Dwight said that after tonight's performance there was no way I could write another yeehaw post. True Dat.
Last night was like Carnival; tonight was like funeral.
(That line reads better if you pronouce funeral "funer-al," with the stress on the last syllable. Go with it.)
The crowd was dead, the team was half-dead, what can you say? The hangover was in full effect.
I was all set to break news today-- I went to Washington Square to get my Blackberry fixed this morning and randomly ran into Maurice Lucas. So the plan was, after last night's game, to make up a story about how Coach was going to Zales to get his ring finger fitted. You know, because we were pretty flippin sweet last night .
But given tonight's performance, hopefully Coach was at the Sony Store copping a DVD player because there were so many teachable moments out there tonight it felt like a giant Montessori classroom.
Where to begin? Point guard problems? Sure.
- Bayless: 0 assists, 5 turnovers, one awesome sweater straight out of the Caddyshack clubhouse.
- Sergio: 10 assists (ole), 6 turnovers (ay yi yi).
Paging Steve Blake. Paging Steve Blake. Please report. Seriously. PLEASE report.
What's up next on the panic platter? Injury concerns? No problem.
- Marty, the starting 3, is looking at a stress fractured foot -- out 4 to 8 weeks. What do you do? Start Travis at 3? Start Rudy at 3? Start Rudy at 2 and move Brandon to 3? Not questions I want to be pondering at all right now.
- To make matters worse, Rudy, champion of the world, went down in a heap with a twisted ankle, will be held out indefinitely although it's not serious.
- Ike Diogu, presumed POWER forward, came down with a case of Wizard-of-Oz-Lion-Itis. When you get the ball on the block, GO UP. Brutal.
On the bright side:
Nic Batum. Wow. Those open court passing skills came out of nowhere. Time to make him an honorary Spaniard so we can go with the nickname Three Amigos for him, Rudy and Sergio. Who's got a pinata?
Greg Oden. Greg's performance might get lost in the shuffle because he did most of his damage before the game turned ugly. But it shouldn't. Greg put in work tonight, drawing lots of attention from the undersized Warriors, doing his dunk thing and cleaning the boards quite well (9 rebounds in 19 minutes). Again he failed to execute a real go-to offensive move. The half-hook is quite wild. It's time to recallibrate the joystick on that one.
The lineup that really did us in during the second half: Bayless, Rudy, Outlaw, Aldridge, Przybilla. They were getting killed on both ends. It didn't help that Travis shot 1 for 12 tonight (yes, it was that bad). The uptick to the flow of the offense was immediately noticeable when Sergio checked in. He just clicks with Rudy in a way Bayless doesn't. Obviously, this could be his ticket to increased PT if he can hang on to the damn ball.
Aldridge ran the floor well tonight. He is finding himself with the ball in places and at times this season that I don't remember last year. And he shoots the ball with such confidence. No hesitation. I would love to see him do the same down on the block a bit more, particularly when he's in there with the 2nd team, particularly when he's playing against the Golden State Supermodels.
Some other random game notes before I call it a night:
-- Sergio was out there early pre-game shooting 3s.
-- Brian Hendrickson threw a sick pass to Anthony Randolph during pre-game shootaround. He can write and dime. What more could you want?
-- Warrior Richard Hendrix (son of Venard and Valerie.... Venard... awesome... writing that one down to suggest if Dave ever decides to have a Baby Shooting Guard) has a website where he blogs, www.Richard-Hendrix.com.
-- According to the Warriors Media Guide, Richard Hendrix's 3 favorite items are his Bible, his laptop and his phone. Funny thing about that: Marcus Williams also listed Richard Hendrix's laptop as one of his 3 favorite things.
(someone hit the drums after that one right?)
-- Hendrix had a DNP but I wrote the joke like 5 hours ago and told everyone in sight, so I'm still going with it.
-- Also courtesy of the Media Guide -- How the heck did I miss this (why wasn't I invited?): "In honor of Jackson's continued commitment to the community, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom proclaimed April 12, 2008, as Stephen Jackson Day in the city of San Francisco." Paper Planes by MIA was the official theme song, I'm sure.
-- Rudy channels Kevin Love when it comes to the outlet pass. Someone made the comment yesterday (sorry forgot which post) that Rudy plays basketball like a soccer player. This is true. He does "play the ball into space" quite often, putting the ball in what seems like a dangerous, unoccupied location, but which is actually not dangerous because it's a spot only a teammate can receive it, and which usually leads to an advantage because the defense isn't expecting it. Fun to watch.
-- Rudy was guessing a little bit tonight on defense, positioning himself in ways that made him vulnerable to backcuts, generally by overplaying his man away from the ball. He has great instincts for what his opponents plan to do, whether a driving guard plans to shoot or pass, for instance, but he does have a little gambling streak in him.
-- Sergio has a knack for making passes that lead to layups and dunks, for both teams. His turnovers consistently went back the other way for transition 2s tonight. That's exactly what Nate doesn't want to see, because Sergio did well putting 20 points on the board for his teammates, don't give 8 or 12 back!
-- I saw a Triple Five Soul sweatshirt in the crowd tonight. Which is awesome. Didn't know they were still doing their thing.
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org)