Reactions: Warriors 117, Blazers 119
|Golden State Warriors||117||FinalRecap | Box Score||119||Portland Trail Blazers|
|David Lee, PF 33 MIN | 2-9 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | +6Lee struggled on the offensive end, missing seven of his nine shots and never finding a rhythm inside or from midrange. His four rebounds were also uncharacteristically low for someone who averages 9.4 on the season. But, his defense on LaMarcus Aldridge was very good most of the night. In their previous matchup (1/26 at Oracle), Aldridge was 2/14 from the field for 10 points, 11 rebounds and three turnovers. Aldridge isn’t one to bang inside every possession down, instead opting to take the midrange jumper whether through spotting up or the turnaround. Lee contested Aldridge well, and Aldridge made numerous tough shots on the night that were a much more a result of Aldridge’s ability to shoot over Lee than bad defense. Lee is still recovering from a pinched nerve in his lower back, and that showed on the offensive end.|
|Andre Iguodala, SF 37 MIN | 7-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | +26 Iguodala has been resting on the back ends of back-to-backs in hopes of keeping fresh for the playoffs. His newfound freshness was on display on Sunday as he was moving great on the court and being aggressive on the offensive end as well. This was a very complete game from Iguodala who will show his massive importance to the doubters in the playoffs. Iguodala should be in the discussion for Defensive Player of the Year, and if it wasn’t for his missed games he would be a fantastic candidate. On Sunday, he was a ridiculous (+26) in his 37 minutes. His ability to handle and play stout defense are what will be his bread and butter come the playoffs, but if he can stay aggressive on the offensive end that will just open up even more avenues for his teammates on the offensive end. An efficient night from Iguodala.|
|Andrew Bogut, C 32 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +24Andrew Bogut left the floor with :24 seconds left in the 4Q with what appeared to be injured ribs. He was getting x-rays at the time of this writing and his status for the remainder of the regular season is up in the air. His nine rebounds led the team, but Aldridge and Robin Lopez aren’t your typical back to the basket big men, which takes Bogut out of his comfort zone a bit. Bogut contained the paint well like he normally does, giving the Warriors more than what can be seen in a box score. He set solid screens for Curry all night as well, giving his superstar guard just enough room to let it fly.|
|Stephen Curry, PG 45 MIN | 16-29 FG | 8-8 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 47 PTS | +6Curry did everything but win the game. Really. There have been numerous postings like this throughout the season where I literally have run out of words to write about this dude. He displayed everything in his repertoire on Sunday night, torching any Portland guard that was in front of him. Curry’s night reached its climax in the 4Q, scoring 17 points on 7/12 shooting and showing the NBA world his gifts on the offensive end of the floor. This was another one of his runs, the ones that you just have sit back and laugh (and scream too) at. Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Curry are the three most gifted scorers in the league, and the three players that are absolutely must-watch TV when they get hot. Steph vs. Dame is always a show, but it was Curry who dominated the battle tonight. The Blazers guards had no answer for Wardell, and the Warriors best player is indeed gearing up for the grind that is the NBA playoffs.|
|Klay Thompson, SG 32 MIN | 9-17 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 25 PTS | +7 Curry will get most of the shine on SportsCenter, but make no mistake, Thompson has proven to be a fantastic compliment to Curry and showed his improved offensive game and consistent defense on that end of the floor. Thompson shifted from Lillard to Mo Williams to Nicolas Batum all night, and the Blazers never found an offensive rhythm really, and if it wasn’t for tough shots and some calls going their way this game could’ve ended very differently. Thompson has also shown his clutch gene, scoring 17 points in the 4Q and OT. The shots he made weren’t easy shots either, but they were taken without hesitation and with a newfound confidence. This is indeed a new and improved Klay Thompson, and when both the Splash Brothers are hitting there are few funner sights in basketball.|
Quote of the night:
Mark Jackson on Curry: “He’s first team All-NBA. I don’t know who’s voting, but the year that the guy has had has been absolutely amazing.”
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) April 14, 2014
Looking ahead: The Warriors end their regular season home schedule with a matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night. They then finish off their regular season schedule in Denver on Wednesday.
Your second-unit update of the night: With the Warriors returning to their #FullSquad, David Lee was awarded his power forward spot again as Draymond Green asserted himself on the bench. Given Lee’s offensive struggles throughout this game and how the offense has flourished in previous games with Dray on the floor, it was slightly surprising to see him just barely get more minutes than Harrison Barnes. Barnes’ struggles are well chronicled, and while he had a productive night — 8 points (3/7 from the floor) and 8 rebounds in 22 minutes — the Warriors are better off platooning Lee and Green and inserting Barnes with the starters to maximize his usage.
Mark Jackson continues to insert his entire second-unit to start and end quarters, which has proven time and time again to not work, especially on the offensive end. That unit succumbs to Jermaine O’Neal postups, Jordan Crawford isolations and contested shots from Barnes. It’s ugly to watch, but Jackson continues to live by his rotations, for better or worse. O’Neal (-25 in 20 minutes) was outworked on Sunday night, but the team might need him even more with Andrew Bogut’s status up in the air. O’Neal has proven to be a viable backup, but the Warriors won’t last long in the postseason with their defensive anchor missing games.
The bench scored a measly 24 points, but in a game dominated by the backcourt that didn’t prove to be the killer. You want your bench to contribute as much as they can, but if their coach isn’t putting them in the best position to flourish this result shouldn’t be too surprising. It’s one and done on the offensive end with the second-unit. Little ball movement and an influx of clashing offensive talents don’t make for the best of second-units. We’ve seen them play well in the past, especially when Steve Blake first came on board, but they’ve been cold for the last few weeks. Rotations shorten in the playoffs, so these type of lineups will hopefully be coming to an end soon.
Tweets of the night:
Mark Jackson took the most exciting team in basketball, and turned them into the 2001 New York Knicks. Congrats buddy.
— Haralabos Voulgaris (@haralabob) April 14, 2014
I have now decided that I’m getting a custom jersey that says “Stephlon Don” on the back, word to @JRAM_91
— Chad (@TrickThatTreat) April 14, 2014
Steph is just getting warmed up. Playoffs in one week. http://t.co/uAHmtTthEG
— Julie Phayer (@juliephayer) April 14, 2014