This game was pretty much over by halftime, but you could easily argue that it was decided by the mid-point of the first quarter. The end result, however we got there was a downright brutal smashing.
The Suns aren’t really the sort of competition that the Warriors are measuring themselves against. No knock on the rebuilding Suns (who were also without a significant portion of their roster due to injuries), but the Warriors looked like a varsity team playing against the JV squad.
Coach Kerr hands his clipboard over
It’s going to be in all the news - down three about halfway through the first quarter, coach Steve Kerr in a pre-planned move, called a timeout (as one would normally do if you are trailing one of the worst teams in the league). But when the cameras came back, the TV showed Kerr handing the clipboard to Andre Iguodala - who could then be seen leading the team through their timeout (which is not what one would normally do if they were getting paid millions of dollars to coach said team).
One of the hardest things to do for any manager at any level is to figure out how to shake people out of their ruts when needed. Kerr took a brilliant risk, and it worked.
The takes will be all over the place, I’m sure, so I’ll leave the commentary aside and just note that the team looked as interested in a first quarter as I’ve seen them all year. One sequence just a couple of minutes after the timeout, Andre Iguodala raced down the full length of the court, caught the Suns player from behind, slapped the ball out of his hands to stop the fastbreak, and then caught and saved the ball before it went out of bounds.
I really hope this move doesn’t get framed as disrespectful, because I think it was a brilliant way to get the players involved. Sometimes you just need something fresh to give you that extra happy smile. Look at this and note that Draymond Green was out tonight with a sprained finger and hurt shoulder.
Draymond Green just coached the Warriors in their huddle with 8:27 to go in the second quarter against the Suns. He was grinning as he stood up from a crouched position in the huddle with his clipboard.— Melissa Rohlin (@melissarohlin) February 13, 2018
Some unexpected faces came up big
We’ve seen it slowly happening over the last few games, but in the first quarter, JaVale McGee busted back into the rotation. He was the first big off the bench and delivered nicely. I really do think this guy is our good luck charm - good things seem to happen when he gets on the court. He scores, he blocks shots, and he is just generally disruptive at the rim.
Also, Patrick McCaw has struggled for basically the entire season, and recently shook up everyone by asking the coach to send him down to the G League. Results were mixed down in Santa Cruz, but the added court time seems to have been beneficial - McCaw looked aggressive and assertive, chipping in an efficient nine points in just eight minutes. He left the game early with an injured wrist, but came in with some issues so hopefully it was nothing too serious.
Omri Casspi got the start for Draymond Green and was solid with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Heck, he even finally shot a three - two actually, hitting one! He was the second-leading scorer for the Warriors this game.
The Warriors stood by this roster, hopefully this game is a preview of that faith paying off. Each one of these three players were mentioned in the list of potential drops, the fact that none of them were moved just reinforces how much the Warriors believe in these guys.
Also, the expected faces came up big too (but remember, we were playing the Suns)
It’s the Suns, folks. They aren’t a good team to begin with, and they came into this game missing their best player, as well as a good-sized chunk of their rotation - this wasn’t going to end well for them... but still:
Don't do it to him, Steph!!! Think of his family!!! pic.twitter.com/o4hlwjI1Ht— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) February 13, 2018
Curry finished with a team-high 22 points, just one shy of what he needed to break him and his father Dell Curry into the third highest such scoring pair in NBA history. I didn’t even know that was a record that we tracked, but I guess that’s how far into the books we are now with this historic team and player.
One more game prior to the All Star break
That’s just about it. The Warriors have one last game on Wednesday before the All Star break. At least they gave us something fun to talk about, right? Between Kerr handing over his clipboard, to the Cavs blowing their team up at the trade deadline, it has certainly been an entertaining week.
Who was your Warrior Wonder against the Suns?
This poll is closed
Coach Andre Iguodala
Coach Steve Kerr
Coach Draymond Green
Coach David West
Other (indicate in the comments)