Seriously, what other word is there to describe tonight's game? We knew how important this game was! We know how important EVERY game is! So what could possess us to walk into Arco with no fire in our eyes, brick threes, whiff free throws, play dismal defense, and allow Sac to break open a lead to 23 on their way to dropping a 40 point quarter on us?!
This fool was lights out tonight.
Well as long as we're attempting to answer that little enigma, we might as well tackle these:
a) The reason that that one lady at the gym keeps showing up in spandex. Seriously. Look in a mirror.
b) The amount of licks it ACTUALLY takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. (And it's not three you damn cheatin' owl.)
c) The reason you always have to park really far away when you are in The City only to walk past a wide open spot as you head into your destination.
I think you can see where I'm going with this. I have no explanation for our lack of motivation tonight. And from the look on our boys' faces as the 4th quarter clock ticked to zero, neither do they.
Misery loves company. Let's JUMP off this cliff together.
I have to say, the first quarter of tonight's game was really symbolic of the type of game that the Warriors have cultivated this season. Despite their shortcomings, the Dubs wouldn't have 41 wins at this point in the season if they hadn't found ways to compensate for their flaws. For example, this Warriors team isn't exactly first team all defense. Instead of attempting to be something that they aren't, they play to their strengths; speed, agility, and the ability to score. Consequently, they have become one of the most offensively explosive teams in the league.
The first quarter of this game was an exhibit of all of those things. The Dubs were able to walk away from the first having shot 60% from the field with Boom having already put down 12 points and 4 dimes as well as Beans and TMNT going for 6 a piece. The problem was, the Kings were looking just as good. Kevin Martin took us for 10 himself, Ron Ron for 7, Warrior Killer Mikki Moore for 6, and in the end, the Kings were only down by 2 with a 52% shooting quarter themselves!
Now aside from the Kings playing at the top of their game, Jax somehow racked up 3 fouls in the first. While it's tough to complain about the performance from our bench in his absence, it's hard to ignore the fact that we are a very different team with Jax riding the pine rather than exhibiting his energy on the court. Wasn't the reason that we lost by any means... but it probably didn't help.
As the second quarter progressed, the Warriors and the Kings played out an epic battle of scoring that would result in 21 lead changes in the first half. It was only with about a minute left in the half that the Kings "opened" the lead up to a whopping 4 points; the biggest lead of the night at that point. Both teams were showing signs of struggling from the charity stripe (although the Warriors more so) but this is where the similarities in their shooting accuracies ended. The Kings continued their lights out shooting from the field ending the half at 55%, while the Warriors began a downward slide ending at 49%. As the game clock in the first half ticked down, the keen eye could see the Warriors beginning to unravel. The Kings began to out crash us at an embarrassing pace on the glass and out dash us to nail what seemed like alley-oop after alley-oop after alley-oop. Our defense was falling apart and it felt like we were saved by the bell when the halftime buzzer sounded.
THIS fool was lights out tonight too!
Aaaaand then the third came around. With the game so close in the first half of this game, it felt like something had to give. As the third got underway, it seemed as if all of our ghosts from the past came back to haunt us all at the same time. Think back to all of the games where the Warriors were playing an opponent that they should have won only to barely squeak by with a win. What were all of the factors that led to the Warriors having such close games with all of those teams? Poor defense that allowed the other team to score easy buckets on limitless drives? Check. Poor shooting from the field and beyond? Check. Wasted opportunities from the charity stripe? Check. Letting their opponents control the tempo of the game? Check.
It all came back to haunt us tonight. The Kings cracked open a tight game to a 23 point lead at one point. When the dust settled, they were up 101 to 82, having scored 40 points in the third to our 25. By the time that the Warriors had mustered enough energy to mount any sort of a comeback, the Kings had already put us in their rearview mirror. Despite whittling the Kings' lead down in the 4th, they had no problem mounting their own run and putting this game away with a comfortable 17 point lead.
This fool was.... well actually this fool is just a fool...
So here we are. I'd say that reality is setting in but that would make it seems as though the Warriors have been naïve about the importance of winning up until now. I know that simply is not true. In the end, I guess we're just left with remorse, and the hope that this loss will help us quickly correct some of the flaws that lead us to this outcome. This is a team we should have beat at a time that we should have delivered. We're extremely fortunate that Denver and Dallas both lost as well tonight, yet on the other hand unfortunate that we blew such a great opportunity to advance our current standing in the Wild Wild West.
I hope that this isn't a game we have to soon look back on with more regret than we have right now. Any you know exactly what I mean by that.
Finally, someone who was actually lights out for us!
(Photos by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images and AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)