San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami tweeted prior to tonight's Golden State Warriors' game against the Washington Wizards tonight that, "any loss to the Washington Wizards has to be considered a dud."
And the Wizards helped to prove his point pretty early on tonight: their porous defense made the Warriors' offense look as fluid as it has been all season en route to a 120-100 win.
To be fair, the Warriors do deserve some credit for actually moving without the ball to take advantage of the Wizards' defensive ineptitude. But their movement was so effective primarily because the Wizards put up so little resistance.
Even if you're happy the Warriors won, that was probably a tough one to watch. If you're of the belief that the Warriors should tank, it was definitely a tough one to watch.
With that in mind, a few things that did stand out.
- The one thing that might have briefly made this game worth watching was that Stephen Curry scored 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting in 9 minutes, not a bad return to action. And given how little defense the Wizards played, it was a good opponent for a shooter to return against. The fast break layup he made in the second half Jim Barnett happy because he finished on the opposite side of the basket and used the rim to prevent the defender from getting to the ball.
- Ekpe Udoh, 'nuff said.
Ok, but just to say a few things about Udoh: The guy's improvement has been huge for the team this year: he's far more confident offensively, the mid-range jumper is falling more often, and you know the defense is there - he was robbed of a blocked dunk attempt in the second half that was whistled for a foul. As the future has got to be increasingly present on fans' minds, watching him starting to blossom is encouraging as the franchise appears to have another piece that they should definitely try to hold on to as they look to get better via trade.
- The Warriors shot 15-for-23 (65.2%) from 3-point land, which - again - is easier when going up against an incoherent defense. Rookie Klay Thompson's 3-point production stands out in the boxscore and although it's always great to see his shots going down - and presumably a confidence-builder - many of those came when the game was all but over. I would take another shameless dig at the Wizards here, but here's where the Warriors offense deserves some credit: you don't hit that many threes just because the opponent has chosen not to put much effort into defense. They were the result of good ball movement and getting the ball to shooters in rhythm. Dorell Wright has struggled all season it's always good to see him go 3-for-5.
Monta Ellis had one of his most efficient games of the season tonight, scoring 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting with 8 assists to 3 turnovers and five rebounds. He had the floaters working to perfection and the Wizards were helpless to stop it.