Without Stephen Curry, the Warriors built a solid foundation with starting pg Ish Smith early on, followed by Brandon Rush, who was the best player on the court as the Dubs' announcers would proclaim, and finally framed by a Monta Ellis supernova finish with 12 points and 7 assists in the 4th quarter alone.
Afterwards in the post-game press conference, Coach Mark Jackson said he told the team, "Greed is good."
Let us reminisce...
- Opening gate: Ish Smith gets the start, which can be debated if you consider the height of Landry Fields. The other option could have been to start Brandon Rush so you'd have Dorell Wright at the other wing and Monta at the point. But maybe Mark wanted Monta to finish at the point -- and not wear him down for the stretch -- and therefore started Ish?
- So anyways, Ish penetrates a few times and makes a few jumpers. I (scathingly?) commented that that was exactly what the Warriors were looking for from Jeremy Lin last year and hardly ever got. Here, Ish is doing it almost routinely.
- Let's be critical and not give the Dubs 100% of the credit. Some of the blame has to be laid on the Knicks. They looked atrocious. But then again, so did the Bulls on Monday night. Carmelo Anthony shot 3-for-13. Amare Stoudemire showed some flashes, but couldn't overpower his defender. It's the combination, probably. I'm drinking Mark Jackson's Kool-Aid: (paraphrasing) "Teams used to come here thinking they could run all night and pad their stats. That will no longer be the case." Most teams will go through a dry spell at some point in 48 minutes. In the past, they figured the Warriors would wilt at some point and things will just be okay on their own. The Bulls and now the Knicks have gotten caught with their pants down.
- I gotta say, David Lee played like crap out the gate. Dude, stop trying to create all the time. Anyways, I don't think Mark Jackson minds all that much, as long as that junk is not in crunch time. Roll the dice early, see what you get, maybe he has one of those nights where your eye pops out looking at the boxscore next morning, maybe not. Probably not. Plenty of basketball to be played.
- Brandon Rush sat down with three early fouls, but in the third, came alive, made some stops, and took no prisoners. Refreshing to see a Warrior impact the game like that with the hard-nosed approach. Not sure we've seen that since, hmmm... Mitch Richmond? Discuss in the comments!
- A couple of nice moves by Ekpe Udoh. Nice to see those flashes from a young player trying to put together a string of those in the future. Some good beastin' again by Kwame Brown.
- Dominic McGuire: great one-on-one defense on not only Melo, but Amare in the 4th. Even made a jumper late, although I see that his off-axis spin of his shot has not improved since Summer League.
- Monta dazzled even people on International NBA League Pass halfway across the world (see my Twitter timeline) with his speed, quickness, awkward dribbling that only gets saved by his incredible athleticism, to close things out. It was like Ish Smith and Brandon Rush helped paint the picture and Monta provided the framing of it.
Here are some glass-half-empty observations:
- Klay Thompson's too upright when he dribbles. This prevents him from having any type of explosiveness.
- Sometimes the dynamics of a roster quirk (Steph's injury) can bring out a character of a team you didn't know it had. Sometimes it allows certain other guys to step up. Warrior fans are hoping some of the magic uncovered tonight isn't just a flash in the pan.
- Mark is clearly not focusing much attention on offense. Lots of times, it just looks like ragged Summer League ball out there on offense. But as he says, (when Steph's back) there's enough talent on this team to not worry too much about scoring.
- I don't see much improvement in Dorell's game, although last year he really improved to get to where he is now. Not that I don't like what he brings to the table, but if the Warriors are a playoff team, mark my words, Brandon Rush is the starting small forward at that point in time. As I said in my previous scouting report, he's like a Poor Man's David West without the post up ability.
...goes to Brandon Rush!