Monday, December 13, 2010

Warriors fall to Jazz, seventh consecutive loss

The Warriors have lost their seventh consecutive game. It was close for three out of four quarters, but the lack of bench made the difference in this loss as it did in the previous six games and the Jazz second unit dominated. Golden State's starters did a good job, as they were up 23-20 at the end of the first quarter. The Warriors just went limp to begin the second and that was the stretch which opened up the game for the Jazz.

The Jazz are an interesting team, they almost seem to play possum with their opponents by doing the bare minimum to hang around for most of the game, then putting the ball in Deron Williams hands in the final minutes of the game. Utah's ability to make comebacks has everything to do with their almost un-guardable point guard.

The Warriors frustration showed up in the the last three or four minutes of the game when usually stoic and unflappable Monta Ellis took exception to a hard foul from Deron Williams. At this point, the game had ceased to be competitive and Monta's true frustration was directed toward to officials. A few plays earlier Ellis was whistled for a charge for lowering his shoulder into Williams on a drive through the lane. The officials subsequently gave Ellis a technical foul; for what, I'm still unclear. All game long, Williams got every call remotely close. Williams conned the refs into calling a block on Ellis as the Jazz point guard dove into Monta's legs while Ellis retreated. Credit Williams for being crafty and leaning into defenders and creating the illusion of rough contact. Williams is a strong point guard and finishes extremely well after initiating contact and it makes him a difficult player to officiate.

The Warriors lost this game because of their poor bench play and lack of depth, not the officiating. That being said, the officials had a bad game. I've never liked Tony Brothers as an official. He asserts himself too much, rather than let the players decide the game. I have always loved the "ageless" Dick Bovetta, but I don't think he's taken a vision exam in awhile. The call on David Lee for swinging his elbow when no Utah player was within 15 feet was absurd! After tonight's game, I encourage Dick to retire. Inequitable officiating.
After Williams whacked Ellis, David Lee had a break away lay up and was fouled hard by skinny CJ Miles. Like Williams foul on Ellis, it wasn't dirty, just rough play. It's the kind of foul I wish the Warriors dished out rather than these pathetic excuse-me fouls. Shortly after, Miles drove the lane and dunked the ball, a perfect opportunity to put Miles' thin body on the floor and send the message that the Warriors can play hard also. This didn't happen. Miles flushed the dunk and the Jazz skipped back down to the other end. The Warriors skulked through the remainder of this disappointing game.

If Miles tried that sequence against the Celtics, Kevin Garnett would have put him in the hospital and teased him as he left the building on a stretcher. The Warriors don't have any nasty. No Baron Davis, Stephen Jackson, or Matt Barnes. Zero nasty. That's why they don't get to the free throw line, that's why they don't get the respect of opponents and referees alike, and that's why they are 8-16.

Hopefully this is the low for the Warriors. David Lee is not himself (elbow), Curry is not himself (ankle), and Monta is seriously overworked and it hurts his efficiency. Biedrins doesn't give them anything on offense and is deathly afraid to work himself to the line. Maybe this team can make a run when Lee and Curry are healthy together and the schedule let's up, but for now, this team is incapable of competing with a good team for 48 minutes.


Anonymous said...

I know that players and coaches should not complain about officiating, but owners should take it to the NBA. This is unacceptable. It ruins the game.

Another point is that Warriors continue to tun into the ground their rookies. Watch what will happen with Udoh under the Smart. Warriors do not need the draft. They ruin young players' career. Curry is an exception. He is just too good even for Nelson and Smart to destroy. But Smart will try to do what he can

Brian said...

The "super star" special treatment by officials is one downside to an otherwise great product in the NBA. Sometimes the officials feel like they are superstars themselves just becasue they have the power to effect the outcome of the game. This steers many people toward the college game for it's purity(Although some would argue Duke gets a lot of charges called their way.

I'm not ready to call for Keith Smart's head just yet. The 6-2 start was nice and the expectations from the fan base are very high, but even at full strength the Warriors struggle for the eighth seed in the West, let alone challenge elite teams with depth(i.e. Spurs, Mavs, Lakers).