Since I didn't actually get to my seat until the final minutes of the first quarter after
refusing to pay to park at BART hunting down reasonably priced parking, I don't have much recollection of the opening period of Game 2.
That's probably a good thing because the first quarter generally sucked.
Kerr talked about the Ws getting up hero shots in the first quarter and needing more ball movement.— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) April 21, 2015
Over the final three quarters of Game 2, the Golden State Warriors outscored the New Orleans Pelicans 80- 58 and won Game 2. That's how I prefer to remember the game even though others will probably insist upon reminding me about the "real" 97-87 "final score".
And I'm sure you'll enjoy my alternate reality in which the Warriors dominated the Pelicans last night as much as I do.
I'm not sure what happened in the first quarter — the Warriors just looked like they were asleep. Chief among the sleepwalkers was Draymond Green, who had three of his four turnovers for the night in that first period — I can't remember a time when I've seen him have such costly mental lapses and then exhibit clearly disappointed body language. Something was just off in that entire period and, to some extent, throughout the game, as coach Steve Kerr alluded to in his post-game presser last night.
"Focus was sporadic...waned for a couple stretches" references overdribbling and going into places with no space— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) April 21, 2015
It got to the point where Atma Brother ONE, who I was at the game with, began saying that Green should take a break at times in the first half — and I was almost reluctantly agreeing. Thankfully, the man actually coaching the game had other ideas.
"I ask Draymond if he's tired. If he says no, I leave him in. If he says yes, I leave him in."— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) April 21, 2015
It wasn't just Green in the first half though — it was the entire team that was off. And even after they regained their footing for a 38-24 second quarter that felt less dominant than it was because of the hole they had dug themselves in the first, it still just felt like nothing was running smoothly. And the crowd responded accordingly: it was dead quiet in there at times, particularly as the Pelicans just kept finding ways to keep the Warriors at bay.
Yet it was Green whose turnaround stands out the most as he finished with a +24 on the night despite a rough start and there's no question why: not only did he stop turning the ball over altogether in the second half, but he also played absolutely outstanding defense on Pelicans future NBA MVP Anthony Davis. Or was at least part of a scheme that defended Davis about as well as anyone could expect.
"We're throwing the kitchen sink at him. That's all you can do." - Kerr on the Ws guarding you know who.— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) April 21, 2015
Davis does things that most people simply can't fathom seeing from a man his size. Dare I say that Davis is everything that some of us hoped Anthony Randolph would become except...better? But that was a quintessential Green defensive performance in that his positioning and pure will to fight was enough to distract Davis into a poor shooting second half, which included an 0-for-5 fourth quarter.
Monty isn't going to second-guess AD shot selection in the fourth - referencing that he's good from there and thtlat GSW packs the paint.— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) April 21, 2015
Were there some fouls mixed in there? Maybe.
The physicality is different. The pace is different. The calls are different. - Anthony Davis on regular and postseason.— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) April 21, 2015
But Davis should feel good about the fact that he got more superstar calls in the first half at Oracle Arena than Steph Curry, who actually plays at Oracle regularly.
While Green managed Davis on the defensive end, Klay Thompson's second half performance probably stood out to me the most. The crowd needed life and was just waiting for that big moment to blow the roof off the place — there were definitely moments where my ears were ringing, but it took a while to get there and it felt like the Pelicans kept quieting us when we were ready to truly lose it.
AD says the Pels crowd is gonna be like Oracle if not better. Then chuckles and says, "It's hectic in here though."— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) April 21, 2015
Thompson just gave the kind of performance that wasn't entirely spectacular, but enough to give the team a lift offensively and be the surprisingly steady player in a game full of unfocused play. While I feel that Curry is often attempting to play to the crowd, there are times when Thompson seems almost indifferent to his surroundings and completely wrapped up in his own play — when things are going poorly for him, that's a terribly quality; when they're going well, it leads to the kind of 26 points on 11-for-17 shooting performances we saw last night.
Now Klay can't remember which game he dropped 26 in a quarter in. Unrelated, it is 4/20.— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) April 21, 2015
And although that was a bad game, I thought it was a great example of what makes this team so hard to beat, whether at home or anywhere, whether the Pelicans or some other unfortunate victim: at some point, the Warriors are bound to overwhelm their opponents. At halftime, Andy predicted they'd be up by their regular season point differential at some point because of that and while I didn't feel that coming last night, it's rational to believe that: they just keep plugging away until they find the right mix of things and win.
For more on this game, check out our storystream.