A view from the Mavericks side of things
Best team in the NBA? Hah! 17 game win streak? Hah! Get out of our house! This is the Bay, don't bring that weak game here. The Mavs weren't even close tonight. I was skeptical before the game, but now I'm a believer, We own the Mavs!
Usually it's the Warriors who look like this
The Dubs were up 13 at the half but it kept growing in the 3rd. Everyone was waiting for a big run from the Mavs but it never came. Even Barnett said something along the lines of keeping a 24 to 28 point lead at the end of the 3rd. It was like he expected the Warriors to let the Mavs back in the game, but that just never happened. The Warriors controlled the game from the start of the 2nd quarter until the end. The lead even reached 31 points in the 4th. They put their foot on the accelerator and never let go.
Monta can't help but laugh
BD's laughing at you, Mavericks.
Hercules! Hercules! Hercules!
This was a near perfect game for the Warriors. Check that, it was a near perfect 3 quarters for the Warriors because that's all they really needed to put the "best team in the NBA" in their place. The Warriors shots 57% from the field vs 42% for the Mavs. They forced a ridiculous 23 Maverick turnovers and had just 14 themselves. The most impressive feat of this game is not as noticeable in the boxscore, the defense. They were everywhere tonight. It was organized chaos. At times it felt like the Warriors had 6 guys on the court because they were in every passing lane, contesting every shot, and basically were everywhere. They had 13 steals but that doesn't tell the whole story. Stephen Jackson gave Dirk Nowitzki fits all night. He's so long that he contested his shots and didn't let Dirk get a clean look. Notice the numbers on Dirk, 3-11 from the field, 7 turnovers. How about Josh Howard, 5-15 from the field. It was like he didn't exist this game. Their two big scorers got absolutely shut down after the first quarter. Dirk had 10 in the first and finished with 13 overall and I don't think Howard scored in the 2nd half. It was an absolutely wonderful job by the Warriors on defense, something I haven't seen all season.
Tough D on Dirk
All of the starters came up big as four of them scored exactly 16 points. Baron with 9 points was the only starter not in double digits. But he contributed so much more. In just 23 minutes he really ran the show setting up players to the tune of 7 assists and scrambling on D. Then there was Al Harrington shooting a perfect 5-5 from the field. Andris Biedrins said he could do better, so he went and shot 8-8 from the field. Stephen Jackson was huge tonight. His D was amazing and he also shot 6-10 from the field. JRich was the man though. His whole floor game was stellar and it looks like we're seeing a new and improved JRich. He shot just 6-15, but had 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals and a block. In other words, he was all over the place. The bench was ridiculous too. Monta, Barnes, and especially Pietrus. Each of those guys made hustle plays and made sure that when the starters left the game, the team didn't drop off.
Dirk's new rebounding technique
The only thing that troubled me tonight was the rebounding, 50 for the Mavericks, 28 for the Warriors. It wasn't a big deal because the Warriors were hitting everything and scoring so many points off of turnovers. I'm not sure how often this happens, but the Warriors had more assists than rebounds, 31-28.
Just like the every game, we have to take it one game at a time. There's still a long way to go, but we're now tied with the Kings for 9th in the West, just 1 game out of the 8th playoff spot. Go Warriors!
And finally, my favorite highlight of the game was the Monta Ellis "And 1." It was sick. We'll try to find a video of it, but for those who missed the shot, here's a quick recap. Monta cut baseline and got a caught a nice bounce pass from Baron. He took a hard dribble towards the rim, elevated just outside the key and the rest was pure magic. It was one of those plays where you don't know how he did it, but damn it sure was pretty. After launching himself in the air, Monta glided towards the rim only to be met by former lazy Warrior, Erick Dampier. Monta absorbed the hit, stayed in the air as Damp came back down and somehow, somehow ended up on the other side of the rim to lay the ball up off the glass with some serious English on it. Bucket good plus the foul! The crowd exploded and the arena was going absolutely nuts. I still have no idea how he hung in the air long enough to get knocked by Damp, and lay the ball off the glass like he meant to do it. Monta's 06-07 highlight reel just got another entry.
We're breaking in the new Warrior Wonder logo tonight courtesy of RonG. I think the entire Warrior team knew that tonight's winner would be the inaugural winner with the new logo so everyone played hard trying to get the top honors. That's why it's so difficult to choose the winner. I have to give it to JRich for his overall floor game tonight. He was everywhere. He was all over the ball handlers, crashing the boards, stepping in passing lanes, and providing 16 points. Is he back? I wasn't sure at first, but after he keeps putting up solid games back to back to back, you have to think that the JRich we all loved last year is going to be here for the rest of the season.
Update: Video Recap from NBA.com (need Windows Media Player) - thanks jam3rz