Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 11.36.26 PM

New Orleans Pelicans 93 FinalRecap | Box Score 104 Golden State Warriors
David Lee, PF Shot Chart 34 MIN | 10-15 FG | 1-2 FT | 17 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 21 PTS | +18I suppose all Lee needed to turn around his season was Iguodala. Even Lee admitted after the game that this was his best game of the season, and it was clear from the start that Iguodala’s presence was all that this team needed to not only take the much needed win, but to actually begin to resemble the Warriors of earlier this season. Iguodala’s return paved the way for Mark Jackson to slide Lee over to Aminu, a much less gifted scorer than Ryan Anderson, whom Iguodala was tasked with defending at the start of the game. While he was still exposed a few times on the defensive end, it was a much more complete game from Lee on both ends. While all but one of Lee’s field goals were outside the paint, his post moves resembled the Lee of last season with quick, decisive moves and strong putbacks. With the Pelicans missing their dominant force inside, Lee snatched a season-high 17 rebounds in 34 minutes.
Andre Iguodala, SF Shot Chart 17 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +20The stat line won’t tell you the whole story, but make no mistake: Iguodala’s return to the lineup paved immediate dividends and in his short time with this team, he’s proven to be the most vital piece to the Warriors puzzle. As Jackson urged before the game, he was playing on restricted minutes and after the game said he wanted to play Iguodala in five-minute intervals. Whether Jackson would’ve extended Iguodala’s minuted had the game been closer is unknown, but what is known is how he affects seemingly every aspect of the game when on the court. Ball movement, spacing and quick, transition offense were evident early, and there were no signs of hindrance from his groin injury that had sidelined him for 12 games. Iguodala admitted after the game he’s not 100%, but will get there relatively soon. It’s good to have him back.
Andrew Bogut, C Shot Chart 21 MIN | 4-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +13Bogut’s matchup would’ve been a doozy had Anthony Davis been healthy, but instead he was subject to Jason Smith, who is not in any way close to Anthony Davis. Not even close. In fact, they shouldn’t even be in the same sentence together. Bogut was his usual self inside and even managed to make (gasp!) a jump shot. With 3:48 left in the 1Q, Bogut managed to make a jumper from just inside the three point line, a shot commonly considered the worst in basketball (or simply put, a “Rudy Gay”). As Bogut gets more comfortable (and confident) with his offense, the Warriors become that much more dangerous on the offensive end. Another scoring thread can only help the other weapons this team possesses.
Stephen Curry, PG Shot Chart 33 MIN | 11-19 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 12 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 28 PTS | +22If Curry was an All-Star snub last season, what will the reaction be if he doesn’t make the team this season? I know, it’s a rather moot point considering the All-Star Game means little to nothing in the big picture. But Curry’s efforts this season haven’t gone unnoticed by fans as he was the third highest vote-getter amongst Western Conference guards (327,449) — ahead of James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Tony Parker. Curry’s performance was highlighted by a mere three turnovers, which can be attributed to Iguodala’s return to the lineup and better spacing (and thus better passing lanes). Jrue Holiday isn’t a scrub, and when I asked Curry after the game how difficult the matchup was, he praised Holiday — who was in the same class as Curry — and considered him one of the more underrated players in the game. With Cory Joseph (Tony Parker is out with a shin bruise) and Kobe Bryant awaiting, Curry will be in for two unique, perplexing matchups.
Klay Thompson, SG Shot Chart 37 MIN | 6-14 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | +17If there’s one player who I thought would benefit most from the Warriors improved spacing and ball movement it would’ve Thompson. Yet, the third-year guard struggled again on the offensive end missing three shots in the painted area and only 1/4 attempts from beyond the arc. The good: Thompson guarded Eric Gordon as well as any player could as he limited him to a paltry 1/9 shooting, 5 points and two turnovers. While his offense wasn’t sharp, his defense paved the way towards the eventual blowout. It was the Pelicans, and they are no way in the playoff picture, but it was a much needed victory for a team already swamped with a company of close losses and much too difficult wins.

Quote of the game: 

“It was just one of those games. They came down hitting. It’s kind of tough, especially when Steph is shooting so well. They have a lot of scorers, especially when he is getting into the paint and making a lot of nice passes. They need him to play that way to have a chance to win every night. I think defensively we did okay but they hit a lot of shots and things were going their way.” — Jrue Holiday

Just for fun, Stephen Curry’s shot chart this season:


The best highlight that didn’t happen:

[youtube id=”qJCTWpqxJSU” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Looking ahead: The Warriors welcome the San Antonio Spurs into town on Thursday night for a rematch of the last year’s Western Conference semifinals (TNT). Saturday, the Southern California rivals are back as the team faces the new-look Los Angeles Lakers.

Tweets of the night: 

One Response