There's no doubt that the Indiana Pacers are the superior team over Golden State, especially with the Warriors again without Steph Curry, but they looked like an NCAA team going up against an NBA team vs. the Pacers for much of the night Tuesday in Indy. And they better get their act together and soon cause they have 4 more road games in the next 7 days, after which I think we'll have a much clearer idea of where the Warriors stand with the trade deadline looming.
Now, there isn't a whole lot to say, because the Warriors are playing the way they do so often when they lose games. They're turning the ball over, allowing easy shots and aren't getting off good ones on their offensive end. Those weren't the only reason they lost this game, though each of those reasons played a big role. But it was the lack of rebounding, especially offensively, that put them behind the 8-ball early and by a large margin. I think Roy Hibbert had 9 boards in the first quarter alone or something stupid like that. Once again, Andris Biedrins was just dead weight out on the court for his 10 minutes or whatever he's gotten. Udoh has been OK, but even he's had a tough time with David West and Hibbert. The game is still finishing up while I'm posting this so Biedrins could re-surface for some garbage time, but this is the exact time the Warriors should be playing Thompson and Udoh! There's a quarter of play left, and I'd love to see the Warriors go at them with Jenkins and Thompson as the guards with Wright, Udoh and Jeremy Tyler on the front line. Again, Tyler mush have done something to get in Mark Jackson's dog house because he's one of the few guys they have over 6'10" tall and is a young kid with some big upside? Why not throw him into the mix? Especially in a game when your getting blown out by 30 points in the 3rd quarter.
There's two things that really suck about what's going on right now, I mean, besides the fact that this team isn't a playoff team, but also is likely looking at next July's draft minus their first rounder. Speaking of which, there are some guys in that lottery that could likely come in and impact the Warriors front-court like Andre Drummond and Anthony Davis. But besides those facts, the two things I'm talking about is Steph Curry's annoying injury issues that are going to haunt him the wrest of this season. It's almost to the point where it may be wise for the Warriors, if they're planning on keeping Curry long-term and not including him in a deal, just sitting him the rest of this shortened season! I mean, even when he does come back from his latest foot sprain, you know it'll only be a matter of time before he re-aggravates it, and not only that but it's obviously impacted his play in a negative way. He can still knock down the shots and bring the ball up the floor but has no burst, and his signature quickness, which helps him get by with that frail body, is just not there. Let the kid take the rest of the year and heal, like the Hornets appear to be doing with Eric Gordon.
It goes hand in hand with the second part that is irritating me as a W's fan. And that is the stubborn front-office that seems close minded to trading away veterans that could potentially bring them back young pieces or even maybe a late first rounder. I mean, unless they dealt away Ellis and Curry and didn't get anything in return, this Warriors fan-base is there, huge and will not waver, regardless of the team's record or how they finish this weird, shortened season. Brandon Rush seems like the guy with the most value, do to fact that he's one of the best scoring-per-minute players in the NBA, and the top 3 point shooter. I'd try and package those two to the Lakers and try and pry their first rounder away from them. I know it'll likely be pick 23-27, it still gives them a first rounder and one of the big guys that could help them may end up falling, you never know!
Final Score: Indiana 102, Golden State 78
The one bright spot I saw at the end of the game though, as Jackson finally played the youngsters, was the return and play of Chris Wright. The uber-athletic rookie forward played 12 minutes and filled up the stat sheet for the best night of his brief career. He scored 9 points with 8 boards and 4 blocks and a steal in those 12 minutes and didn't turn the ball over a single time. That's some production, and I don't care if it was against Indy's 2nd unit either, and may catapult him ahead of Dominic McGuire on the depth chart, though he's got to do it for another few games to show consistency... Also, got word that Jeremy Tyler won't be an option for the Warriors any time soon as he was just assigned to the to the D-League. Hopefully he tears it up like Wright did and get's his shot in a few weeks once the Warriors are pretty much out of it.