|David Lee, PF 26 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +1 David Lee had a limited game on Thursday night, mostly due to the constant foul trouble that pestered him all night. Lee’s best quarter came in the 3Q, when he logged 4 points, 4 rebounds with an assist and steal to boot. We haven’t really seen Lee unleashed this series, but that’s not totally unexpected. He’s missing his frontcourt partner and the Clippers are able to feast on Lee with DeAndre Jordan camping (literally) out in the paint or Blake Griffin playing physical one-on-one defense. It’s unfortunate for Lee, who greatly benefitted from Bogut’s presence on both ends, but that’s neither here nor there now. All of Lee’s points came inside the restricted area, and so were all his misses. His 9 rebounds were good for second highest on the team, and in 26 minutes that’s nice volume. Lee got caught on multiple occasions on the bad end of 50-50 calls, and with 54 total fouls called it was an ugly, slow, frustrating game for most of the night. There’s no denying that Blake Griffin is the superior player at this point, but if Lee can stay out of foul trouble and stretch the floor as much as he can when out there he will prove his worth (at least this series). It’s not much to ask of your highest paid player, but with the playoffs being all about matchups this is what needs to happen for the Warriors to take a Game 7 on the road. Lee picked up his 6th foul with 9:44 left in the game, but as we’ve seen this season all is not lost if Lee is not out on the floor. Specifically, if Draymond Green is in the game at any point, anywhere, the Warriors will have a chance to win the game. It’d be tough to expect a high output game from Lee on Saturday given his struggles this series with the Clippers size, but we can still expect high energy, rebounds, points in the restricted area and smart passes. This isn’t the ideal David Lee, but he can still contribute.|
|Andre Iguodala, SF 35 MIN | 5-9 FG | 4-9 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | -1 As the famed contrarian Ethan Sherwood Strauss tweeted during the game: this was the Iguodala many fans thought they were getting when the Warriors acquired him in the offseason. After a disappointing first two games, Andre has continued his stout defense while adding to his offensive game. His skills were never in doubt, it was simply his willingness to become the Andre of old with this team. This has been a rarity this season, and while he’s no stranger to the big moments (game-winners vs. Oklahoma City and Atlanta), it’s fantastic to see him moving well and being more decisive on that end of the floor. Not only is he attempting more shots, he’s getting calls and heading to the line. He’s only shot 63% this series from the line, and his shooting stroke isn’t changing anytime soon. But, his clutch gene isn’t either. Iguodala’s potential four-point play with 3:44 left was huge, and so were his three consecutive rebounds preceding it. Andre, like Draymond Green, won’t always fill up the box score and can’t always be quantified by numbers. He’s chasing JJ Redick on one end of the floor and running the offense on another end. He’s proven his worth this series, and in 35 minutes contributed exactly what the Warriors needed him to. He didn’t take away from Stephen Curry, instead helping him by picking his spots, handling the offense when need be and providing the consistency on the defensive end. With Klay Thompson having a terrible game from the field, this performance was especially important to this team’s eventual victory. Iguodala is “showing up” at the perfect time.|
|Draymond Green, SF 41 MIN | 4-12 FG | 5-6 FT | 14 REB | 4 AST | 5 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | 0 As with Curry for much of this season, I’ve almost ran out of words to describe the second-year veteran out of Michigan State. Yes, I used “second-year” and “veteran” in the same sentence. There was never such a thing before I typed it, and Green is proving how important of a talent (and personality) he is each and every game. Green was simply everywhere. On the defensive end, he’s bothering Blake Griffin more than what Griffin is letting on. In the postgame media session, Griffin practically dismissed Green when asked what Green does to defend him so well on that end. Griffin attributed his bad night to simply missing open shots, which is preposterous. He’s a monster on the glass, especially on offense. He had 6 offensive rebounds (twice as many as Lee), but seems to grab every rebound with a level of ferocity that isn’t seen a lot in the NBA. This dude just loves to play basketball and do it at a high-level. His defense on Griffin has