Anthony Davis sat at his locker after another ho-hum performance - for him. 30 points on 19 shots, 15 boards, three blocks, three assists, and two steals. That's a career night for just about any basketball player in history but here turned in by a human in the loosest sense. There he was, crouched in a chair, fielding questions with a distaste not of the media, but of the annihilation he was a part of against the Golden State Warriors. When asked if he should have been fed more, he snapped, "I'm not worried about that." Anthony Davis put on a show. He just didn't care. These Warriors can do that to you.
Without prompting, Steve Kerr noted that this was the "best game we've played in a long time". The Warriors knew one of, if not the best, player was coming into their arena and they funneled the entire Pelicans offense to other guys, baiting them into awkward dribbling maneuvers and head-scratching floaters that Davis was forced to flail away on rebounds. Again and again, the Warriors have falsified claims of the mainstream, doling out punishment on defense at an aesthetically high level. Unlike the Memphis Grizzlies, the Warriors play a gorgeous style on both ends of the floor.
Kerr referenced Ryan Anderson as the reason they were switching. Ryan Anderson credited the Warriors with great defense in his locker room. Anderson was forced into quick shots all night, finishing 2-9 and missing all five of his threes. Not often does a dream scenario of wing depth work out in actuality. But without any huge injuries, the quintet of Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, and Shaun Livingston have been a tidal wave in the way that offenses can set fire on a defense. They enveloped the Pelicans on the perimeter, only allowing them to tread water when Davis was gracing the spectacular.
The bench extended a lead as Marreese Speights and Harrison Barnes continued their magnificent play and remaining active enough on defense - though that isn't tough against this team. And when they sniffed blood, with the game hovering around the 10-point mark with the 4th quarter starting, they pounced. Those are the Warriors this season. They dismantle teams so methodically that games can become a drawl. I don't pretend to take these games for granted, even if it's nearly impossible. This team is the best I've ever seen. But this game was comically driven into the ground as Tyreke Evans took two shots before stumbling and then somehow taking two more steps before hoisting up a shot he felt justified in taking. Laughably boring, it was becoming.
Then Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson happened. Curry grabbed the ball on the --- ahh, just watch it.
1. If not for Steph raising his hand before Klay even lifted his arm for the shot, Anthony Davis blocking a Stephen Curry shot would be the play of the game. Davis' signature play is his out-of-nowhere blocks on unsuspecting perimeter shooters. Thing is, Steph knew Davis was there and even gav ehim the quick release, high-arc three he pulls out of his pockter for shot-blockers. It didn't matter. The guy is absurdly talented.
2. Part of what made the Warriors defense was great this game was the Pellies' inability to get Davis the ball. This is nothing new. They refuse to give him the rock in crunch time more than any other team to their superstar in history, I think. After halftime, they went through a stretch of just posting him in the short corner to...I'm still not sure. In the second quarter, Monty Williams drew up a play after a timeout to get an Evans-Davis pick-and-roll. After the roll, Davis cleared out and Evans went iso. Turnover. Sigh.
3. Harrison Barnes' focus on the boards have been pleasantly surprising, and something no one could foresee as an addition to the team. Playing as an undersized four, he has used his quickness and strength to do work. Sometimes noted as soft, or unaggressive, Barnes has been hit more in the past couple weeks than in his first two seasons. He has strung together two double-doubles in a row and there's a David Lee joke in here somewhere you can finish for me.
4. Marreese Speights wasn't too efficient tonight but he drove left on Davis, faked with his right hand and quickly flipped in a hook shot with his left. Then he stared at his left hand while running down the court - Shaq-style. I mean, wow.
The Warriors travel to Chicago next to take on the Bulls on Saturday at 5 PM.