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Game 48 rewind: Warriors earn no-styles-points-required victory

Style points are nice. We like big, easy wins. They are easy on deadlines, fun for the fans, and good for the bench to get some playing time. Right now, it seems those are only coming when the Warriors play against top-four teams in the Western Conference.

Tonight’s game was a time where you could brush aside the style points. I think we all saw a game like this coming. Fresh off a back-to-back, fresh off an emotional wins it’s a game that is a prime candidate for a letdown. And for about 3 1/2 quarters, that’s what it looked like.

The first 10 minutes of the game were good, when the Warriors established a 23-14 lead. But the Jazz got back in it with a 12-0 run and really controlled the play all the way until midway through the fourth quarter. With David Lee out with issues with his shoulder and his hip, the Warriors needed to find extra scoring. They didn’t.

Andrew Bogut was the one guy who did deliver, pouring in 16 points, grabbing 17 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two steals. But outside of him, it was all Stephen Curry and nobody else. Curry had a season-high 44 points. He made 14 of 26 from the field and 8 of 13 from 3-point range. He and Bogut combined to go 22 of 39 — that’s 56.4 percent. The rest of the team: a putride 11 of 49 for 22.4 percent.

Klay Thompson had an awful night offensively. He scored 11 points — the only other player besides Curry and Bogut in double figures — but that came on 3 of 20 shooting. He managed to make just 1 of 14 shots from INSIDE the 3-point arc.

So how did Golden State win? It only turned the ball over nine times and turned it up defensively in the second half. The Warriors allowed just 19 points in the fourth quarter and showed why coach Mark Jackson preaches playing defensive basketball. They won a game despite making only 37.5 percent of their shots, even with their opponent hitting nearly 48.

Under different circumstances, you could lament this win for not being more convincing against a bad opponent. Do the Warriors get a complete pass for winning ugly? No. You’d like to see them dominate teams more, even on a back-to-back. But as Andrew Bogut said, “A win in this league is like gold. You’ve got to cherish it no matter who it’s against.” Or how it comes.

 

Jimmy Durkin

I cover mostly San Jose State football for the San Jose Mercury News/Bay Area News Group, but also fill in from time to time with the 49ers, Warriors and A's.

  • k [20]

    switched back and forth between local channel and mass media channel, really just to hear the announcers and crowd ooh and ahh about curry. anyways, jim barnett spoke on how the warriors cant live with klay thompsons ups and downs. as a warriors fan, its really frustrating to see him continually miss open shots that an ‘elite’ shooter would make. there are a lot of frustrating offensive sequences when he is in the game. would love to see jackson move him to the sixth man role and bring harrison to the starting line-up.

    here are few questions for the experts: what is klay thompsons ceiling? can mark jackson do anything differently with klay thompson? or do you think klay thompson is doing fine?

    i like klay, but he has been absolutely frustrating to watch offensively. its just as painful as when the warriors call the play where they have harrison barnes post and try to make something happen. what is that play and what do they call it? the ‘hey harrison, take the ball and no one else move and lets see what happens’ play?

  • Commish

    Jimmy, Diamond, every once in a while–in the early days of Marcus’ blog, he would answer a question or give a personal opinion. I’m wondering if one or both of you would do the same. Why wouldn’t Jackson, or would Jackson, try starting Barnes and bringing Klay off the bench to see if that would help both their slumps and the team? It seems so obvious something needs to be tried with these two guys. Clearly Bogut is healthy, knock and wood, and what a difference maker as he gets more agile (if that word can be used in a sentence with his name). Good news: Green just keeps getting better and better as Barnes slumps; and, Jordan is finding his way and beginning to look a whole lot more comfortable. That was a great trade imho! Please think about giving us your opinion on my question. Thanks.

  • Grey Warden

    I can see why Iguodala always makes the extra pass instead of shooting it himself. He’s just not that good of a shooter and he knows it. Those extra passes lead to bricks by Klay Thompson. But once in a while, when Iggy’s under the basket, he needs to at least make an effort to make a bucket.

    Very poor shooting night from Thompson, Barnes, and Iguodala. You could probably add in Speights and Crawford too, but they didn’t play that much.

    The problem with Thompson’s shooting is that he goes for low percentage shots. Meaning that he never squares up or sets his feet when he shoots (unless he’s attempting a catch and shoot 3). Most of his shots are off-balance shots and fade-a-way shots. As said above, rarely does he ever set his feet unless it’s a 3. And even then he always rushes the shot.

    Watch any of the Warriors commercials with him in it and you’ll see he shoots the ball properly. Obviously I understand it’s a different situation during a game, but you don’t see Curry having a problem doing the same thing, because he’s set up properly, even on 2 pointers. Once in a while you’ll see Curry attempt an off balance shot (most of those come during an attempted foul or end of a quarter), but rarely does he do fade-a-ways. Thompson needs to re-evaluate his game. Stop jacking up bad shots and either drive to the basket, or make higher percentage shots instead of opting for bad ones.

