The Warriors beat the Hornets

Published: January 31, 2009

There’s the letdown.

The Hornets won four of five games without Tyson Chandler and David West, four games they didn’t really have any business winning. And tonight they came up against a team they really should have beaten. But they didn’t. Two steps forward, one step back? Something like that I guess. Let’s get to the bullets…

  • First game back for David West and we lose. Not only that, but Peja Stojakovic — who had been red hot in the absence of West and TC, averaging 23ppg in the previous five games on 56% shooting — shot 3-11 from the field to finish with 11 points. Some folks might put a lot of the blame on West for the loss tonight, but I think that’d be pretty harsh. He came back with the right attitude, willing to do the dirty work and take his shots when they came to him. His jumper was rusty but he was a beast on the boards and played some decent help D from what I can remember. The problem was him playing too many minutes (31) and our offense relying too heavily on him in his first game back. A lot was asked of him and he just couldn’t deliver, much as he tried. I expect we’ll see him struggling for a few more games before he gets back to his usual form.
  • I know the Warriors are a terrible defensive team, but I actually thought they did a solid job on Peja. What Monta Ellis gave up in height, he made up for in hustle, determination, and a little help from his teammates. Even if West hadn’t played tonight, I doubt Peja would have been able to give us much. He was tortured on the defensive end, too, especially by Corey Maggette down the stretch. Peja completely lost him on that backdoor late, and the resulting three-point play pretty much sealed the deal.

  • Chris Paul had a miserable first half. I believe he shot 3-9 and had 4 turnovers before the break. It really did seem like our best basketball of that half came when he was on the bench. He played much better in the second half and managed to finish with stud-like numbers, but still something seemed a little off with him tonight, like he could never get in a good flow.
  • Some numbers: Warriors beat us 44-34 in points in the paint, and 14-6 on the break. We were +1 on the boards, 5-21 from deep, 26-33 from the stripe. G-State was 19-22 from the free throw line.
  • From YoungFella in the game thread comments:

    Can I ask a question? What does Posey have to do to get criticism from somebody other than me?

    Obviously going back to back games with a combined 1 FG doesn’t do it. If he shoots 3 airballs tomorrow night might somebody else think to blame our huge offseason acquisition at that point? …

    I went back to the win at Dallas and James W. Posey is a staggering 25 of 79 from the field since that game. He’s been atrocious in our bad losses (Knicks, Minnesota, Warriors) and has had only 1 game where he shot 50% or better in that span. If he would have given us anything in any of those 3 bad loss games we’d have won each of them.

  • I hate that Ryan Bowen didn’t play tonight.
  • Julian Wright also got burned numerous times by Maggette for a stretch in the fourth, but he was magical in the first half. In the first quarter he was busy getting a couple of steals, taking a charge, knocking down a 21-footer, grabbing an offensive board and laying it back… he was awesome. Then right out of the gate in the second quarter he swats a shot by Turiaf, and later in the same defense he dives out of bounds after a loose ball and throws it back off Jamal Crawford. Hornets ball. Nice work, kid.
  • Speaking of Crawford, coming into this game his personal career winning percentage (.306, 175-397) was the lowest among current NBA players with at least 350 games played. I’m guessing the win tonight doesn’t do much to change that.
  • Met some cool people at the game. The two seats right beside me in 305 usually have different people each night; always an adventure getting to know them. Anyways, tonight it was a couple originally from South Bend, Indiana, living around these fine parts now. Quote of the night came from the girl: “You Warriors think you’re so awesome with your bright orange… (long pause) … but you’re not!”
  • Sean Marks played 17 minutes and had a +/- of +14. Next best for New Orleans was Julian Wright’s +1. I realize raw +/- numbers over-simplify things a little, but my eyes also informed me that Marks played well against the Warriors. He seems to have given up shooting jumpers (except for a pair he had to throw up late in the shot clock tonight), instead focusing on rebounding and keeping his hands ready around the basket whenever CP is in the vicinity. That’s all working out great for him and the team. Keep it up, Kiwi.

I can’t be too mad about this loss because the effort was there. This wasn’t so much like the losses to the Kings and Bobcats earlier in the season. We actually came up with plenty of hustle plays tonight. We just shot the ball horribly and Maggette came up with big plays against shoddy defense down the stretch.

And of course we were expected to win, so we were always going to struggle. Thankfully we play the Spurs on the road tomorrow. Underdogs again. We’ll probably win the damn thing.

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