Sunday, December 30, 2007

Warriors Return the Favor to the Nuggets on the Road

The win pulled off in Denver tonight shows the Warriors credibility as a team that belongs in the Western Conference playoffs. When teams play each other two times in three days, I can't help but liken the situation to playoff atmosphere. The West is as balanced as it has been all year with teams like the Blazers and Hornets moving up on last year's powerhouses in Utah and Dallas. Right now the W's are in eighth place in the West. By answering the Nuggets, who are tied with the Blazers in sixth place, earned a playoff merit badge winning on the road. With the way they played tonight, I could see the W's beating Denver in a playoff series. Now wait... they still have a lot of questions to answer. How will they find production while Baron is having some gatorade? Matt Barnes brings a lot of energy along with his three stroke, but turned the ball over a few times on telegraphed passes. He does so many great things for the team, but needs to finish with two hands more and be more cautious when passing.

The key to this win was the emphasis on defensive pressure, which was not applied Friday at Oracle. If the Warriors want to have playoff success, they will need to adopt the mentality displayed tonight. Use your energy on defensive pressure as opposed to use it forcing shots on offense. When the Warriors get in the passing lanes and disrupt dribble penetration attempts, they earn extra possessions that have often lead to high percentage shots. And when the Warriors are getting the extra possessions, they shoot with a relaxed confidence. With so many capable offensive threats like Baron, Jack, Harrington, and Monta, one can forget that defense is what leads to easy buckets in....the Warriors Rundown.

P.S. visit, cold vicious

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