A win? Looks like Atma Brother 1's prediction of a 4 point win came true. This was a must win game coming up against one of the worst teams in the league. Even though the Warriors struggled to beat a team they should have had no trouble with, it doesn't matter because a win is a win and I'll take them any way they come. Tonight, JRich was a warrior in every sense of the term. He wasn't even supposed to play tonight due to his badly twisted left ankle, but he knew the Warriors needed him tonight. So, he limped around the court for the first 46 minutes scoring 14 points and giving his all as he always does, but he seemed to be holding back a little. Then for the last 2 minutes, it was like Superman came out to play to put the game away. Earlier in the year, I questioned whether or not he could come through in the clutch and he answered that question with an emphatic "Yes" tonight. JRich scored 11 points in those final 2 minutes hitting jumpers, runners, and his kryptonite, free throws. The biggest, most impressive shot of them all came when Orlando had just scored and were within 4. On the next possession, he gets blocked by Grant Hill, gets the ball back thanks to Biedrins and then manages to hit a shot clock beating, fade away baseline jumper with about 40 seconds left. Those are the kind of shots that make you go "Wow" and realize that JRich could become an elite player. He even hit 3 of 4 free throws in the last 30 seconds to help put the game away. He's carrying this team right now with Baron out and putting up big time numbers.
|Not to be missed either were Troy Murphy's 20 rebounds and 14 points and Derek Fisher's 18 points and 10 assists, his second consecutive "In n' Out #1" (Check Hash's recap for the reference).
Anybody know what's wrong with MP2? He's had 4 consecutive bad games. This time he scored 11 points (4-8 free throws) and did not record a rebound or assist. Like Atma Bro said, he misses Baron and how Baron's able to create for him and run the break with him. It's that and possibly the league starting to know how to play him more. I'm glad Monty's sticking with him as the starter, but he's got to play much better, right now he's awful. The lone bright spot yesterday was his big three in the 4th quarter.
One note about the Warriors offense yesterday, is that they were moving exceptionally well without the ball. They had 15 assists on 19 made field goals. There were a lot of cuts to the basket for wide open layups or uncontested short jumpers. Good to see Monty know that the offense has become a little stagnant without Baron and to implement some new plays.
|Mike Dunleavy and his increasing bald spot, scores over Keyon Dooling. He had an efficient night scoring 12 off the bench on 4-8 FG's and 3-3 free throws.|
The win pulls the Warriors within 2 games of the 8th playoffs spot and a matchup with the Lakers on Friday to possibly get within a game of the final spot. Being within 2 games is nice, but they have 4 teams in front of them to beat, Lakers, Kings, Jazz, Wolves. They just need to put on a solid run against some of the lesser teams coming up then manage to squeak out some wins against the better teams. Perhaps having Baron on the bench for the past few games will refresh him for a big time push towards the finish.
This is just a cool picture. Ike's line yesterday? 0 minutes, 2 points, 2 fouls.
By the way, this was one of those fouls.
Warrior Wonder Jason Richardson. 25 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, and the best Willis Reed imitation I've seen in a long time.