bothered him this whole series, and while the superstar power forward (Griffin, not Green) had a full stat line, it wasn’t efficient (8/24 for the field), pleasing to the eyes (barreling through players and 3 turnovers) or dependent on the foul line (1/2 from the stripe). It takes more than one man to stop Griffin, as the Warriors sent doubles (though not quick enough in some cases) at him, but there’s no denying that Green is morphing into a “Griffin stopper” of sorts. Even when he wasn’t tasked with guarding the best forward in the game, he was closing out on shooters on the perimeter, batting out live balls and hitting from the charity stripe. This type of performance shouldn’t be news to anyone, it’s just a continued reminder of how fantastic a selection he was with the 35th overall selection just two drafts ago. His “MVP” chants might’ve been premature, but they weren’t totally off in regards to this team.|
|Stephen Curry, PG 45 MIN | 9-24 FG | 4-7 FT | 4 REB | 9 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 24 PTS | +7 Give credit to Curry, who made his presence known early and often. He took 12 shots in the 1Q alone, scoring 14 points and notching two assists in the opening stanza. Curry had 2 turnovers and the team only had 8 on the night, which was the same number that he had for the entirety of Game 5. Curry was aggressive in his own ways that fans and pundits alike have gotten used to: taking quick shots off the pick-and-roll, attacking one-on-one coverages and taking quick shots after off-ball action. Curry took advantage of an injured Chris Paul, who looked slow and was also seen for a hand injury in the first half. Paul didn’t make anything of his injures, attributing them to the normal grind of the playoffs after the game. Curry only made three shots after the 1Q, which is a testament to his teammates aggressiveness after that opening period and the (rare) ability for this team to keep the game close with their star off. Mark Jackson made it known that he’ll ride his superstar until the team’s death, which is exactly how it should be. His 45 minutes were the most on the team, and he’ll only have one day in between games to full recover for the biggest game of his early career.|
|Klay Thompson, SG 41 MIN | 3-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -6 Thompson is lucky that Jordan Crawford and Mo Speights decided to contribute, because he had an awful game on that end. It’s hard to hate too much on Thompson, as he’s pretty much locked down Chris Paul this entire series. It often goes overlooked given the “Splash Brothers” flash, but his ability to guard the best perimeter player on that end on a nightly basis is just as important as his ability to shoot. Is it possible he’s just fatigued with having to constantly chase and front Chris Paul? Indeed. But if Thompson can score less than 10 points in 41 minutes and only make one three in that span in a win, the Warriors will take their chances. The contributions from the bench and Iguodala laid some Thompson rest to bed, but not completely. 3/11 can’t happen in Game 7 in Los Angeles if the Warriors want to advance, and even with a hobbled Paul, Thompson will have a tough task of trying to once again limit the killer known as CP3.|
Quote of the game:
Looking ahead: It was always going seven games. The Warriors head down to Los Angeles to fight for the right to play the Memphis Grizzlies or the Oklahoma City Thunder on the second round. This will be the 11th time the two teams play each other this season.
Your (ugly) Warriors shot chart of the night:
Your reaction of the night:
J.J. Redick has that 2K MyPlayer hair. pic.twitter.com/ppR7YUGJKe
— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) May 2, 2014
Your bush league play of the night:
— Sean Jordan (@BaySean) May 2, 2014
If you’re not following Draymond Green’s mom on Twitter, do so now:
SAGINAW, MICHIGAN stand UP! Yo baby played his heart off and left it all on the floor! Way to go @Money23Green love you boy!
— MARY BABERS-Green (@LTDtimes3) May 2, 2014
Tweets of the night:
Stephen Westbrook! — EvanZ (@thecity2) May 2, 2014
Elimination game and you’re running consecutive Jordan Crawford post-ups. You really DO believe in god. — Zach Harper (@talkhoops) May 2, 2014
I like Mark Jackson, but he”s very lucky his friends are announcing every GSW playoff game for TNT and ESPN.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) May 2, 2014
If you can’t see the stark difference in coaching talent in this game, you’re either blind, stupid or biased. Or some combination thereof.
— P (@Pthe16) May 2, 2014
People who don’t watch sports with Twitter are doing it wrong. — Sal Castaneda (@sal_castaneda) May 2, 2014