Saturday, January 8, 2011

W's handle injury riddled Cavs in a laugher, 116-98

Aside from the meetings against the T'Wolves, the Jan. 6 game against the Cavs was a laugher and I hate games like that.

The Warriors played down to the Cavs level and didn't have to work to score. The body language of the Warriors players was casual. Rather than take the Cavs seriously and finish the game early, they let Cleveland hang around in the first half. The Warriors, now the NBA's best three point shooting team, poured in the treys as they hit nine of their first 12 attempts, but sharp shooting will not always be there.

The Warriors turned the ball over, but Cleveland was simply awful and didn't punish Warriors misques. Any other team would have burned the Warriors for the mistakes they made, but the Cavs were too bumbling. The Warriors played tight defense when the Cavs knocked on the door, but the defense was fairly casual for most of the game. The Cavs shot themselves in the foot with unforced errors and turn overs.

The most disappointing event in the contest was when Mo Williams committed a flagrant foul on Steph Curry in the third quarter. With the contest well out of hand at that point, a frustrated Williams wrapped up Curry while the W's guard was gliding in the air on a breakaway layup and totally vulnerable. Curry fell hard on his hip and left the game. Curry converted his free throw attempts, left the game, and returned briefly in the fourh quarter.

Usually when defenders commit that "wrap up" type of foul, they hold onto the offensive player to slow their momentum. It's what Jim Barnett calls professional courtesy. Maybe if this was game seven of the NBA Finals, I could see that type of foul being more appropriate (a la Detroit Pistons of the 80's), but that was not the situation. The Warriors were trouncing Mo's poor Cavs with minimal effort, his pal LeBron ditched him for Miami, and his team is the worst in the league. The Warriors, however; are still competing to make the playoffs in the Western conference and Steph Curry is an integral part of the Warriors accomplishing that.

Mo Williams: LeBron left the team largely because he didn't believe in you. You turtled under pressure in the playoffs, but at least you won't have to worry about being in the playoffs for a long time, maybe the rest of your career. I almost feel sorry for you, Mo. Just last season you LeBron, and all the Cavs were dancing and choreographing pre-game routines, and now your team is a long faced bunch that can't beat anyone. Don't mess up our season just because LBron didn't think you were good enough and took his talents to South Beach. Your foul on Curry was classless. To quote Kobe Bryant, "You need a hug."
I was pleased to see David Lee shove Williams to the floor with 3:34 left in the game as Williams went up for a layup. Lee could have fouled even harder, but he just wanted to send a message, not actually jeopardize Williams health like Mo's foul on Curry.

Hopefully eating a cupcake like the Cavs didn't make the Warriors too soft for the next game against the Clippers Sunday Jan. 9. The Clippers are playing great basketball. Baron Davis is playing like the Baron Warriors fans grew to love back in 2006-07' and he has Blake Griffin to throw down his passes for dunks. While Davis and Griffin are threatening to put up double-doubles, Eric Gordon can quietly rip of a 30 point game. There will be some interesting match-ups in this game. Will Monta guard Baron? Or will Keith Smart use Dorell Wright like he did against Chris Paul in the fourth quarter? Perhaps Ekpe Udoh will be called upon to defend Blake Griffin.

The game is a matinee, 12:30 on Sunday Jan. 9.

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