  • Stan

    This whole game myself and a friend were “Terrible!”..”He dribbled off his leg AGAIN??”..and whoa is me. Then they won.
    The Big Eucalyptus is still reaching for the stars. 16 pounts 19 rebounds..and they always seem to miss counting half his blocks!..I say he had 10! When was the last time a Warrior center had 16 points and 19 rebounds? Wilt?

    The Big Eucalyptus..meet the Big Dipper.

  • flaninerfan

    A win is a win but I would like to see better end game strategy. Waiting until the shot clock is almost at zero and hoisting up a long jumper does not cut it. One time Curry had Jefferson guarding him……take it to the rim! Rather see them be aggressive and make the defense earn a stop instead of giving them one.

  • flaninerfan

    With Thompson struggling why not leave Crawford out there down the stretch? Fresher legs and a better driver to the hoop. Also why wasn’t Bogut put in for defense after UTA called timeout?

  • Stan

    Klay was 11 for 38 when the game started. Went 3 for 20. My math says that’s 14 for 58!

    And he looks shorter too!..no rebounds or much D.

  • Howard Benner

    Nate Thurmond. . kinda hard to forget him. . .

  • Stan

    Ouch. Ok, the best since Nate the Great?

  • Howard Benner

    Sometimes our “archives” are a bit “overtaxed. . .”

    I’ve noticed Bogut has been moving like I remember him in college. Seems he is developing his left hand a bit more. . .of course if he had never hurt his elbow the Bucks probably wouldn’t have dealt him. Still i have been thinking for a while that he deserves much more touches per game, to have the offense run through him far more frequently than it has.

    Unfortunately his nerve damage in his elbow has robbed him of about 10% of isi FT accuracy, so that will prove difficult to overcome. . .”hack a Bogut” will always be on the menu for oppositiion gameplans.

    Bogut’s game reminds me of Bill Walton’s. . .Great passer, ballhandler, defender. . .is innately unselfish. . .he just wants to win. . .

    Yes, the best since “Nate the Great. . .”

  • Howard Benner

    I imagine Jarrett Jack is pontificating between the money & the (lack of) discipline in Cadaverland, as it seems he traded playoff (playoffs? We’re not talking PLAYOFFS. . .) possibilities for his bank account. . .

    Of course his demonstrative, ball dominating style probably would no longer play out in the East Bay. Steph is definitely “evolving” into an actual point guard. Steve Kerr, who is a fine color commentator indicated he detects evidence of “Steve Nash” tendencies in his game; the adroit & adept ballhandling, the ability to keep the defense on their heels as his ballhandling skills & movement abilities keep the defense guessing, one hand passes with either hand seemingly coming out of nowhere. . .he is still developing, but with the ballhandling skills of Bogut & Iguodala, & with ‘Dre still establishing his rightful place in the W’s “O” combined with the fact Bogut’s & Igudola’s presence are still in the “integration” process one has to think if the W’s become mentally tougher, reduce turnovers & continue to improve on “D” they could take the next step to consistent production & success. . .One can hope. . .

    Things could be worse; they could be cleveland. . just ask Jack. . .

    From the outside, it has seemed like the Cleveland Cavaliers have been a dysfunctional group for a long time. Now that former Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng has seen the franchise from the inside, he seems to have come to the same conclusion.

    “Deng has seen how a team mired in losing since LeBron James
    left town wrongly caters to its young star players, even as they
    continue to undermine head coach Mike Brown at almost every turn. In
    Chicago, where Deng broke in and played nine-plus seasons, there is a
    winning culture where players are expected to act like professionals and
    understand that they will suffer the consequences if they step out of
    line,” wrote Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News.

    “As Deng recently told one close friend, ‘the stuff going on in
    practice would never be tolerated by the coaching staff or the front
    office back in Chicago. It’s a mess.’

    Specifically, Lawrence noted that Deng has seen “players get thrown
    out of practice, take off their uniform tops at halftime and threaten
    not to play, mouth off to Brown” and Dion Waiters play his usual minutes in a game, despite being thrown out of practice for misbehaving.

    Deng is slated to be an unresctricted free agent at season’s end.
    Judging by this report, it sounds incredibly unlikely that he will be
    interested in re-signing with the Cavaliers during the offseason.
    Package that idea with notion that Kyrie Irving’s
    tenure with the team could expire after the 2014-15 season, when he can
    become a free agent, and we may see some big offseason changes once
    again from the Cavs. That likely will start with general manager Chris
    Grant being shown the door.

  • Dennis Towns

    The Big Eucalyptus – I forgot about that one, funny!! Some good comments and all pretty spot on. His offensive output is remarkable considering he has not had a post up called since December and seemingly always is above the 3pt line setting screens. If Lee did not get ‘tunnel vision, every time he makes a move from 15ft, Bogut would have another 3-4 dunks per game. He always ends up at the front of the rim.
    The old timers say jump shooting teams never win titles, and I agree with with 95% of the time. Klank and Lee must give some of their shots to Bogut in the post- he is unselfish and will pass if need be, but some offensive post body banging is important long term. If he can get to the line more than twice every 10 games, the %age will increase with some rhythm. If he can get to 50%, Shaq manage 4 titles at this….