Seriously, I don't know if my heart can take it anymore. Our inability to break a lead open and run away with a game (aside from the Bobcats game of course) is really starting to become a concern.
Are we spoiled? Should we be this cynical about our team when we just hit 10 games above .500?! Well, yes. Yes we should.
A shining star.
The Warriors have developed a talent for playing to the exact level of the team that are facing. It's this talent that has handed us losses to Minnesota and Chicago, and it's this talent that has allowed us to beat San Antonio. Simply put, any team can beat us, and we can beat any team. This statement has been proven time and time again for this Warriors team. We are by far the most irregular team in the league.
In the end, it leaves a fan wondering whether he/she should be celebrating this volatility or fearing it.
I think after a game like last night's, I can confidently say that I fear it. Our 48 minute streakiness has left us with more bad than good so far and we are in desperate need of the one element that always seems just out of our reach.
Take a jump with me and let's open this Pandora's Box.
Last night's game served as a textbook example of the lack of control that has been plaguing this Warriors team. Incidentally, in case you haven't figured it out, this isn't going to be a champagne cork-popping recap celebrating our close victory. I love that we were able to put tonight in the W column (shameless plug) but like a proud parent, I want the best for this team. I think most of you can agree that there is some cause for concern.
Right now, when the team has a good record, discussions on this topic will yield clear and somewhat rational analysis of what can be done. If this style of play continues, all it will take is a few hard road trips to whittle away our record. At that point, rationality will be out of the window and rash moves will be taken to slap band-aids on bruises that have been around for a long time. No one wants to see that happen.
Okay, that's all I'll say about that. I'm not Nellie and I have no solutions. In fact, the only thing I have in common with Nellie is my love for cheap domestic beer. So if I ever meet him, I have a conversation starter. I imagine our interaction would go something like this.
Me(slapping Nellie's back): "Hey Nellie! So how good is Bud Light, huh?!"
Nellie: "Don't touch me."
One thing I'll give our boys tonight was that they overcame the slow start. Monta, Boom, and Jax were all on point offensively, with each of them slipping in a cool 6 points. It was clear from the start, however, that Baron's shooting touch was off, but his quick hands weren't. He walked away from the 1st with 3 jacks.
His steals combined with the fact that the Kings dipped their hands in Crisco before the game led to 7 turnovers for the Kings in the first, a stat that allowed us our 9 point lead despite dismal shooting (both from the field and the charity stripe.)
It was after the 1st quarter that things started to get a little sloppy. Free throws were missed, Baron's poor shooting continued, Salmons started filling out a Warrior Killer application, and the Kings went on a 12-2 run that whittled down our lead.
No clue coach! They just keep letting me score!
2nd quarter bright spot: Monta Ellis's midrange jumper is butter. He has got to be turning heads all over the league with the way he has been playing.
2nd quarter dark spot: Evidently getting crowded and smacked in the face is now grounds for a technical foul. Shame on you Biedrins. Crappy call by the blue. That's all I'll say about that.
3rd quarter bright spot #1: Artest makes a steal, dunks the ball, starts beating his chest like Donkey Kong after nailing Mario with a well timed barrel... and gets a T. Look at the bright side Ron Ron, at least it wasn't a close game! Oh wait...
3rd quarter bright spot #2: Jackson, you are a BEAST. After a nasty roll of the ankle (seriously, did they have to keep showing that?!) you hobbled off to the bench, rubbed some `Tussin on it, and continued your reign of terror.
3rd quarter dark spot #1: Take your pick. We had to fight at the end just to walk away tied. The Kings owned us this quarter.
3rd quarter dark spot #2: Mp2. Out of bounds. `Nuff said.
So the 4th began just as the game did. Even footing. The Warriors responded like, well, Warriors, getting 4 key steals and 9 offensive boards in the 4th alone. Baron (playing with 5 fouls) and Ellis were clutch on the glass, giving us valuable 2nd and third chances that allowed us to balloon our lead. In the meanwhile, Monta was on another planet, putting down 16 points in the final quarter. He literally carried the team. In the end, however, we were all treated ulcer inducing free throws as the Kings strategically whittled themselves within striking distance as the game clock wound down.
The Kings are not a bad team by any means. They are most certainly not in the same realm of poor quality teams like the Wolves or the Bulls. But there were opportunities last night for the Warriors to run away with the lead and never look back. I love that we got this win; but I think we'll all be able to rest a little easier when they figure out how to control a game for 4 quarters rather than 1 or 2. Only then can they truly be unstoppable. Baby. And yes. That was yet another shameless plug.
Can there be any doubt? Monta was everywhere at once last night! I love watching this kid grow up. I love his mid range jumper. I love his speed. I love his incredible finishes at the rim. Most importantly, I love that he's ours.
I also love Lucky Charms. Little off topic, but whatever.