David Lee's return sparked a valiant effort from the Golden State Warriors against the Los Angeles Lakers to clinch the first postseason appearance since last year and the first consecutive inclusions since the 1990-92 seasons. Though that's the sentimental and would seem ironically fitting with all the turmoil surrounding the team, it was just a dominating win against a hapless, and defensiveless Lakers unit.
Stephen Curry did his thing, dropping running behind-the-ball dimes all over the court, canning step-back jumpers and orchestrating and bending a defense on its whim whenever he so chose. Oh, and the first player to post four triple doubles in a season since Wilt Chamberlain did it when I have no idea. The Warriors lulled themselves to sleep in the first and third quarter but a vicious second left them with an insurmountable lead, despite the usual bench screwery.
So back to the postseason the Warriors go, likely against the Los Angeles Clippers and their merry legion of shooters, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. But tonight, there's something to be said for celebrating a postseason berth - something that Joe Lacob assuredly wants to get used to - on a court that's seen many a nightmare.
And for the season.
1. Andrew Bogut brought the ball up twice. On the first play, he drove down the seams, with the Laker defense taken aback a human being could dribble basketball, and found Curry in transition for a wide-open three.
On the second play, he drove down the middle again, because the Lakers were still shell-shocked from the first time, went between-the-legs, and flipped a behind-the-back pass to Steve Blake. Bogut isn't fleet of foot but his awareness of ball and player makes him an asset in the open court and on offense.
2. Quick tangent on the David Lee debate: though he is less than 100 percent, he's still integral to the success of this team. Perhaps not a 35-minute per game player, these Warriors do need to play offense, as unbelievable as it may seem. The Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green and Bogut frontcourt possesses massive defensive potential while unlocking tic-tac-toe passing but during certain matchups - perhaps against Blake Griffin - the Warriors do need a bigger body. And Lee has shown he can defend sufficiently, at least in isolation situations.
3. The Warriors clinched a postseason berth on the Lakers home court. Go enjoy your Friday night.