1) The Warriors are so hot right now you can usually tell whether the game will be a blowout in the first few minutes of the opening quarter. Unfortunately for the Suns, and fans hoping for a competitive game, Curry went for 19 points (41 for the game) on 5-6 from threes as the Warriors took a 44-27 lead after one quarter. Game effectively over.
2) I was looking forward to watching the backcourt duo of Bledsoe and Knight (42 points, 12 assists combined). I think they had a strong game, but it’s hard to ascertain their effectiveness because the Warriors are so dominant. It would be like trying to judge how tall you are by standing next to Shaq. You may indeed be tall, but Shaq will always tower over you. The Warriors are towering over everybody right now.
3) Someone (Jeff Hornacek?) should probably tell Ronnie Price to stop guarding Steph full court. He got beat off the dribble for two wide open threes and had to commit a foul to stop a layup. Maybe just wait for the MVP at half court.
4) The Dubs didn’t actually play a great game. The defense gave up 116 points on 49% shooting, and the offense coughed the ball up 23 times. Yet they still won by 19 points. That’s what happens when one team scores 66 points from beyond the arc at 58% shooting while the other gets “only” 30.
5) In 2012, before he suffered the knee injury, Brandon Rush was a rotation cog for the Warriors. He averaged 10 points on 50% shooting (45% from three) in 26 minutes a night. After his promising run during the preseason, I was hopeful that Rush had finally made it back. Not to be. He still looks uncomfortable out there, bobbling passes and rebounds underneath the rim. He shot 1-4 and finished with a minus-4. But I’m not abandoning the “Brandon Rush will be good again” corner. Come join me!
6) Realizing Green needed one more rebound for a triple double, Luke Walton inserts Dray back in with under 4 minutes to go. Draymond gets it on a put back (14 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) and immediately commits a foul on the other end to be subbed out (a move dripping with veteran savvy). I love this. Basketball should be fun. Triple doubles are fun. In baseball, some curmudgeonly old writer would say Dray getting reinserted to get a stat is disrespectful to the “integrity” of the game. I have no idea what that means. But I know that’s one of the reasons why I don’t know anyone under 40 who watches baseball.
7) Barbosa came back to his former stomping grounds and scored 21 points on 8-9 shooting. NBA players love to do this; they love to have big games versus their former teams, especially if the parting was contentious. Did someone hypnotize Stephen Curry into thinking he played for every team in the league? Is this why he’s setting the NBA on fire like a lover scorned?
8) With 2:33 left in the game, Archie Goodwin gets a steal on a pass and seemingly has an easy path for a breakaway dunk. Only Festus decides to chase him down from behind for a block (and foul). It was a 23 point game at the time. The Warriors are so focused, they’re not giving anything up.
9) Harrison Barnes injured his ankle in the third (x-rays negative). It may sound counterintuitive, but if HB has to miss time, his absence might prove his contract value more than his playing. Without Barnes, the Warriors will probably have to shift Iguodala to the power forward spot in the Draymond-at-center lineup and insert Shaun Livingston. It will be interesting to see how effective that group will be since HB is 2 inches and 10 pounds bigger than Iggy and does a decent job guarding 4s.
10) I hope Harrison doesn’t have to miss much time because I love watching him dunk. The dunks themselves are nice, but they also have the added value of inducing comedy from the bench. HB got a nice jam in traffic at 8:40 in the second, and afterward the entire bench rose to flap their arms in unison to soar with the Black Falcon. Grown men mimicking birds is fun. The Warriors are fun.