The game started out as well as any Andrew Bogut homecoming game could allow. Bogut started off on Larry Sanders and obliterated him on the defensive end. Sanders was shooting turnaround airballs and his spin moves were slamming into a brick wall. And on the other end, Bogut finished a couple layups and made several nifty passes (including a behind-the-back dime to Klay Thompson under the basket). It wasn't an extra level of energy thing but just a reinforced fact that a healthy Bogut is a damn good player.
As for the game itself, the Golden State Warriors came out in about the same way they did against the Washington Wizards; little defense, some turnovers, some flashy stuff, and a whole lot of David Lee. The two-time ALL-STAR has been a beast the past month and carried it over to tonight's game against the likes of Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders. The patented right-handed dribble into right shoulder spin into a lefty finish was there all night. It's almost as if he shoots it before he even looks at the basket; speaking to the familiarity with which he knows his move and the comfortability he has in executing it. Lee even closed on several Ersan jumpers, forcing him to either dribble or hurry a shot. All in all, another consistently great game from the much-maligned power forward.
The Warriors led by two after five straight turnovers to end the first half. Worrisome, but this team turns it on whenever they feel like, it seems. And in the third quarter, similar to the Wizards game. the Warriors went on a massive +17 run and put the game away.
Steph Curry is now shooting worse than 40% from 3. Looking outside to see if the world still exists.— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) January 8, 2014
That's not good. According to Synergy Sports, Curry is shooting around relatively the same numbers as last season on isolations and spot-up threes. The difference has been the nearly five-percent drop in shooting percentage in threes off pick-and-rolls. Those types of treys off screens account for over 30 percent of his overall three-point usage. Is it because he's handling the ball more? Fatigue? Whatever it is, it's something to keep an eye on.
Also, from Ethan Strauss, this terrifying thing happened.
2. When Andre Iguodala joined the Warriors, he promised a lot of games revolving around near triple-double numbers. Whether he's been meaning to do it or not, he's taken a little over 5 shots per game since his injury. Before his injury, he was averaging just under 9 shots per game. Of course, we have to take those numbers into context as Stephen Curry was hurt a couple games. Regardless, his 11 point, 7 rebound, 5 assist night seems about the norm for the rest of the season. He's as close to a mini-LeBron as there is in the NBA.
3. I've gone over Bogut's defense ad nauseam on this site but there are many more layers to his game than just defensive rotations and screen-setting. Earlier in the season, he was grabbing rebounds like no other (mostly due to the amount of minutes played). Lately, there's been less opportunity because of the blowout wins and Lee's presence but Bogut's work remains excellent. On a simple missed shot, he realized midair he couldn't grab it with both hands without losing his grip in position so he tapped it off the backboard to the side and re-jumped to secure it with both hands. Like Marc Gasol and Dwight Howard, Bogut has his own subtle little bag of tricks. I'm just glad he's finally had the health and platform to exhibit it.
4. Mark Jackson also chose to run the offense through Bogut on several occasions - though nothing new to the playbook. In the flow of the game, it appeared Bogut saw a weakness in the Bucks defense and went to exploit it. Bogut got the ball on the left post-extended and had Klay Thompson run off a screen to the top while Curry cut backdoor. It's nearly unstoppable when a defense doesn't have any idea what's going on (see: tonight). Using his behind as a screen, Bogut found open shooters and cutters all night long. It also helps when Iguodala is shooting like Curry on the opposite side of the floor.
5. The bench was good today. That's how bad Milwaukee is. The bench was good today.
It also appeared as if Jackson staggered some starters with the subs. But when it's four starters and one sub in (vice versa), it's probably more a testament to the score than the game-plan.