By Marcus Thompson
Monday, April 23rd, 2007 at 3:53 pm in Uncategorized.
The happiest guy in the Warriors locker room was Jason Richardson.
In his playoff debut, playing in front of the largest viewing audience in his NBA career, Richardson kind of bombed.
He finished with 13 points (5-for-12 FGs), six rebounds and four turnovers with no assists. He redeemed himself late – knocking down some huge shots, coming up with timely rebounds, and getting what was perhaps the block of the season; which has been his M.O. of late – but he was far from happy about his performance.
Which is why he’s so happy he didn’t cost his team a victory.
“Maaaaan,” Richardson told me as he shook his head in disgust, while flashing a grin of relief. “But we got the win. That’s all that matters.”
Better hope he got that out of his system. The Warriors can’t win with Richardson playing like that. Dallas is going to shift to fourth gear. The Warriors will need to go up another notch, which means they need J-Rich back.
You’ve got to feel good about his chances of rebounding. He’s done it all season, and this dude has so much fight in him. That fourth-quarter block told it all. After coughing up another turnover, he hustled back and pinned Devin Harris’ layup to the glass like a Clean Air bumper sticker on a Volkswagon bug.
Now, if the Warriors get anything from Ellis, who was visibly shook out there, that would be gravy. But I expect him to struggle tonight, too. He might need a home game to gain some comfortability and relax a bit. Though he looked fine today after practice when he was drawing laughs with his dancing. He was doing some shuffle with his feet, before walking off and pointing like he was a background dancer for Sexual Chocolate.
Unlike with Ellis, the Warriors can’t afford another poor outing from Richardson. In fact, they may need a big game from him since Dallas will assuredly be focused on stopping Baron.