Pre-game festivities on GSoM:
- Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers preview: Is Kyrie Irving the next NBA superstar?
- Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Q&A: Insight on the Cavs' talented backcourt from SBN's Fear the Sword
- Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers game thread: Links, preview, predictions
Aside from a poor stretch between the end of the 2nd quarter and early part of the 3rd quarter, the Warriors played some excellent basketball against the Cavs. Putting aside the fact that this was a garbage Leastern Conference team minus hustler-supreme Anderson Varjao, there are three positives that stood out in tonight's W:
1) Passing Party
I can't remember the last time I've seen a basketball game at any level where 4 players on the same team dished out 5 or more dimes. Assist totals like this are welcome any time:
- Stephen Curry- 6 assists
- Andrew Bogut- 5 assists
- David Lee- 6 assists
- Jarrett Jack- 5 assists
Those are some Chris Webber/ Vlade Divac assist numbers from Bogut and Lee.
Bogut was scoreless in 17:24 minutes of play, but he had a fantastic game thanks to some nifty passing and very good defense.
2) Power Play from TWO Power Forwards
The Warriors had two power forwards almost hit 20-10 stat lines:
- David Lee: 22 points, 14 rebounds
- Carl Landry: 19 points, 9 rebounds
Has that EVER happened for the Warriors? (Okay maybe Danny Fortson and Antawn Jamison back in 2001, but that doesn't really count since 9 of Fortson's boards were just his own misses on offense.) Toss in the the combined 69.2% (18-26) FG rate from this duo and things become quite insane- in a good way of course.
3) Defense = DUBFENSE
The Cavs do deserve blame for inanely attempting THIRTY-TWO (!) 3-pointers in one night, but I liked what the Warriors did on D tonight. Curry drew two charges in the first quarter and played some smart defense in the passing lanes. His defense was pretty stellar the entire night if you forget the early part of the second quarter where Kyrie Irving's athleticism was just too much for him. Bogut's rim protection and help defense in monitored minutes continue to impress.
You could easily hand this award to 3 other Warriors, namely Curry, Lee, or Landry, for their mighty statlines tonight. However, I'm handing tongight's honor to the rookie from UNC, Harrison Barnes. He played smart and contributed 14 solid points in a variety of skilled ways. For some bizarre reason CJ Miles and Daniel Gibson tried to pull some funny stuff with him, but Barnes showed poise and walked away with the W. Like a veteran, Barnes knows that's all that matters.