Coming into the game, New Orleans was ranked near the bottom of the league in everything. After almost stealing a game against the Trailblazers, the Hornets looked sloppy as the game opened. New Orleans hung close, taking several leads, the last at 16-15 with 4:58 left in the first quarter. Over the next 5 minutes the Warriors put together a 16-5 run to end the quarter up by 10. This was enough of a margin to hold the Hornets off until the managed to tie the game with 4 minutes left. Enter Draymond Green, and enough of an edge to push the lead back up to 7 by the end of the game.
The first half had some beautiful Warrior basketball, especially from David Lee. He's playing the best basketball as a Warrior, and arguably the best of his career. Lee finished with 26 points (19 in the first half), 9 rebounds, and 4 assists.
The bench produced again, with Jarrett Jack recording his first double-double as a Warrior (16 points, 10 assists). Carl Landry added 16 points and 9 boards,
Stephen Curry had an off night, with a 13 point/5 rebound/3 assist line. Curry, Klay Thompson, and Harrision Barnes combined for a horrendous shooting night, going 10-33 from the floor and 4-12 from three-point range.
Once again Golden State let an inferior team back into the game, coasting on a 5 minute period of dominance in the first quarter. The win is more important than the margin, but still...
Festus Ezeli got some love from Jim Barnett, who pointed out that in the first quarter Ezeli had two plays that don't show up in the stats, but led to two extra possessions for the Warriors. He's still contributing, and still improving.
Harrison Barnes is surprisingly tentative when it comes to taking his shot. A clear example - Barnes gets the ball in the corner and has a decent shot - he passes to Green instead, who takes a worse shot. Barnes needs to recognize that he had a better look, and is a better shooter than Draymond.
Just the other day one of our front office guys gave me a notebook on how to judge a players impact on a game. It had a list of our guys and Draymond’s (Green) was off the charts. There are certain guys where the stat sheet does not do him justice. The way he plays the game of basketball, understands it on both sides, the intangibles – he gives us a chance to win and he’s done that his entire life.
Mark Jackson said it well. It's darned hard not to give this to David Lee (heck, it's been hard for most of the last 15 games to not give it to DLee). But there's something to Draymond's game that brings out the best in the team. Rotations are crisper, energy is up, and the team wins those minutes. In raw cumulative +/- Green has climbed to a tie with Carl Landry for third, behind Lee and Curry. For a player shooting under .300, that's pretty astonishing, particularly since he actually does shoot. He's our top rookie in RAPM, and has to be a frontrunner for Steal of The Draft.