The Golden State Warriors have taken vengeance on their pesky Western conference foe, the Denver Nuggets, with a 124-114 knockout in Oakland. Let’s get right to today’s three gold-blooded musings about the game from your friendly neighborhood Warriors blog!
David West: The ultimate professional
The bruising bad ass known as “D-West” played his 1,000th game last night. Mr. West had 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists last night in 16 minutes off of the bench on 5-of-8 shooting from the field. It was his third straight game with double-digit scoring. His consistency as a steadying anchor on the bench lineups is a huge plus for coach Steve Kerr.
David West, after career game #1,000, at age 37, still very effective, talks about this moment of his career and the future pic.twitter.com/MxA8t9FY1P— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 9, 2018
This gig is fantastic for the beloved, aging, two-time All-Star. The O.G. is shooting a career high 64% from the field! He has enough athletic juice left to bully his way for tough buckets and his mid-range shooting touch is as silky as ever. Defensively, he is active around the rim, and does a solid job of switching assignments on the fly to harass quicker guards.
His passing, though, is where he’s really helping the Dubs. He’s averaging 4.8 assists per 36 minutes, which ranks only behind his career high 6.4 dimes per 36 minutes last year. Per 100 possessions, West ranks 5th on the team behind only Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green (and Quinn Cook, lol) in assists.
I enjoy how vocal he is on the floor, whether he’s shouting out defensive assignments, or praising a teammate for a great play. He also seems to be the only guy who can get Green to chill out. He’s officially the wise old dude playing pick up at 24 Hour Fitness who yells a catch phrase like “And 1!” or “He don’t want it!” after every play he makes.
Steve Kerr on David West: "We're hoping he signs a 3-year extension" pic.twitter.com/FmupPcIfJD— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 9, 2018
Steph Curry unanimously scares us with each fall
You know how every superhero has their glaring weakness? Like how Superman has kryptonite, Durant has Twitter, and Lebron James has male pattern baldness? Well, it’s pretty clear that the greatest point guard of the modern era has delicate lower limbs.
Every time Stephen Curry takes a tough tumble, the entire Oracle arena let’s out a groan, followed by nervous murmuring. The oxygen gradually leaves the building, like the same queasiness that would happen if the world’s hottest DJ abruptly stopped spinning a hot jam because he collapsed at the New Years Eve party, mid-set, and crashed directly into the turntables.
Steph Curry has gone back to the locker room, here is the play he was hurt on pic.twitter.com/Sd8HQWzNl5— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) January 9, 2018
I kept quietly refreshing my timelines and group chats every few minutes, waiting for the word on our two-time MVP. With Curry recently missing eleven games due to an ankle injury, I’m sure I wasn’t alone in my concern! Thankfully, he rose up and re-emerged back into the ballgame, shaking off the knee strain.
Steph coming back from the locker room pic.twitter.com/8I9jcLMK4C— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) January 9, 2018
Like all the greats, Curry didn’t waste any time throwing his body back into harm’s way in the name of terrorizing the opponent.
He finished with another dazzling stat line of 32 points and 9 assists, and he led the team’s downhill attack with creativity. Thankfully, his precious limbs appear to be more than fine.
Dubs care to share
It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
The Warriors unselfishness has to be as nauseating for opponents as it is intoxicating for Dub Nation. Look at this cute sequence: Curry fakes a shot before lasering a pass to Zaza Pachulia under the rim. Pachulia trades fancy pocket passes with a giddy Green, completely befuddling the Nuggets defender, before softly laying it in off glass.
The champs finished with 56% shooting, 33 assists, and 16 turnovers. When you stress passing the ball as much as Coach Kerr does, turnovers can sometimes pop up. I’m sure Curry definitely wants to have less than the six he had last night. Fortunately, the Warriors still lead the NBA in positive assist/turnover ratio, which basically means that for all the fretting over sloppy mistakes, they are still the best team at creating scoring with their passing.
NO ONE passes better than the Warriors pic.twitter.com/N3YtPBPnwV— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) January 9, 2018
All that unselfishness gets everybody on the floor touches in a rhythm and connects the team into playing high-level basketball. Also, if you’ve ever played the game, you know from personal experience how that style is FUN AS HELL.
Sometimes that desperate search for maximum hoops enjoyment leads to those aforementioned sloppy turnovers... or a wide open Green passing up a layup attempt to sling a pass to a “thirsty” Curry for an errant attempted bomb.
Draymond Green passed up a wide open layup for a Steph Curry 3. Curry missed. He then blamed the decision on him being too "thirsty." Here's both of them discussing the play. pic.twitter.com/xnJIQpGyEK— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 9, 2018
LOL, oh those guys are hilarious. The Warriors are basketball’s beautiful death machine; they live right around the intersectional point that would exist if you could combine the Care Bears with an armed nuclear warhead.
BONUS MUSING! Who is our best player? WHO CARES
When Curry missed some game time, the national media’s conversation was about “Kevin Durant crashing the MVP party!” Now, with Curry back in and Durant out with calf issues, we’re seeing the conversation swing back to “Omg is Curry better than ever?!”.
We’ve had Charles Barkley call Klay Thompson our best player, and Green has even received MVP votes in the past. Next week I’m sure we’ll get an article telling us that Patrick McCaw is the key that unlocks the Warriors true power.
My response: YES TO ALL OF IT. I remember when the biggest news out of Bay Area basketball was whether or not Monta Ellis should be suspended for hurting his ankle in an off-season moped accident. If people want to argue today about which future hall-of-famer in Golden State is individually the best, that’s great. We all have our favorite individual Power Rangers, Avengers, or Star Wars characters. Favoritism and biases will abound.
But at the end of the day, the team is what matters, and we have the best team in (maybe) the history of the NBA. Let’s enjoy the awestruck national media stumbling to keep up with all the golden storylines while the Dubs keep collecting jewelry.
Who was your Warrior Wonder for the win over the Nuggets?
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