Nothing comes easy in Warrior-land. Nothing.
"Who the hell is this Ellis kid?!"
Let me put this in perspective. Boom racked up an incredible triple-double tonight. Monta hit his career high with an outrageous 39 point performance. TMNT dipped his ice cold hand in a cauldron of fire and rained 3 after 3 after three in the third and fourth, ending with 19 after a very slow start. Jax restrained himself from downtown (in a manner of speaking) and played a more reserved higher percentage post game.
And we still only won this game by 2 points! Hell even in the waning seconds of the game with a 5 point lead, Nachbar BANKS a 3-pointer to bring it within 2?! WHY?!
Because it is our destiny. As Warriors fans, I'm finally convinced that we will never be able to sit back and relax. We will never be able to change the channel after the 3rd because our game is "in the bag". We are forever destined to pull at our hairs, clench our fists, yell at our televisions, pray for free throws, offer high fives up to our dogs, weep like little children, and every so often on a night like tonight, throw our fists in the air in triumph.
Yea... I wouldn't have it any other way. Make the jump and decide for yourself.
For the purposes of this recap, I'm going to forget about my feelings on how the Warriors should be dominating the Nets. This is far easier for me to do than with almost any other sub .500 team because I'm not entirely convinced that we should be able to step on the court and dispose of New Jersey anytime we want. On paper, the Nets have a very respectable team and I'm not entirely sure that their now 18-24 record reflects their threat level.
That being said, I think it's safe to say that tonight's game was an emotional rollercoaster. For a channel that bears the slogan "We Know Drama", TNT could not have picked a better game to air on national television. And yes, I fully acknowledge that I wouldn't say that last sentence if the game swung in the Nets' direction.
But it didn't.
So I did.
First and foremost, it was great to see the Warriors actually come out in the first quarter with a spark. After so many 1st quarters wasted in recent games, Monta was in superb form with 12 points on 6 for 9 shooting, Boom was already carving into his triple double with 3 boards, 4 dimes, and 7 points, Jax had 5 and Barnsie had 6. And we saw that it was good.
As the 2nd quarter came on, our boys continued their efficiency on the floor, but it was truly the Vinsanity show out there. I have to be honest; in recent years I had not been fortunate enough to catch Vince back in his prime form. Even tonight, in the wake of his 29 point smack-down, the announcers could pass up a chance to talk about the decline in Carter's game. (A fact that many of you astutely pointed out in tonight's open thread!)
Granted the only time I really get a chance to watch Vince is when he is on local TV but tonight Carter was in rare form. His final play aside, he was making some crazy buckets out there so mad props to Vinsanity. Its performances like tonight from players like him that make me want to order League Pass. Unfortunately, "want" and "afford" are two different things.
"Spare some change for NBA League Pass?"
In the 3rd quarter, things got a little... um... interesting. Had we lost this game tonight, you can be sure that far more of this recap would be dedicated to events that transpired in the 3rd. Actually, there's a pretty good chance that this will be the case despite the win.
Let me just start by saying that Josh Boone's air balled free throw was the one of the greatest thing I had ever seen in my life. I'm talking about finding a $20 bill in your jacket pocket great. I'm talking about a Zachary's Stuffed Spinach and Mushroom pie great. I may not be able to hit a free throw to save my life, but I damn sure promise you that I can hit the rim 100 out of 100 times. Hell if that's what it took to get into the NBA, sign me up and give me a shoe deal! (Air Hash has a nice ring to it!)
Oh yea. It was THAT good. Almost...
But all joking aside, Boone's poor free throw shooting does bring into question Nellie's tactic of instantly fouling the kid every time the Nets had a possession. At the time that Nellie sent in Marco to hack away at this poor dejected soul (how frustrated with Boone with the whole ordeal?), the Nets weren't exactly running away with the game. Which begs the questions, "How necessary was it to execute a tactic like this?" Again, many of you echoed my exact thoughts in the Open Thread, indicating that Nellie was inadvertently slowing down the tempo of the game. And not in our favor.
At the end of the whole fouling ordeal, Boone walked away a slightly better free throw shooter, the Dubs walked away down by 8, and the rhythm of our players was thrown off for the remainder of the quarter. One can only assume that Nellie's hacking tactic stemmed from his lack of faith in our ability to defend a Nets possession. In one hand he has our defense; in the other, a 30-something percent free throw shooter. Ironically, our most dismal defense seemed to rear its ugly head immediately after the fouling had subsided.
As the 3rd came to a close, Carter, and Jefferson (combining for 20+ points in the 3rd alone) lead the Nets to an 8 point lead and we were all left with the all too familiar feeling of, "Dear god... not again..."
But the 4th quarter... the 4th was the quarter of heroes. With brick after brick and turnovers at key times, the Warriors went on an amazing 22 - 0 run and in doing so, brought out their most potent weapon yet. The crowd.
The Arena was electric, and the Dubs were feeding right off of it. Even after the Nets pulled their own little mini run, Monta and Kabuki stepped to the plate and did what all good teams need to do in the waning seconds of a close game. THEY MADE THEIR FREE THROWS!! (You see how easy that was?!)
All in all, tonight was a refreshing win. Big ups to the Nets for yet another great matchup and most importantly...
ENORMOUS PROPS FOR TO TONY.PSD FOR GETTING HIS CHARLES BARKLEY SIGN ON TNT! (see open thread!) For those of you that missed it, I'm not talking about his sign being in the background shot of some sweeping camera shot. These guys filmed a close-up of his sign and aired it right after the second quarter ended as they were talking about the halftime show. And to add to it, Sir Charles himself was talking about how much he dug the sign as they were showing it!
It's always a proud day for us when one of the crew gets a little national exposure so feel free to echo my congratulations to Tony in the comments.
Ellis goes for a career high 39 points while Boom chalks in a triple double with 12 boards, 10 dimes and 25 points? If this isn't a tie, I don't know what is. What do you think?! (Cap tip to TMNT for heating up at the right time tonight!)