Reactions: Warriors 122, Mavericks 120
|Andre Iguodala, SF 41 MIN | 7-9 FG | 0-1 FT | 8 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +5 The extra aggressive Iguodala stepped up when he was needed the most, hitting clutch buckets, making fantastic passes and grabbing a team-high eight rebounds. He had an extremely efficient night on the offensive end, and on a night when two starters were out the production was welcome. Iguodala’s game hasn’t been prone to big outputs in the points column, but his ball handling has never been in question. His seven assists trailed only Stephen Curry’s 10, and the ball movement was effective in large part due to multiple ball handlers in the starting lineup.|
|Draymond Green, SF 42 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | +12 Draymond Green got the start at the power forward position after Mo Speights assumed that roll the previous two games. The only way he could’ve been more productive was if Dirk Nowitzki’s talent was sucked away by a group of aliens from another planet mid-game. Did I just reference Space Jam? Yes. Was it done successfully? Probably not. Anyways, Green has been due for an increase in minutes all season, and while this increase came in a rare appearance as a starter, he continues to prove his worth as an important player on this team. He can hit the open three, defend 1-5 and has been seen making timely, beautiful passes. His court vision is that of a point guard, and while he doesn’t have the speed of one, I don’t fear have Draymond initiate a play. He’s the Warriors’ Swiss Army Knife, and one that they’d be smart to re-sign in the offseason. I’d say Green has earned some votes for Most Improved Player, but really, he was doing most of this last season. As the regular season ends and the postseason nears, Green will continue to prove himself as a keeper, and one the Warriors can’t afford to sit on the bench.|
|Jermaine O’Neal, C 33 MIN | 9-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 20 PTS | -2 Was it a goaltend? Probably. Did Warriors fans deserve the non-call? Who knows. There were some calls that could’ve been made and ones that shouldn’t have been, but I generally don’t like blaming the refs for a result unless blatantly wrong (Michigan-Tennessee anyone?). I’d also like to take this time to thank the Phoenix Suns medical staff, who resurrected O’Neal’s once finished career and given him new life from then onward. O’Neal has proved to be a quality backup center in the league, and in his 18th season has contributed much more than I thought he would. The absence of Festus Ezeli has increased his importance and minutes, and JO has stepped up and provided production on both ends of the floor. The Mavericks are an oddly constructed team, and Samuel Dalembert only played 7 minutes as they opted to go small with their guards or smaller forwards. With both starting big men out, O’Neal because the best low post scoring option for the Warriors, and he excelled. He added on the usual array of garbage buckets down low, but an extremely productive night from the veteran.|
|Stephen Curry, PG 43 MIN | 10-17 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 10 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 23 PTS | +8 Wardell Stephen Curry: the NBA’s newest superstar. If you haven’t adopted that yet you should, because this guy is here to stay. The Mavericks decided that Jose Calderon was to guard Curry the majority of the night, which wasn’t wise. Sure, they doubled and hedged pick-and-roll’s whenever they could, but his court vision and quick release still beat them. He’s a matchup nightmare for everyone not named Patrick Beverly, and Curry made Calderon look foolish on numerous occasions on Tuesday night. Curry did his damage in the second half, scoring 17 points and accumulating seven assists during that span. On the final play, Mark Jackson opted not to call the timeout (shocker) and let his superstar do what he does against the inferior Calderon. It was a situation that Curry has seen plenty of this season: important possession, little help as it pertains to screens, one defender and an important basket needed. Curry made Calderon look lost, crossing him up and executing a beautiful stepback three with .01 seconds left in OT. Game. How many memorable moments has Curry produced this season? The Warriors might need more moments like these to keep their season alive, but Curry can handle the pressure. #WeOut|
|Klay Thompson, SG 47 MIN | 11-24 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 27 PTS | +6 A secondary scorer was needed if the Warriors were to pull out the victory in Dallas, and Thompson delivered. He outscored Curry, but more importantly, was efficient (and timely) in his production. He has continued to drive to the rim, which opens up the floor for others and has increased his assist and rebound numbers in recent weeks. Something has clicked, and the Warriors backcourt is exponentially better when the team is running and Thompson is driving. He finished at the rim in more ways than one, and these newfound skills have him possibly reaching his potential on the offensive end earlier than expected. On Tuesday, Thompson was once again tasked with guarding Monta Ellis, who has struggled against Thompson this season. Ellis had an outstanding game, but many were of the Mississippi Bullet fashion. The question now becomes how much energy will Thompson have for the Spurs after his constant chasing of Ellis and finding open shots on the offensive end. This was one of his better games this season, and he’ll need another one if the Warriors hope to sweep the Texas Two Step.|
Quote of the game:
Looking ahead: The Warriors now must turnaround quickly as they had to San Antonio for the second leg of their Texas Two Step on Wednesday. They complete their week with the Sacramento Kings on Friday and the Utah Jazz on Sunday.
Your impressive Warriors’ shot chart:
Your Stephen Curry game-winner of the night:
Andre’s reaction of the night:
Iguodala’s face after Steph’s shot might’ve been as good as the shot itself. pic.twitter.com/m7xrhSkSUZ
— Benjamin Cruz (@cruzkontrol) April 2, 2014
Mark Cuban’s reaction of the night:
— Jordan Ramirez (@JRAM_91) April 2, 2014
Your Draymond Green update of the night:
Has Mark Jackson turned the corner on Harrison Barnes? Draymond Green 42 minutes while Barnes saw the floor for a measly 13 minutes. This should’ve been the case for quite some time now, but credit Jackson (albeit late) for the change. Green has been outplaying Barnes in every facet of the game this season from day one, and he’s deserved to earn more minutes than the gift-wrapped sixth man. This was a season low in minutes for Barnes, and given his struggles it would be extremely wise of Jackson for this to stay the case.
Green started on Dirk Nowitzki, which would seem like an impossible (and unfair) task for a second-year forward. But, Green isn’t your normal second round pick, and he played Nowitzki tough despite Dirk’s outrageous line (33 points on 62% shooting and 11 rebounds). As is the case with Stephen Curry, sometimes greatness just takes over. Dirk makes every shot look easy, even if they’re quite the opposite. Turnarounds, fadeaways, pull-ups, posting up and spot-ups, the German had it all on display on Tuesday night.
Green has recently shown his ability to pass, which continues to be an underrated part to his game and one of the primary reasons the Warriors’ ball movement is exponentially better with him starting than others. He shot just under 44% from the field in March, is a beast on the glass and is willing to set quality screens every time down the floor. He’s the perfect player coming off the bench, and while he won’t start as long as certain players are on this roster, he’s made his case.
Your unsung hero of the night:
Tweets of the night:
Really fun to watch a team that actually designs plays for its best player and doesn’t post up random bench players instead.
— Kevin Draper (@kevinmdraper) April 2, 2014
Cheat code gives us the lead @JRAM_91 lol
— Chris (@COSeezy) April 2, 2014
Yessssss @StephenCurry30 !!!!!!!!!!!
— Andrew Bogut (@andrewbogut) April 2, 2014