You see what happens when you focus at the charity stripe?! See what happens when you play D with a sense of urgency?! You see what happens when you BELIEVE?!!!
Well for one thing, you can brick a bunch of 3's and walk away with a win. You can get a string of questionable calls from the refs and walk away with a win.
Their excellent work from the line and exquisite D was no luxury tonight. It was a necessity. And it brought us to .500. It brought us to a 4 game winning streak. It brought us to 8th place in the Western Conference. Go ahead and have yourself a smile. We'll wait.
Feels good doesn't it?
Overall, I'm extremely pleased with some of the things that I saw on the court tonight. It's really easy to give the Warriors a hard time about bricking so many 3's, but in the wake of a game where so many other things were done properly, let's simply take it for what it is. On any ordinary night, we live by our 3's and die by our 3's. It's who our Warriors are. But tonight...
Tonight we seemed to decide that despite losing our ability to sink a long bomb, we weren't going down. That game was won by the will of our boys on the court tonight. We wanted it more than the Kings. And we got it.
It used to be an odd thing to see; the Warriors out-willing their opponents. Fortunately, it's something that I feel is becoming more common. We've certainly seen it from Monta over the past 4 games. Opening his season with a slump, Monta was quiet just long enough to worry all of us (admit it). In the deepest time of our concern, however, he woke up and found his role. It would seem that Nelson utilizing him in more of a shooting guard capacity, rather than at the point, is really allowing him to explore his offensive potential.
More importantly, it's allowing his defenders to wonder to themselves exactly how damn fast he really is. In a few short games, Ellis has gone from gaining his confidence back, to robbing our opponents of theirs. Go on. Smile again. We'll wait.
Monta: "I warned you not to blink."
We've seen passion from Biedrins as well. Tonight, Andris didn't miss a beat. His hands were quick, his timing was right, and he was grabbing some much needed boards. How many times tonight did we see Biens' freakishly long arm extend from a pack of players and gain us a possession? In a game that ran as tight as this, that effort was a life saver. He's stacking up rodmans in more and more clutch situations. And when he gets that ball down low, a high percentage shot is exactly that in his hands. High percentage.
What does all of this spell? Double Double. Hell he's almost averaging one. (10.8pts, 9.5reb) Did I mention that he sometimes uses those giant arms to reject opponents too? No? Oh. Cuz he did it 4 times tonight.
"Yo, lemme get a Biedrins - Animal Style with whole grilled onions, fries - animal style, and a shake."
Speaking of clutch situations... Cap'n Jack! When no one could make anything happen, Jackson lined us up with back to back 3's that gave us the lead in crunch time. I don't even need to talk about the passion Jack has brought to the Warriors since his return. His energy is infectious out there. (I so rarely get to use the word "infectious" in a good way.)
Despite slightly slower performances tonight, we cannot discount the energy that is brought by Boom (MVP), Harrington (TMNT), Kabuki, and Barnes. Particularly Barnes, who played tonight under circumstances that I can't even begin to imagine. As far as I'm concerned, Barnes put up a stellar performance from the moment he put on his jersey and stepped onto the court. Everything else he did after that was an added benefit.
So let's talk about the D for second. I think we an all agree that what we saw on the floor tonight, (especially in the 4th quarter) was nothing short of stellar. The Warriors did a tremendous job of sticking close and limiting the Kings' ball movement. As a result, the Kings couldn't get a shot off without one of our guys breathing down their neck. It was a beautiful, beautiful thing. Limiting the Kings to 14 points and 2 field goals in the fourth allowed us to make offensive mistakes of our own, yet never lose control of the game. We played them tight on D until one of our boys got his hot hand back (*cough* Jackson), then we rode that lead until the clock struck zero.
Other than that, props go out to all the Dubs for nailing their free throws (I don't need to tell you what poor charity shooting would have meant in this tight game), K-Mart for being a baller in general, and the good people at FSN for reminding me of how much I enjoy listening to Warrior games on the radio. Especially because I had no choice in the 2nd quarter.
This is actually a tough one to hand out. Jax came out in the clutch with his 3's, Monta continued his offensive reign of terror, and Biedrins notched a double double, 4 swats, and even 3 dimes! I think I'm going to go with Andris on this one. He so rarely gets the award and overall, he got it done from both ends tonight. What are your thoughts on the Warrior Wonder?