1) After hounding Jarrett Jack into a crucial 8-second call in crunch time of the previous game, the Warriors again got a crucial turnover from an opposing point guard in the waning seconds of the 4th. Kyle Lowry, with a chance to win the game down 1, hooked Andre Iguodala’s arm while setting a pick and was (correctly) called for an illegal screen. After the ensuing Curry made-free throws — with no timeouts and down 3 with 12 seconds left — Lowry inexplicably drove for a 2-point layup that missed. More Warriors free throws. 5-point game. Buzzer. I don’t know if the boisterous Oracle crowd or the bright yellow “City” jersey distracted Lowry, but execution down the stretch remains elusive for visiting point guards in Oakland. Dubs escaped with a nice victory over a quality opponent.
2) Draymond had another 5 assists in the game. Coming into the night he was averaging 7.1 a game, more than Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley and Lebron. Dray is a fantastic passer in general, but especially from the power forward position. He’s gotten more adept at finding open guys in the 4-on-3 situations that come from Curry pick and rolls, and this season has started to bring the ball up court more frequently off rebounds. He’s also leveraging his improved stroke from threes (40%) into smart drives for floaters, lobs and passes for shooters. 82 million for 5 years is such a bargain for a player with his diverse skill set.
3) Barnes hit a corner three for the first Warriors points of the game. After a slow start on triples this year, he’s shooting better of late and is at 31% for the season (41% last year).
4) Nitpicking: The Warriors are having an incredible early season. At 12-0 they are literally doing the best they can. One dirty little secret: the Warriors’ opponents haven’t been great. What looked like a daunting first 5 games to start the season don’t look as tough now when you consider that — as of writing — the Pellies, Grizz, and Houston Free Throws are a combined 11-22. Warriors opponents as a whole are 35-46. Maybe we need to pump the breaks a bit on the “Is this the best team of all time?!” talk until they face more quality opponents.
5) Iguodala’s hands are remarkably fast. In the 3rd, after Carroll stole the ball on a telegraphed Ian Clark pass, Andre managed to poke the ball out of bounds from behind to save the lay up. With 4:23 to go in the fourth, and the Raps only down three, Dre slapped the ball out of Derozan’s hands for a turnover. In a 5-point game those subtle plays came up huge.
6) Demarre Carroll was hot in the third. A couple of threes and a couple of buckets. Then Dwane Casey took him out. I understand teams like consistency in their rotations, but when your squad is trying to beat a team that hasn’t lost a game at home since January, you might need to mix things up a bit.
7) Bogut got his spot back with the starting unit. Not that it matters all that much to the Australian big man. Bogut on taking a reduced role and coming off the bench (as reported by Matt Steinmetz):”I always struggle seeing a guy who in Year 10, 11, or 12 of their career, and it’s a little bit past them, maybe, they still want to play 45 minutes a game and it’s not good for the team. You’ve got a better chance of winning games by limiting how many shots you take.” I wish Bogut would become Kobe Bryant’s life coach. I hated Kobe growing up, but always respected his game. It’s tough even for a non-Kobe fan to see how number 24 is playing these days (17 points, 16 shot attempts, 2.4 turnovers, 23% from threes, infinite tainted memories).
8) After two straight DNP-CDs, Mo Buckets got a little run from Walton. It wasn’t a reassuring 5 minutes (5 points, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls). Speights would make a desperately needed jumper one minute, and commit back-to-back silly fouls the next. It was like he was vacillating between the good Mo of last year and the not-so-good Mo of two years ago in one single game. I hope Mo of last year rejoins the team soon.
9) Jalen Rose, on his podcast Friday, said the job that Luke Walton is doing with the Warriors is equivalent to the job Steve Kerr did taking over for Mark Jackson. I love Jalen (his new memoir is fantastic; if you’re a Fab Five fan, the inside-stories might make your head explode), but while Walton should be commended for doing an excellent job in an awkward situation, he’s not exactly guiding a rudderless ship — he’s leading a championship team and encouraging his guys to not get bored. The job Steve Kerr did taking over for Jackson was masterful. He was smart but humble, stern
10) The Raptors have something called “Drake Night” set for November 25th in Toronto. If the Dubs held a similar hip-hop night, who would get the host emcee nod? Mac Dre? Too $hort? Del? Personally, I’d go with E-40. Sprinkle this Rewind, mang!