Monday, December 31, 2007
Golden State: 105 Denver:95
Against a Nuggets team two important statements were made last night. Golden State can seriously play Defense when they want too and Nelson unlike previous times stuck to the bench something whih has been the main critiuque for Warriors fans. Not only did both come off pretty well they also won a statement game in Denver. Only 31 games in but already the Warriors are winning road games that would have been automatic losses last season and ended the 4 year year streak without a victory in Mile High City. Good times
Not only were the Warriors actually defensively content tonight they stuck to the game plan which was disrupt Iverson's flow as much as possible so he wouldn't get into the lane . It was in complete contrast to what happenned on Friday where Jackson struggled to stop his 39 points. Of course it helped A.I was a little tired from Fridays heroics but you can only beat whats in front of you. Don't let Anthony's 26 pointd fool you for long stretches the Warriors served up some defensive intensity missed from a lot of games this season. It was also nice to see the 4th struggles were gone.
I also liked to see how much of a positive slant Nelson had of our bench. Far too often this year he's ignored them even when a 25 point lead is achieved see the Cleveland game. He stuck with them tonight even when players like Kelenna or Pietrus didn't exactly justify his faith. Azbuike hasn't exactly set the world on fire his last few games and tonight was passive in taking a shot. Maybe the early J-Rich comparasions are getitng to him?. Barnes as well had a few turnovers but either way with a road game the next night in houston Nelson finally saw it the right way. You can't play your starters every night. The one person who fully justified maybe a cause for a little more PT is Harrington. It wouldn't be the end of the world if we traded him but if Al comes up with 18 points in 19 minutes every night and fully provides the offensive spark then the trade talk will minimize. Tonight when we guards Yao I fully expect it to stay the same.
Swarming Defense works every time
The roll honour of players that deserve credit for last nights W is big. Biedrins for starters becuase going up arguably the toughest Rebounder and shot blocker he had 14 rebounds in 24 minutes. This going up against Camby who cleans the glass at will most nights. He also played some great Defense stopping any scoring threat the Nuggets thought they had. Of course as always our main scoring threat Baron came through with 28 and once he realised he couldn't hit from beyond the arc 2-8 he started driving a lot more. The foul Calls were limited but having said that his drives caused offensive Rebounding by Andris or Harrington. That can only be a plus. Jackson was hot tonight as well thanks to the rest of the team following the main offensive mantra give it to the player who's hot. During the 3rd period when the offense becamse sloppy he still made his shots and even when the buckets started drying down he got the teamates involved. It's the most fun watching S-Jax when he's like that.
The players of course know Houston is around the corner which was a big reason why the bench got so much PT but two good performances against the Nuggets show a lot of the lackluster away performances have been forgotten about. Can they replicate it. The next few days will reveal