Reactions: Warriors 121, Thunder 127
|David Lee, PF 32 MIN | 6-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | -1Lee was dominated early and often by the Thunder bigs, specifically Serge Ibaka. This is nothing new as Ibaka has made Lee look foolish all season long. Lee contributed to a disappointing Warriors frontcourt that got manhandled on both sides of the floor. Ibaka got what he wanted down low, and when he’s hitting it from midrange that makes for an extremely tough cover for anyone. Not to make excuses for Lee, who was caught napping — along with the rest of his teammates — on numerous occasions in rebound situations. Lee has once again gone back to being passive when it comes to his midrange jumper, something we thought he had overcome on the Warriors seven-game road trip. This will be known as Kevin Durant’s game, and for good reason, but the lack of production from the frontcourt contributed to the Warriors downfall.|
|Andre Iguodala, SF 30 MIN | 1-8 FG | 0-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +3Andre just hasn’t looked the same since coming back from his strained hamstring. He won’t admit it, but it’s hard not to imagine his hamstring still not hampering him just a bit. Kevin Durant was cooking all night, many of his shots coming off the Durantala variety: fadeaways, drifting laterally, floaters, stepbacks and pullups. Durant is a freak, we know that, and when he’s hitting like he was on Friday night there isn’t much a team can do to stop him. The Warriors didn’t do nearly enough doubling however, leaving Iguodala and others out to dry while KD just cooked. Much of this can be attributed to Durant’s god-given measurements, but that doesn’t excuse all 54 points. Iguodala’s lack of offense continues to be troubling, and on a night when the Splash Brothers lived up to their name the struggles of Iguodala, Lee and Barnes were abundantly clearer. Two points from both Iguodala and Barnes is simply stupefying and inexcusable. Iguodala’s last two games: 5 points, 2/15 (0-7 from deep), five rebounds and eight assists.|
|Andrew Bogut, C 22 MIN | 4-5 FG | 0-5 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -2I’m leaving Bogut as an incomplete until Mark Jackson finds a way to play his best defender. In my last recap I was harsh on Jackson, confused as to why he doesn’t play Bogut late in games, or at the very least more than his current average (27 MPG). Unless Bogut is instructing Jackson to limit his minutes because of health reasons — which I don’t think is the case — there’s no reason as to why Bogut shouldn’t be playing key minutes. Jackson has gotten away with these limited minutes in his wins, opting to go small most times and/or shutting Bogut down in blowouts. The last two games have been the worst cases of what can go wrong when he’s off the floor. The Thunder are big, and with Lee’s noted struggles against Ibaka the need for Bogut was greatly magnified. His free throw shooting isn’t a good enough reason to leave him on the bench, it’s just not. After Wednesday’s loss Jackson cited the high P&R as the main reason for Bogut not playing more late in games, opting to go small when the opposition forces the issue. Instead of forcing the opposition to adjust to him, Jackson pulls his best Avery Johnson impression. I’m not calling for his firing or anything near that ridiculous, but he has to learn trust his talent and not base his actions on premeditated strategies. Jackson’s inexperience has been on full display the last two games.|
|Stephen Curry, PG 38 MIN | 11-18 FG | 9-11 FT | 3 REB | 11 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 7 TO | 37 PTS | -10Curry was having one of those games, and it was evident early. Transition buckets, drifting through the lane, floaters, stepbacks; it was all on display in Oklahoma City. In fact, there isn’t much to criticize at all with the future All-Star starter. Curry leads the league in 30-point, 10-assist games (5), with the team 3-2 in those games. The seven turnovers on Friday night now give him 159 on the season, which leads the NBA (Jeff Teague is second with 134). While this is a problem, it’s not why the Warriors are losing games.|
|Klay Thompson, SG 41 MIN | 9-17 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 26 PTS | -6Thompson, like his fellow Splash Brother, was on fire early and often. The Thunder starting backcourt wasn’t the problem as Thompson and Curry played fairly well on the defensive end. After 21 points in the 1H, Thompson only had five points in the 2H. The Warriors — Curry specifically — started pressing and Thompson only got off five shots after attempting 12 in the 1H. Only one rebound in 41 minutes isn’t anything to write home about either.|
Quote of the game:
“They’re a really good team, and they’ve been playing together for a while. They execute everything. When you take one thing away, they’ve got option 2 and 3, even if Kevin is option 1, 2, 3 and 4.” — Andre Iguodala
Looking ahead: The Warriors have a quick turnaround to close out the week with a matchup against Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night.
Can anyone hit a free throw!?: The Warriors put on an embarrassing display of free throw shooting on Friday night, hitting only 19/34 from the stripe. This effort puts the Warriors at 23rd in the league (73.4%). I’m not asking the Warriors to hire Rick Barry anytime soon, but the team better hope they find their rhythm from the stripe, and soon. Durant will dominate the headlines, and deservedly so, but the Warriors leaving 15 points out there changed the game dramatically. This is disconcerting.
Kevin Durant’s ridiculous shot chart:
Just sit back and enjoy Kevin Durant’s career-night:
[youtube id=”TIFgd3IFDSY” width=”600" height=”350" autoplay=”no”]
The Splash Brothers ridiculous shot chart:
Your second-unit update of the night: Harrison Barnes has acted like a ghost much of this season, but he was literally ghost on Friday night: 0 points, 0/4 from the field, 0 rebounds, 0 assists and two turnovers. It doesn’t get much worse than that, and Mark Jackson showed a sign of noticing Barnes’ recent struggles when he subbed in both Barnes and Draymond Green early in the game. Green played well again: showing aggression on the offensive end and challenging Durant on many of his shots. There’s no denying now that Green is the true sixth-man on this team, and hopefully Jackson notices sooner rather than later. Green has outplayed Barnes in nearly every aspect of the game this season, and he deserves more playing time.
Jordan Crawford looked good in his first game as a member of the Warriors: knocking down his first three shots and showing he can handle a bit. He’s not a pure point-guard and that was evident early, but he’s better than what the team had and showed he can score. He’ll be a valuable asset off the bench once he gets accustomed to his new surroundings. MarShon Brooks showed he can still play basketball, but his playing time is a huge question moving forward. He’ll be competing with Kent Bazemore for minutes, and if Brooks puts his offense on display and shows some competence on the defensive end, don’t be surprised to see Brooks take Bazemore’s minutes.
Your Kendrick Perkins highlight of the night:
Tweets of the night:
Fixed. RT @JRAM_91 _____ is about to abuse Speights.
— Andy Liu (@AndyKHLiu) January 18, 2014
I get mad as hell when Perkins scores
— Orrett Strawn (@COSeezy) January 18, 2014
— Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) January 18, 2014