Saturday, December 29, 2007
Denver: 124 Golden State:120
The battle of two of the best offenses in the League. The battle of two been there forever coaches accompanied by teams full of offensive talent. Sadly it was a battle where the Nuggets proved not only do they have the best two scoring combo in the League it also proved the Warriors have glaring holes should they wish to compete with the Western elite. Still there were slightly positive signs. They shot the ball extremely poorly yet relied on Baron's 4th quarter surge and a monster game from Jackson to make it arguably the game of the year.
:Davis pretty much shows why he's arguably the best PG playing right now. You wouldn't know he had played 39 minutes such was the 4th quarter surge where once again similar to the Lakers game he attempted a comeback by himself. With the Warriors down 2 20 seconds left his decision to pass on a shot was puzzling but at the same time you have to admire the unselfishness to create a shot for Kelenna who did the very same thing to Jackson who duly missed. Davis has the swagger to step it up in cruch time buu it's becoming clear the young players don't.
Free Throws 78 percent from the line is something I'll take anyday especially with the early struggles. I'm a little bothered we missed 5 which is your ballgame but at the same time signing Moncrief to a 1 year deal has clearly worked.
Biedrins: He faced better against Camby then I expected. Putting up 14 and 12 there were times when he didn't look entirely out of depth. I've said it before but I don't expect Beans to join the Western Conference elite of big men ala Duncan and Boozer but considering the list of horrendous Centers the warriors have had before him Fuller, Dampier, Cliff Robinson, Dale Davis Biedrins it's a breath of fresh air. Yes Camby had his 15 and 16 game but at times Camby's agressivness combined with his defensive prowess is exactly why he's reigning Defensive player of the year.
Offensive Rebounding and Turnovers Getting 19 offensive rebounds kept us in the game. We may have lost the battle of the boards 53-41 but thats ok especially with brutes like Nene, Camby etc to take care of the boards. On a unrelated note nice to see the Turnover stat low as well the Warriors took good care of the Basketball no travelling, charges or passes out of bounds or even stepping out of bounds.
Jackson: He shot a horrendous 9-27 but at the same time had 32 points. Yes he had a stinker but I can forgive him because it's common nature for every player eventually to have a bad shooting night. His Defense on Melo was ok but then again the Nuggets have bad matchup problems in every position much like the Jazz.
A.I is clutch
Taken Advantage When Melo earned his 5th foul I thought the Warriors would pound it inside and try to get him fouled out and more then likely win it in OT. No such luck even though Denver was in the bonus.
Shooting It was painful to watch. Don't let the 120 points fool you this was an embarassing shooting display. They shot better then the Nuggets from downtown 38.9% compared to 29.4%. A lot of the 3's were forced as well which in a close game like this better options are neccessary.
No Mbenga Even though he's incredibly limited in his offensive skills not seeing Mbenga was strange. He has the physical game to compete with Camby but sadly for this game he was left warming the bench.
Defense: Only a solid defensive team like the Spurs have the talent to take out Melo and Iverson. The Warriors to put it mildly don't. Assigning Davis and Jackson to guard Iverson and Anthony one and one was a cardinal sin because they'll blow by you every time unless you have a player named Bowen on your team. Surely Nelson could have installed double teams, trapping etc.
Nuggets themselvesSooner or later I have a feeling the Nuggets role players will blow up over the lack of support form Iverson. The simple matter is even though Denver is a joy to watch it can't be fun watching Iverson and Anthony score every night whilst you stand around and watch him do it. Every now and then Camby pops up and collects an offensive rebound but thats it. The superstar combo are excellent one and one players but that doesn't utlilize their talent one bit. It's easy to see why they've been the vicitim of countless 1st round playoff exits. Don't get me wrong the Nuggets are a fun team to watch but based on the selfish attitude of A.I and Melo they won't go far
Swarming Defense: Every time Monta, Baron or S-Jax drove in the lane the Nuggets had 3 extra players to deny anything like Melo, Camby, Nene, Kleize etc. Penetration was made difficult.
Monta and al Had an off night going 5-16 but seemd under pressure and no focus the entire game. Jackson seemed to believe the entire game that he must take a higher perentage of shots with Monta struggling. Al also struggled to provide any spark off the bench not knocking down much.
Tonight was a depressing back to reality check for the Warriors. All the areas that we knew they were deficent in minus the Rebounding were once again exposed. If Nelson doesn't make any changes before the Nuggets part 2 then not only won't it be a close game it will be a blowout