Reactions: Warriors 98, Pacers 96
|David Lee, PF 22 MIN | 4-7 FG | 3-6 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -5Lee had a tough game on both ends of the floor. David West and Lee have some history, but West got the best of Lee on Tuesday night. West made some contested shots, but he was also open on multiple occasions and drew plenty of fouls. 16 of West’s 27 points came in the second half, and he made all seven of his FT’s. Lee is still finding his form on the offensive end since his return from injury, and still doesn’t seem comfortable taking the elbow jumper. Famed Warriors killer Brandon Bass awaits Lee in Boston.|
|Andre Iguodala, SF 23 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +2Iguodala dislocated his right index finger in the fourth quarter but was able to return to the game. X-rays after the game were negative. Another low point total from Andre, and Paul George presented one of the tougher matchups not named LeBron James or Kevin Durant in the league. George cooked everyone early one and ended up with 26 points on 8/23 shooting (7/8 FT), which isn’t the worst of defensive efforts. George made tough shots and there were numerous made field goals that were can simply be attributed to the physical gifts of George. The entire starting unit not named Curry and Thompson were limited on Tuesday night due to the improved production of the bench, and Andre would like to forget about this one and prepare for Boston.|
|Andrew Bogut, C 22 MIN | 1-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -1We still haven’t heard an explanation from Mark Jackson on why Andrew Bogut failed to play all but one second in the final quarter. There were no signs of an injury early and to have your best interior defender on the bench in crunch time was inexcusable. Luckily for the Warriors (and Jackson), the Warriors managed to get the victory regardless. Jermaine O’Neal has played well of late, and despite the usual, ball-stopping isolations the 35-year-old veteran has earned every bit of his one-year, $2 million deal. Jackson might’ve gone with the bench unit because they were playing well and didn’t want to mess up their rhythm, which makes sense. But it became glaringly obvious that Bogut was needed late in this game. At one point, Draymond Green, Iguodala and Bogut were all on the bench in the final stanza. Those three should be in the closing lineup.|
|Stephen Curry, PG 32 MIN | 7-18 FG | 3-3 FT | 8 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 19 PTS | -7It’s very rarely that Curry deserves criticism. In fact, Curry has largely been perfect this season outside of some early season shooting woes and turnovers. But, the All-Star was just off on Tuesday. The Warriors extended their lead with Curry on the bench in the fourth quarter, and when he came in the team struggled to hang on. Obviously this will rarely be the case, and his line is still an admirable one, but this was Klay Thompson’s game to shine. Paul George stole the ball from Curry with 2:15 left and later stepped out of bounds with the game tied. To Curry’s defense, the Pacers did what any competent defense does against him: suffocate him all night with their best defender, double teams and going over on pick and roll’s. Curry is in for an interesting matchup with Rajon Rondo tomorrow.|
|Klay Thompson, SG 41 MIN | 10-20 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 25 PTS | +2I’ve stated before that it’s rare that we see both Splash Brothers hot at the same time, and while in a game where Curry has a rare off night Thompson delivered in every way. Not only did he hit a ridiculous turnaround jumper with .06 seconds left to give the Warriors the lead, but when the team needed baskets it was Thompson who consistently hit the big shots. He was aggressive on the offensive end (nothing new), but his drives to the rim were something we haven’t necessarily seen from Thompson at all in his young career.|
Looking ahead: The Warriors finish their six game road trip with a trip to Boston tomorrow night. They then close out their week with two home games: Atlanta on Friday and Phoenix on Sunday.
Klay Thompson shot chart of the night:
The shot of the game:
Best game from Thompson since…
Your second unit update of the night:
The bench has discussed and criticized greatly this season, and for good reason. They’ve been terrible for the majority of the season, and Bob Myers had the monumental task of improving their second unit in time for the playoff push and possible playoff lineups. While MarShon Brooks is gone to Los Angeles, Jordan Crawford is still getting minutes and throwing up shots that only Steezus can. A lot of them don’t go down and will fans scratching their heads, but you live with what Crawford can give you. His 7 points in just under seven minutes were a welcome sight.
The catalyst for the Warriors bench has been Steve Blake. His deal received much praise when it happened and has immediately paid dividends for the bench unit. The offense has extended leads with the starters out and his defense has been respectable. The second unit’s problem was never on the defensive end, and Blake has provided the handling and court composure needed to keep his unit in check and moving the ball. He didn’t score on Tuesday night, but he didn’t need to. He had six assists and only one turnover in just under 17 minutes. Fantastic production from the Warriors newest acquisition.
While Harrison Barnes fell victim to his normal drives in the middle of the lane for contested jumpers routine, he did make timely buckets in the final quarter to go alone with five rebounds on the night. Jermaine O’Neal played the majority of minutes at center and did a fantastic job at limiting Roy Hibbert inside. Hibbert made shots from the top of the key and outside the paint, but you’ll get him those. Finally, Draymond Green — on his birthday — managed an impressive line in just 21 minutes of play: 10 points on 4/7 shooting, seven rebounds, two assists and his usual tenaciousness on the defensive end. He deserves more minutes, especially as the game is coming down to the wire, and I’m not sure what else Jackson has to see for him to earn them.
Mo Speights recorded his first “DNP” of the season.
Tweets of the night:
Nothing bad to say about the dubs bench tonight
— Chris (@COSeezy) March 5, 2014