Some observations from the Warriors huge road win:
* Allen Iverson wasn’t nearly as productive. After getting 39 on 12-for-21 shooting on Friday, he had just 13 points on 2-for-12 shooting Sunday with 5 assists. The reason? Baron Davis guarded him for the majority of the time, getting well-executed help from the big man when Denver tried its pick-and-rolls. Even when Monta was on AI, he did a much better job staying in front of Iverson.
The Answer still took 12 free throws, making nine (he was 13-for-15 Friday). But he was hardly the dominant player Warriors fans witnessed Friday, when he created time and again off the dribble.
With BD on AI, Stephen Jackson moved over to Carmelo, which is a much better match-up for Jackson. Quickness is Jackson’s kryptonite on the defensive end. Anthony is quick, but not AI quick. But Melo went with his power game Sunday, trying to back Jackson down, which kind of played into Jax hands. Anthony finished with 26 points on 8-for-17 shooting and 10 rebounds. But seven turnovers dimmed his performance.
BD: “We made a conscience effort to keep them on the perimeter as much as possible and they were not hitting a lot of their outside shots. And that’s what we wanted to do – and get the rebonds.”
* Monta doesn’t like playing against Denver. IMHO, Ellis is not as productive against players as quick or nearly as quick as him, especially a veteran like AI, who guarded Ellis a lot the last two games. Iverson figured out that Ellis’ handle isn’t so secure, so he played just a step off of him – not pressing, but close enough to contest Ellis’ midrange jumper. That forced Ellis to have to take Iverson off the dribble, which Ellis couldn’t seem to do. His numbers in the two games: 25 points on 10-for-30 shooting, 11 assists and six turnovers.
* George Karl made a huge mistake down the stretch Sunday. He left Anthony Carter all alone trying to defend Baron. Poor Carter. Davis blew by him so easily, breaking down the Nuggets defense at the most critical moments. Why not try a JR Smith or AI on Baron, some one who will at least make it somewhat tough for Baron to get by? Carter just didn’t have the quickness. There was a better chance BD would’ve been lured into trying to shoot over the smaller AI. But he knew he could take Carter.
*Matt Barnes finally got some significant minutes again. His 26 minutes Sunday was the most he’d played since 30 minutes at Memphis on Dec. 17. He answered the bell by making a lot of the intangible plays the Warriors need on the road. He finished with 8 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 turnovers and 5 fouls. He made two great outlets to Monta Ellis for timely fast break dunks. Five of his seven rebounds came in the fourth quarter as the Warriors held Denver to one-and-out.