bobbled away an easy rebound late. Hooray?
The Warriors deserve some credit. They had a must-win game and they won. Of course, it was a must-win game because the Suns are terrible. Make no mistake: the Warriors did not play well enough to beat a good team tonight.
I'm tempted to give it to Steph Curry for his game-saving five points when the Suns made a run in the 4th and Warrior fans were losing faith. That was the first moment when it stopped feeling like the game was going to slip away. He had double-double and a couple of reminders that the Warriors are just better with the ball is his hands. (You don't see other teams doubling Jarrett Jack to make him give it up, now, do you?).
And David Lee had a pretty good game. 19 efficient points, 11 boards, and five assists. Effort, if not always results, on defense. Could give it to him.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 28 points, needing only 18 shots to get there. He also had only two turnovers and played tough D. On the other hand, he missed some gimmies, when the Suns were making a run, passed out of a layup with the shot clock winding down, and fumbled away a could-have-been crucial defensive rebound. I don't want to underplay his contribution, but he was pretty frustrating in the second half. The Warriors ended their losing streak, but Klay continued his of not quite being good enough to get some WW's under his belt.
Because I'm giving it to Andrew Bogut.
Make no mistake. Despite the end of the restriction on back-to-backs, despite the fact that he can play more minutes, Bogut is not 100%. This was most obvious on his a couple of missed jump hooks, where everything was coming up short - characteristic of a player who's not getting the push off his legs that he expects. He also passed up a couple of interior dunk attempts which should have been easy points. Heck, he admitted it was a problem in his postgame interview with Jim Barnett.
And I wouldn't give Bogut the Warrior Wonder just for his stellar defense. Yes, he had three blocks and two steals- he changed half a dozen other shots, and consistently made the Suns' shots harder inside. His eleven rebounds in 28 minutes made a huge difference.
Bogut gets the WW for the passing. He had a drive-and-dish. Five assists overall. Shades of a point-center, high-post oriented offense. I'm not sure when we're going to see him really, truly 100%, but every game he plays like this I know it's going to be beautiful when it happens. Bogut in the high post is going to give us a strong option to run the offense when teams force the ball out of Curry's hands, without having to rely on Jack.
Now the team has to gear up for another tough stretch. San Antonio at home and then a bunch of road games. This win stopped the bleeding, the patient is still in the hospital. The Warriors won tonight, but they have not solved their defensive woes.
Being a Warrior fan, this whole "discouraging win" thing is new. Haven't felt one of those in a while. But when all is said and done, we're 31-23. We're closer to the 4th seed, and a first-round home court advantage, than we are to the 9th seed. As uninspiring a win as this was - and boy, it sure was uninspiring - It sure beats a loss.