Chances are you didn't see the Warriors game yesterday in Philly, being a radio only matinee at 2pm Pacific time. I'm glad I didn't have to watch because it was ugly early. The small Warriors lineup was brutalized on the glass by the big Sixes front line. Samuel Dalembert pulled 11 rebounds in the first quarter alone and Elton Brand finished the game with 23 points and 11 assists. The Sixers enjoyed as much as a 22 point advantage, but let the Warriors back into the game as Anthony Morrow tied the game at 76 with a three with 6:32. This comeback was futile thanks to an Andre Miller three with just over two minutes left to put Philly up six points.
The difference was the Sixers' advantage on the offensive glass, (22-11) that put the game out of reach early, not to mention numerous careless possessions by the Warriors. This game reminds me of games in past years versus Utah and San Antonio where big line-ups just punish Don Nelson's small lineup. The key to winning with a small lineup is playing with high energy to spark steals (=fastbreaks) and scraping for defensive rebounds to limit easy second chance points. In the last two losses to Chicago and Philadelphia, the Warriors have not brought enough energy work the small lineup to their advantage. I'm excited to see Tuesday how Jamal Crawford contributes to the Warriors offense. I am more concerned about how the W's will tighten up their defense. If I'm an opposing coach, I spread the floor, dribble penetrate relentlessly, and crash the boards when Biedrins or Turiaf come to help.
By the way, the Sixers won yesterday with no fastbreak points and the Warriors blocked 13 shots as a team.