As I'm writing this the Warriors are up by about 25 points on Phoenix and Garbage Squad is on the court with 5 minutes left (to be clear, I'm ok with Garbage Squad getting those minutes, and I'll talk about the minutes I didn't like here in a minute). It seems the Warriors are in a bit of a groove, and not coincidentally, it's happening because Stephen Curry is taking over games offensively and Andrew Bogut is dominating games defensively. And those two are finally getting help from their friends named Lee, Klay, and Iguodala.
By the way, was there ever a question about who the Starting Five should be on this team? Hard to imagine there being any discussion of it going forward this season, anyway.
Back to tonight's specifics. Stephen Curry obviously went off accumulating a triple double. Not so much from a scoring standpoint (he wasn't all that efficient, if I'm being honest), but more from an everything-else-all-the-time standpoint. Curry is the guy who constantly demands double teams opening up his teammates, who simply need to catch his amazing passes and make the baskets. And they did that with aplomb at Oracle tonight. Curry ended up with 16 assists. He also chipped in 13 rebounds, as many as Lee and Bogut combined! Curry God Mode is a sight to behold. If he ever gets it all together and cuts down those turnovers...whoops, I'm not the guy who complains about his turnovers. I'll leave that to other people who care about such minor details.
Let's talk about some other Warriors. Bogut laid down the law at the rim as he is wont to do. He generally made life miserable for players who were trying to do their job as professional basketball players. Glad he's on our side.
Klay Thompson is coming out of that slump a bit, eh? Kid went 9 for 11 for 21 points. Also had some nifty passes although the box score says he ended up with just two assists, seemed like more. When he's aggressive driving to the basket it opens up the offense so much more for himself and others.
Barnes had a fairly nice controlled game, at least, until he was surrounded by Garbage Squad in the fourth quarter and resorted to his usual iso/post-up antics. I like the Barnes that sticks to shooting open 3-point shots and passes out of the post. Did you all see that pass he made from the lower right block to Draymond who then proceeded to calmly swish a 3? Hopefully that wasn't the first time Barnes has made a play like that, but it kind of felt that way.
And speaking of Draymond, he continued to be the player I wish Barnes can become. He does all the little things you love in a basketball player and tonight he even drove to the basket more than Barnes has in a long time. It was just further confirmation my mind how far ahead of Barnes he is at this point in their respective careers...and how it makes it all the more astonishing that Jackson continues to have Barnes ahead of him in the rotation...speaking of which...saving the worst for last...
Whoops! I mean, saving the worst for the first...quarter. What is the friggin deal with Mark Jackson bringing Garbage Squad so early in the first quarter when the Warriors have a modest lead? Is there any method to this madness? Maybe the other night against the Clippers you could convince me (probably not, but I'd listen, anyway) that he was sending a message to his starters. But tonight with his starters playing well to begin the game you're going to sub in en masse almost all of the worst players on your team so they can play together?
I simply can't understand why this rotational strategy continues to happen. Now, it didn't cost them the game tonight, but I can only say that now knowing that the Warriors ended up blowing out their opponent. Those are the kinds of mind-boggingly poor rotations that would make you pull your hair out (if you have any left at this point) if the team had gone on to lose the game. It's just so puzzling to me. How in the world does Bazemore get in this game before Draymond Green?
One more thing before we get to (obvious) Warrior Wonder of the night. Until I'm proved wrong, the substitution I always want to see is Draymond for Iguodala (so there is always one other ball-handler/playmaker on the floor with Curry) and Barnes for Klay or Lee. Why substitute Barnes for Iguodala? It just isn't going to be effective. This isn't even about Draymond vs. Harrison or Harrison vs. Lee. It's just about what makes obvious sense.
I mean. Obviously.