Well, I know what I supposed to say right now. I'm supposed to rhetorically ask what was really expected? Then, I remind myself that it was the Lakers, a team that only has 6 losses; the fewest in all of the NBA. Right after that I'm supposed to applaud our boys for putting the scare into the Lakers; after all it is what I asked them to do in the Open Thread.
But the truth is, deep down this loss hurts just as much as any loss. One the ball was tipped off and we proved that we could hang with these guys, it didn't matter what jerseys they were wearing.
We could have had this win tonight. And man oh man; it would have felt GOOD.
"HEY COACH!! They keep scoring on us!"
Tonight the Warriors fell victim to different phases of play. Two in particular; stellar and crappy. Seriously it seemed like there was no middle ground. Either they were pushing three-touch fast break dishes resulting in monster slams, or they were heaving the ball out of bounds in one of their many turnovers.
Unfortunately, one of their two phases outweighed the other. Wanna guess which one? No?! JUMP!
Since the bad outweighed the good tonight, I think it's only fair that we start the game analysis with what factors caused us to give up what could have arguably been the best win of the year.
- Free Throws. AWFUL. 64%?! In a game where we only get to the line 17 times, it is not recommended for us to blow 6 of them. We're better than that. Meanwhile, the Lakers shot 93 %... Ouch.
- Turnovers. AWFUL. Sure, the Lakers handled the ball worse than us. That's pretty impressive considering we had 15 turnovers. The difference is when we gave the ball up, the Lakers did a pretty fair job converting those into points. We, on the other hand... not so much.
- Randolph's foot shuffle. AWFUL. The first time he did it I chalked it up to rookie nervousness. The second time he did it I suddenly thought of Pietrus' habit of stepping on the out-of-bounds line on his baseline threes. Okay fine, it was a couple of mistakes. But in a game this close, it was tough to watch.
- Wright's Injury. AWFUL. Not only does it suck that Wright has a partially dislocated shoulder, it sucks that no one seemed to see his arm dangling from his socket until he got bowled over on the next possession. Someone foul someone. Call a timeout. Throw a freaking chair! STOP THE GAME AND LET THIS GUY OFF OF THE COURT! Not only did it lead to three points we could have prevented, that blow he took could have made his injury more serious. Wack.
- Marco's 1st half shot selection. AWFUL. It's tough to argue with these shots when they fall (which they do more often than I'd like to admit) but when they don't, it's a hard pill to swallow.
- The fact that the Lakers have Kobe, Gasol, and Bynum. Not much we can do about that.
So besides some of the aforementioned bulletpoints, tonight the Warriors displayed a freakish ability to go from hot to cold in a matter of seconds. The quality of our game almost fluctuated by quarter, with the better part of quarters 1 and 3 showing a high caliber Warriors team feared by the elite in past years, and quarters 2 and 4 showing the lost team that we've come to know and love this year. It's like we're bi-polar!!
Get it?! *Da dum dum, DSSSSSSSSHHHHHHH.*
Okay enough dumping. We DID almost topple the best team in the League. And we certainly didn't get there without a few pretty sweet moments. Let's re-live, shall we?
- Jamal Crawford baby. I'd mention his 5 turnovers and 1 for 8 long bomb attempts, but I just got off of the negative train. So instead, let's raise it up for his 9 dimes, 25 points and his smooooooooooth midrange jumper. Also, major props for embarrasing Fisher on more than one occasion. Anyone that does that is okay in my book.
- 3rd quarter. Someone called Randolph "One Tired Cookie". I think I laughed for about 10 minutes at that. Then I went upstairs and got a cookie.
- Corey Maggette. Good boards and great energy. 19 points overall with 10 of them in the first. He got off to a very strong start and nailed his buckets when we needed them most.
- Brandan Wright. Right up until his arm started flailing about like a limp noodle (gross) he looked great. Boards on one end (he had 9 in 12 minutes!) and strong finishes on the other. Our best goes out to him. We don't have a lot of energetic big guys to go around here and I was really looking forward to more of him tonight. Good thing he's got Tommy Abdenour looking after him. Best in the business.
- Kabuki. This kid was a rock off of the bench. Where the Lakers had points coming from Vujacic and Ariza, they didn't see Buike and Randolph and to a lesser degree, Turiaf coming. Their energy off of the bench was huge.
- Biedrins. He's getting so consistent with his good performances that he's getting easy to overlook. Let's not forget that during all of the small ball moments, right in the center still stands Andris like Gulliver among the Lilliputians. And he's learning to work in this environment. He was only two dimes short of a triple double tonight!
And so it is what it is. A loss. Really, it was a hell of a game to watch though. The Warriors coming back from down 15 against the best team in the league... If you ignore the last 4 or 5 minutes of the game, it was pretty fun to see!
At least we rattled their cages a bit, right? Good times!
Now get to bed you tired cookies.
Man. I want to give it to Maggette but it's really hard to ignore Biedrins. As quiet as he may have seemed out there, 8 dimes, 17 boards, 3 steals, 3 blocks and 12 points is really hard to overlook. So I won't.
Take it down big man! Take it down.