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Recap: Warriors 85, Hornets 86

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This game was relatively easy against the woeful Hornets. Wow what a special year this has been, as the Warriors win again to take solid hold of that 7th playoff spot. Baron Davis and Jason Richardson both played like the potential MVP's that they are, Mike Dunleavy continues his solid play as the 3rd option, and Mickael Pietrus is in the running for 6th man of the year.

That's what this year was supposed to be like. Way back in November after that 12-6 start we all had high hopes for the year that broke the dubious streak. But no, tonight we came into the game hoping for a win to keep the slimmest of playoff chances alive. To get to the playoffs we need to at least get to .500 or 41-41. Right now we're 30-40. So we need to finish 11-1 to have a chance at the playoffs. Ummm, highly unlikely. There's still hope but basically the 8th seed would have to finish at around 38 or 39 wins for the Warriors to have a chance. Any dreams back in November have turned into a nightmare. But let's look at this game, a game the Warriors should have won.

The game started out so well, up 15 in the first quarter, but finishing up only 7 at 29-22 after 1. Then the 2nd quarter started and boy was that rough. The first 3 minutes the Warriors don't score and the Hornets come all the way back from that 15 point deficit. They had all kinds of trouble scoring after the first quarter. They put up a measly 16 in the 2nd, a decent 22 in the 3rd, and only 18 in the 4th. Once again, the Warriors just can't put together a complete game.



I have to give it up to the Hornets though because they're style of play is a scrappy, all-out hustle, and maximizing the talent they have. Even without their 2nd best (David West) and 3rd best (Speedy Claxton) players, they were able to pull out a win. Check out their starting lineup: Chris Paul, Linton Johnson, Rasual Butler, PJ Brown, and Marc Jackson. Aside from Chris Paul, there's more talent on the LSU Tigers and Florida Gators final four teams. But Byron Scott has this team running all over the place, going after loose balls, hitting the offensive glass, and doing all the little things to stay close in a game. Then of course, there's Chris Paul. He's amazing. He can take you off the dribble anytime he wants, and when he does he sucks in all of the defenders and just kicks it out to the open man for a wide open jumper. Rarely does he pass to a guy who is not open. On top of that, he always passes the ball to a spot that the player can just spot up and shoot, they don't have to reach for the ball, it always hits them in the hands. I wish the Warriors had him.
CP3 going strong to the rack


Anyways, my 11 point Warrior win prediction was a little off. Just a little. Poor shooting and allowing 17 offensive rebounds to the Hornets doomed the Warriors. Murphy (4-15), Fisher (6-15), and JRich (6-19) combined to go 16-49 from the field, good for 32.7%. Yuck. On the bright side, Murphy pulled 12 boards, Fisher had 5 assists and a couple steals, and JRich contributed 7 boards and 5 assists. They all shot horrendously. If any of them have a decent shooting night, the Warriors win the game. I hate to do this since he's carried the team recently, but JRich is the star and he's got to shoot better than he has the last 3 games. The Warriors were lucky to win in Sacramento with him shooting so poorly, but it's really cost them the last 2 games. I love the man but I think if he shoots a decent percentage the Warriors have a chance at both games. The same goes for Murphy. He's a good shooter, how does he go 4 for 15? That's inexcusable. And for Fisher, well 40% ain't bad but he's not distributing or creating for people and taking too many forced shots.

Then there was Dunleavy, he seemed to play well in spurts. The beginning of the first quarter it looked like he was going to be on fire after hitting 2 three's and another 2 pointer to get a quick 8 points. After that, he basically disappeared. Then he reappeared in the 3rd quarter to start out well hitting a few jumpers in a row. Then he disappeared until the 4th. In the end he contributed 6 boards, 4 assists, and, nicely, 0 turnovers to go with his 19 points. I was hoping he would shoot more since he was shooting well, but either the ball never got to him or he lost his aggressiveness. He seemed to be aggressive in spurts and couldn't sustain his intensity while he was in the game. That's the thing with this team, when a guy is shooting well, they either stop shooting or nobody passes them the ball. Contrast this to Fisher who just likes to shoot no matter if he's hot or not. I guess he finds it convenient for himself to have the ball all the time as the point guard. It's like since the ball is in his hands he has to shoot and not setup the hot hand. It's frustrating to see this happen every game.

Monta was impressive in the first half with athletic drives to the hoop and a couple jumpers. He really forced the Hornets to react to him and respect his drive. Unfortunately in the 2nd half he looked like a rookie with some bad shots and also got caught in the air unable to shoot or pass resulting in a turnover. He had an impressive near dunk as he drove the lane and elevated on PJ Brown, but he got fouled. 2 easy points right? No, he missed both free throws. He's still young and I'm loving his fearlessness and aggressiveness, but he has a long way to go.

Lastly, this was a game I thought Ike could have done well in given the poor interior of the Hornets. Marc Jackson is not a good defender and PJ Brown is not as quick as Ike. But he only played 10 minutes and shot 2-3. Except for one series where Foyle got 2 blocks, he seemed just too slow down there to match the intensity of the Hornets. I thought that if Ike gets in there with his athleticism he can match up well with their bigs. He even had an amazing block on Aaron Williams, completely stuffing him at the rim even as Aaron Williams pushed off with his off arm. Too bad Ike didn't get more minutes, I think he could have had a nice game.

What could have been if this season had panned out. We'd be looking at a 7 seed and a potential first round matchup against the Suns. Well there's always the lottery (again).


She's FANtastic. (Source: budster.net)
Warrior Wonder: Nobody really stood out tonight, so nobody gets the award. Actually I'll give it to our default Warrior Wonder, Ms. Alba, just because she tries so hard in all of her movies yet never seems to make a good one. It's all about effort I tell you.