Reactions: Warriors 116, Nuggets 123
|David Lee, PF 38 MIN | 8-16 FG | 12-13 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 28 PTS | +2Lee had an extremely productive game on the offensive end and kept the Warriors within striking distance in the 4Q with his patented postups. Lee scored 12 points in the 4Q, six of those points coming from the free throw line. Lee was opposite Kenneth Faried and JJ Hickson, and Faried has known to be a defensive force on the inside. Lee wasn’t fazed, and while Faried blocked one of his shots this wasn’t a Serge Ibaka scenario. Most of the defensive lapses came from the backcourt as Lee and Bogut did a fine job of defending Denver’s frontcourt.|
|Andre Iguodala, SF 36 MIN | 1-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | +2Let’s chalk this one up as a “still getting back from injury” game, even if it’s not true. We had thought Iguodala was back to near 100% considering his recent string of impressive games, but he was largely a non-factor on the offensive end and was getting torched on the defensive end. We know that Andre’s offensive production will fluctuate based on matchups and the flow of the game, but when your defensive stopper has off nights it brings up other concerns. He wasn’t J.R. Smith, but he wasn’t his normal self either. Help is on the way however in the form of Jordan Crawford, a slashing combo guard who most recently has added this thing called “playmaking” to his repertoire. How much of the ball handling will be given up to Crawford is still unknown, but if either of the two new players can take stress off the starters it will be a fantastic trade. As Bob Myers said before the game, the bench is now expected to extend leads and not simply hold them.|
|Andrew Bogut, C 24 MIN | 5-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 4 TO | 10 PTS | +3Bogut was impressive from the jump and has grown an exciting fascination with the Denver Nuggets. He played them well last season in his national coming out party and once again — on national TV no less — showed why the Warriors acquire him for a combo guard that shall not be named. Why am I giving him an “A” for the night? Well, besides his impressive line and usual presence on the defensive end, it’s more of a grade of what he could’ve done had he played more. Mark Jackson opted to go small in the 4Q in hopes of guarding the Nuggets high pick and roll offense. At least, that’s what Jackson gave us as his reasoning. While Bogut looks as healthy as ever, one has to wonder if there’s something else going on. It is just baffling how Jackson has continuously shied away from his team’s best interior defender late in games. Most of the time it hasn’t cost them, but on Wednesday night it was on full display. Does Jackson have too much faith in Harrison Barnes? Does he have too little faith in Draymond Green? Is he concerned about Bogut’s minutes? All are legitimate questions, and while Jackson’s logic makes sense on the surface, when you consider the Warriors were killed on the inside when Bogut was off the floor — Denver out-rebounded the Warriors 14-8 in the 4Q — the lack of substitution is nothing short of frustrating. Jackson shouldn’t shy away from using a much more defensive oriented lineup in the 4Q, specifically Green and Bogut out on the floor at the same time. He has faith in his defense with the players he has out there, and while they’re certainly good, there are better options sitting right beside him.|
|Stephen Curry, PG 40 MIN | 7-19 FG | 6-7 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 24 PTS | +4Marcus Thompson — new, grouchy, Kate Upton dissing columnist and former Warriors beat writer — and myself were having this discussion in the locker room after the game: is there any other player in the league who has better “bad” games than Curry? He had a poor shooting night on Wednesday, especially from deep, yet he finishes with 24 points, five rebounds and seven assists. This speaks mostly to Curry’s much improved all-around scoring and handling around the paint, but also due to volume. You want Curry to take his shots because there simply isn’t anyone better at taking any kind of shot than Curry. But even Curry noted after the game that his diminished shooting percentage from deep is in large part to adjusting to his new teammates and forcing shots when a pass would probably be better. I’d never frown on a Curry open look, but the Splash Brother himself has passed up some open looks from deep in recent games. It’s equally shocking as it is disturbing, but with the way he’s shooting this season I can’t really blame him. He’ll find his groove at some point as most great shooters do, but his ineffeciency — despite an impressive line — on the offensive end didn’t help his team’s causes on Wednesday.|
|Klay Thompson, SG 38 MIN | 9-19 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | -8Thompson was impressive early on the offensive end, making 7/11 in the 1H and closing with two key buckets in the final stanza. It was on the defensive end that caused Thompson and others to cripple. Denver’s guards torched anyone that was put in front them, especially in the first half as many of their buckets came off penetration and open jumpers. It isn’ Thompson’s fault but more so an indictment on the team’s effort on the defensive end. The three-guard combo of Lawson-Foye-Robinson accounted to shoot 23/38 (61%) and while Robinson nearly gave the game away with some late turnovers, they head their way with the Warriors all night. It’s a good sign that Thompson can be confident in himself enough to take key shots late in games, but it’s too bad his efforts were lost in the defensive mess that himself and his teammates had produced.|
Quote of the game:
“I write to myself and just reflect on my career. It’s helped me cope with not being able to get the contract I want, playing time or being on one team. But for me, my whole thing is the NBA. It doesn’t matter what team I play for. I’m going to always play the same way, the right way, try to play to win and play with my heart every night. No matter how many minutes I play, no matter how many teams I play for. If I could be the first player to ever play for every team in the league, I want to do it. If that’s what it takes, then I’m going to do whatever it takes.” — Nate Robinson
Nate Robinson as a member of the Warriors. REMEMBUH!?
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Your Denver Nuggets three-guard (Lawson-Foye-Robinson) shot chart of the night:
Your diss of the night:
Looking ahead: The Warriors now embark on a two-game road trip that sees them facing the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday (ESPN) and New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday. Next week consists three home games (IND, MIN, POR) as part of five straight games at Oracle.
This didn’t happen Wednesday night, but it gives me an excuse to post it:
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Tweets of the night:
Need HB to move to the deep east for a season. Have him hang out with Beeda Weeda or somethin’. He’ll be a completely different player.
— Mek (@_YoMek) January 16, 2014
Hubie Brown >
— Peace (@thereisnoBattle) January 16, 2014
Jackson is coaching this game like Karl coached the playoff series. That is not a good thing.
— Daniel Leroux (@DannyLeroux) January 16, 2014