Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bobcats comeback to beat Warriors in OT

The most disappointing loss of the season happened last night at the hands of the Charlotte Bobcats and Stephen Jackson. The Warriors controlled the game most of the way through using hot shooting to go on runs. In the first half, they played solid defense and made stops and defensive rebounds.

The Warriors did well to improve areas which needed improvement over the current three game losing streak. Andris Biedrins and David Lee had double digit totals in points and rebounds. Biedrins has been hearing it from basketball fans in the bay area for not stepping up or giving the Warriors anything on offense. He scored 10 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. If Beidrins gives the Warriors that, they usually win.

Golden State's bench also came through with 22 points. Not great, but better than the last two games.

The Warriors had this game won several times. They would build a lead, then let the Bobcats get back in. In the third quarter the Warriors led by 16 points, 76-60. Suddenly, the Bobcats went on a 11-0 run to end the third quarter and pull within five points. The ugly stretch of basketball highlighted a glaring problem for Keith Smart's ball club: they struggle in the last minutes of quarters.
As telecaster Bob Fitzgerald said after the game, "the Warriors lost this game in the end of the third quarter."

They did. It was the ugliest meltdown Warriors fans have seen all season. It almost negates the win in Sacramento Dec. 21.

Of course, Stephen Jackson had to be the guy to rip the hearts out of Oracle arena's chest by banking in a desperation three with six tenths of a second on the clock. Sure, it was kind of lucky, but the Warriors had countless chances to put the game away and they failed to do it. Monta Ellis could have made it a four point game, but he missed a free throw just a possession before Jackson's game tying shot. They could have secured a defensive rebound and ended the game. They failed to do that.

If this game was a car, the Bobcats stole it. But the Warriors left it unlocked with the keys in the ignition.

This loss is bad, really bad. This loss cancels the four game win streak they put together prior to the four game slide. The was a game the Warriors needed to have.

Monta Ellis didn't look like himself this game. He shot 6-24 and made five turnovers. I wonder if Ellis is completely healthy or maybe little worn down from leading the league in minutes. The Warriors don't seem to have any grittiness or physical presence on the floor and it shows in the amount of touch fouls they committed in the second half. It was lazy and bad defending.

Let's get real, this is not a playoff team. The Warriors will not be in the playoffs this year. They will not have a better record than Houston or Portland. They are in the worst kind of place: Not good enough to be in the playoffs, not bad enough to get a top draft pick. In all fairness, the Western conference is a meat grinder and achieving a playoff birth is a very difficult feat. Also, there can be jewels found deep in a draft.

I know owner Joe Lacob is very unhappy after what happened last night, and that's good because he cares. I would not be surprised if he made a move soon, but I hope he doesn't try to make things happen this season. The Warriors need another off season to put more pieces together through the draft and free agency. I don't have confidence a trade will benefit this team in the long run, not at this point.

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