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Recap: Warriors Taking Care of Business vs. Thunder (Eventually)

Andre Iguodala beating the buzzer and the Thunder with one fell swish.
Andre Iguodala beating the buzzer and the Thunder with one fell swish.
Ezra Shaw

Hey, did any of you guys see that game vs. OKC last night? It was actually pretty good, if you can believe it. Here's what happened.

First half summary: Thunder and Warriors exchange ridiculous number of 3-pt shots. Warriors get out-rebounded by infinity but take advantage of infinity number of turnovers by the Thunder, which is odd because that's typically been the Warriors' problem this season.

(Note to the idiot blogger above: It held up.)

Also happening in this half, Harrison Barnes gets a bunch of post-up/iso opportunities against the young Jeremy Lamb (is that redundant?).

Although not very efficient, Barnes' post-up opportunities will later set the stage for drawing a key 5th foul on Kevin Durant that forced the superstar to sit for a few minutes, possibly (I mean, virtually probably) the difference in this game. Here is how I felt at the end of the first half:

By the end of the third quarter the Warriors seemed like they were going to pull away from the Thunder, but like all elite teams, the Thunder and their stars were going to make sure they had something to say about exactly where and when they would let the Warriors beat them.

My only criticism of the strategy employed by Mark Jackson towards the end of the game is that he seems to be most comfortable going into "game manager" mode where the offense tightens up and basically goes exclusively through David Lee. I don't have problems with Lee getting looks, but when you start to go to him possession after possession, eventually the defense figures it out, and that's when he starts to get his shot blocked (which is bad).

To some extent I get the idea about playing safe, and I'm sure it has something to do with turnover avoidance. I just think there's a more reasonable compromise to be made in the name of lead management. We'll see. The good news is we beat a top-tier opponent and managed an entire game with only 7 turnovers. Maybe that means we should expect 30 in a couple nights, who knows. But for tonight, that was a very encouraging development

Some of my other twitter thoughts during this game:


Draymond makes me happy. There was a moment in the 4th quarter when both Lee and Barnes were sitting on the bench and Draymond was on the court defending Durant, and I thought to myself, there's your small ball 4 Ethan Sherwood Strauss!

That was my reaction after Westbrook's 3-pt shot. I thought we had the game in hand, but he made a tough shot. That's just how it goes sometimes, but it wouldn't have really changed how I felt about this game, which was that we pretty much handled our business for most of it. But I also said...

Cue that new guy from Denver...

There's probably some other interesting statistical stuff that happened, but I don't really like to make too much of 1-game trends. The take-home message here is that the Warriors lived up to expectations in a game in which the expectations were high. Actually, in case you missed it, Vegas actually had us as a 5-point favorite. AGAINST THE THUNDER. Sure, it's a home game, and a SEGABABA for them, and Perkins was out (wait, that actually helped them), but still. We didn't beat the spread, but the fact that we were favored at all, really speaks to the talent level on this team. Also, the fact that nobody is really shocked or even surprised that we won this game is a statement in itself. It's good times, eh?

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