By: Jesse Taylor
Reader’s Note: Beginning December 8, WarriorsWorld is spending nearly two weeks examining the play of David Lee, easily the most polarizing player on the Warriors. We are providing an unbiased look by watching David Lee, and only David Lee, on both ends of the floor for a stretch of games ending with the Lakers at Oracle Arena on December 22. Our fifth installment of “The David Lee Watch” follows the matchup at Atlanta on December 15.
As Ad-Rock would say, David Lee’s engine has been running hotter than a boiling kettle. And he remained on fire during Golden State’s blowout win over the Atlanta Hawks.
He began the game hitting three straight 3-pointers, the third from 29-feet. On the Warriors’ first defensive sequence, in succession, he blocked the shots of Josh Smith, Al Horford and Jeff Teague, spiking the ball so hard on the Teague shot that it traveled into the second deck – literally giving someone in the nosebleed seats a nosebleed.
On the Warriors’ fourth offensive possession, Lee passed up his fourth 3-pointer to drive the lane, rising from the free throw line, jumping over Smith and Horford for a 360 two-hand-windmill-tomahawk dunk. He then grabbed Smith’s head with two hands, like a father speaking to his child, telling Smith to stop being such a knucklehead. Smith’s life was forever changed by this encounter and he has been a model citizen and basketball player since, never again taking a 3-pointer.
Lee went into halftime with 36 points, 24 rebounds, 12 assists, five blocks and zero turnovers while playing Scottie Pippen-esque defense.
It was such a blowout at halftime that Mark Jackson allowed some of Atlanta’s biggest celebrities into the Warriors locker room. Lee snuck into the showers with Keisha Cole and TLC’s Chilli and T-Boz, and had himself an enjoyable four-way. He came out the showers, texted Cole’s husband, Lou Williams of the Hawks, photos from his sexual encounter, and proceeded to show Usher some new dance moves. Next, he soundly kicked Ludacris’ ass in a freestyle rap battle. Before hitting the court for the third quarter, he visited Left Eye’s grave, touched her forehead and brought her back to life.
On the first possession of the third quarter, Lee executed his most amazing feat of all, grabbing an offensive rebound and actually pump-faking to get his defender in the air before finishing. Yes, David Lee pump faked when he was inside the lane.
With a 154-26 advantage and the game in hand, Jackson took out his starters in the fourth quarter. Rather than sit on the bench, Lee kicked Bob Fitzgerald out of his TV play-by-play seat and worked with Jim Barnett for the rest of CSN’s broadcast. Lee gave Warriors fans their greatest broadcast experience since the days of Greg Papa and Barnett.
Before flying the Warriors charter plane back to Oakland (the pilot ate some bad tuna and got sick), Lee managed to speak with Andre 3000 at the arena and convinced him to stop acting and get back to rapping full time. Andre agreed and is giving Lee a guest spot on the new Outkast album, set to drop in 2013. Andre will not sing one iota on the album thanks to Lee.
Okay, I may have exaggerated a little in that recap, with the biggest exaggeration being that Lee used a pump fake while close to the basket. However, this is how it has felt for Warriors fans watching David Lee play over the last few weeks. He is playing the way, shit even better than, we all hoped he would play when he signed that big contract.
I really don’t need to walk you through what happened in the Atlanta game, because it was pretty much the same thing I’ve said in the previous four recaps. His offensive game was great, both shooting-wise and passing, he was an aggressive rebounder and played pretty solid on the defensive end. He thoroughly outplayed Josh Smith. I mean it wasn’t even close. He wasn’t intimated by Ivan Johnson. Okay, I’m sure he actually was, but he stilled scored on him a few times.
In 33 minutes, Lee finished with 20 points on 10-14 shooting with 11 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Pretty efficient and effective way to lead a blowout win. The Warriors return home playing the best basketball they’ve played since the “We Believe” days. David Lee has been a huge factor in this success. Maybe when he returns to Oakland he can bring 2Pac back to life (if he really is dead).