This was probably the ugliest twenty point blowout all season, but you know what? We'll take it!!!
Warriors 87, Blazers 106
--Let's forget everything substantial for a minute...we had two or three AMAZING dunks in this game! It's been a really long time since we've had the kind of free-wheeling, open-court, slamboree that causes you to get out of your seat and whoop it up. Travis Outlaw had the best one but Fred Jones, Lamarcus Aldridge, and even Zach Randolph got into the act. It's nice to see a little well-executed athleticism influencing the game. It got the crowd way into it too.
--You can say what you want about how well the Blazers did, and they did well in many areas, but Golden State just did not show for this game. Everything for them was either a three-pointer or a turnover. And their offense was ten times as good as their defense. That game was not representative of the Warriors.
--You could tell from the opening tip that our energy level was much higher than Golden State's. It showed up in every aspect of the game. I love it when that happens.
--We shot 49% from the field while holding them to a shade over 37%. You're going to win EVERY game when that happens. Our collapsing interior defense was pretty good tonight. It's not like the Warriors got NO drives but they got relatively few uncontested ones.
--Despite allowing 15 offensive rebounds we pretty much controlled the boards. Combined with the defense that was a killer for them.
--We played good, basic offense. Most of our shots were uncontested. Part of that was the Warriors' defense but we were also patient and trusted each other. We had great shot distribution and ended up with 22 assists, well above our season average. Adding insult to injury, many of the contested shots we did take we hit anyway. (I'm looking at you, Brandon Roy.)
--We played the Warriors pretty even in their own, fast-breaking style tonight. When you match a team's strength blow for blow you're going to have a great chance to win.
--Zach Randolph played another controlled game. It is so nice to see him depending on his teammates and not holding the ball forever. He still got his 25 points too (plus 13 boards). He shot almost 50% but you can really chalk up everybody else's cumulative 50% to Z-Bo. Marvelous job. Nice winning basketball.
--This was really Brandon Roy's shooting night (again thanks to Zach not having to dominate). He was 9-18 from the floor and had a game-high 26 points. Some of the shots he made had to be seen to be believed. They couldn't stop him off the dribble at all.
--After that you really don't notice individuals, not because they did nothing worthy, but because they blended so seamlessly. Lamarcus had 9 rebounds, Ime hit 6 of 9 shots (don't you love the way he's shooting lately?) and played great defense, Jarrett had 8 assists and was a steady captain, Jamaal had 7 rebounds, Fred Jones had a great dunk and more unselfish play (I like him so far), Travis Outlaw filled up several stat boxes and played with great energy, Sergio ran the fast break like only he can. We've seen all these things before but tonight they all happened together. You weren't afraid of the ball going anywhere tonight because you knew whoever touched it was going to do right by it.
--I'll make one more observation about Sergio that's not intended as a criticism but rather (maybe) to shed some light on why he's still learning and not being thrown out there as much as some folks want. He's brilliant on the break...fantastic...breathtaking. But he's seriously overdribbling in the halfcourt sets and when he does that nobody else touches the ball. Nor do those plays usually end up in a good look...rather they leave somebody against the clock and covered unless Sergio himself just dribbles out from under a defender and quick fires. In some ways it's not entirely different from when Zach dominates the ball except Sergio moves while Zach stands still. And I know you're going to say, "But Sergio can pass and Zach can't!" but that doesn't do a lot of good when the plays are all busted and nobody else knows where to go or where HE'S going. Those halfcourt sets aren't ending up with any better shots than Zach got...probably worse in fact. So his passing ability and court vision aren't helping. It's not that this won't get fixed. I'm sure it will. But for those wondering why not more Sergio and why not NOW this is probably part of the reason.
--The Warriors fans will no doubt claim that it wasn't the same without Baron Davis, and they're absolutely right. I would not take this as necessarily indicative of how good the Blazers are any more than the San Antonio loss was indicative of how bad we are. It DOES show that we are coming together more and growing. I don't think we could have pulled this off at all last year and it was still pretty iffy for us earlier in the season. In that sense it was a marvelous game and a marvelous sign. But I'm not sure this shows we're good in the absolute sense. Of course those same Warriors fans will be experiencing that truth about their team also vis-à-vis their recent winning streak--missing Davis or not they came out like lumps and showed almost no energy and absolutely no defense and lost by 20 to a team they should have at least challenged, if not beaten--so we're not alone. Still it's probably not fair to let the wager stand as is with Davis having missed the game, so I'll probably find something nice to send their way in addition to letting you read their fine verses about this site. I'm kinda classy that way, you know...