|David Lee, PF 38 MIN | 7-16 FG | 1-2 FT | 11 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | +2Lee has received a lot of flak this season, most of it deserving. But a troubling trend I’ve come to notice: whether it’s Lee’s fault or not he seems to be receiving the blame for anything. Everything. I’m not going to defend Lee for his porous defense, invisible jumper and multiple blocked attempts this season, but to make it seem like Lee is at fault for all the Warriors problems is just short-sided. Wednesday night Lee had a very Lee-like line: a lot of rebounds, a lot of missed shots and a lot of minutes. He was the butt of many offensive sets (shocker) as Nowitzki was schooling him early and often and forced Mark Jackson to put Draymond Green on him instead late. I expect Lee to find his shot at some point this season and become a slightly more efficient player on the offensive end. Iguodala’s return and Draymond Green’s ascension up the rotation will put makeup on Lee’s deficiencies on that end as well. All is not lost with Lee, but he’s definitely still trying to find his way.|
|Harrison Barnes, SF 44 MIN | 6-16 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 17 PTS | +4After a first half the saw Barnes go 1/6 for 4 points in 20 minutes, the second-year forward found his way (and aggressiveness) in the second half. To be fair, Barnes had Shawn Marion — who still carries one of the best nicknames in sports — shadowing for most of the night. Marion is still a premier defensive player and Barnes just seem flustered in that first half. In the second, there was some semblance of ball movement (compared to whatever that first half was) and Barnes found open looks and made his usual array of shots in the paint. Before the game Iguodala said he’s still 1-2 weeks away (my guess is Christmas) so the show is still Barnes’ for now. With all the struggles the bench has had this season, the return of Barnes — and his play as of late — give reason for some optimism when this team returns to full strength.|
|Andrew Bogut, C 35 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 18 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | +2Bogut was a monster on the glass Wednesday night, grabbing a game-high 18 rebounds (the most he’s had in any regular season game with the team). Again, Bogut did his dirty work inside and made life extremely tough for the opposing centers. In this case, Dejuan Blair (albeit undersized) and Samuel Dalembert (not an offensive juggernaut) simply were outmatched.|
|Stephen Curry, PG 44 MIN | 13-25 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 10 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 8 TO | 33 PTS | +5Curry has been absolutely ridiculous in his last six games: 30.2 PPG, 9.6 APG all while shooting 47% from the field. This recent run has simply been a showcase of anything and everything he could do on the floor, and the numbers are severely backing it. The Warriors carry a 112 offensive rating when Curry is on the floor and a 86.5 rating with him off. Curry was special in the fourth quarter, with his game-winner over Shawn Marion being the pinnacle of it all. Curry had Calderon one-on-one before Marion switched on him off the high screen from Andrew Bogut. While Marion is taller, larger and has the longer reach, neither mattered to Curry as he drilled an elbow jumper after baiting Marion with a simple but deadly pump fake. According to Curry, this was his first game winner since high school. Not a bad time to do it.|
|Klay Thompson, SG 35 MIN | 3-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 11 PTS | -2After totaling 55 points on 55% shooting in his last two games, Thompson fell back to Earth with a muddling performance on both ends. He never found his rhythm offensively and was being exposed by the quicker Monta Ellis on the other end. Another interesting matchup is in store for Thompson on Friday night as he’ll be matched up with All-Star James Harden. Harden will draw attention and energy from Thompson on the defensive end, but Harden is far from a competent defender. Brighter pastures are ahead.|
Quote of the night:
“They came back and I thought we played Curry decent. We switched. Marion was on him, who’s probably our best perimeter defender, been our best perimeter defender for a long time and that’s a matchup we like. Curry just got him up in the air. It’s a tough play. He stepped under him and made a tough shot.” — Dirk Nowitzki
Looking ahead: The Warriors welcome their newfound rival Houston Rockets on Friday (ESPN) before finishing out the week with a matchup with the Phoenix Suns in the desert. Next week is a crowded one at Oracle as the team welcome three opponents: Pelicans, Spurs and Lakers.
Stephen Curry game-winner of the night:
[youtube id=”VenoQGaQ1B8″ width=”600″ height=”350″]
Instagram post of the night:
Vine of the night:
Tweet of the game:
Was there any doubt Curry would drill that? Any doubt at all?
— Amin Elhassan (@AminESPN) December 12, 2013
Golden Steph Warriors.
— Darius Soriano (@forumbluegold) December 12, 2013