The Warriors Beat the Hornets

The game was a complete meltdown for the Hornets.  They held a 20+ point lead in the third, and then went away from everything that got them that lead – i.e. interior scoring – lost their scoring edge, and the Warriors unleashed an absolutely crazy barrage of three pointers to win the game, feeding off a bunch of gambles the Hornets made to steal the ball, leaving perimeter players open for shots.

I’m convinced, however, that had Chris Paul been playing that game, the Hornets would have won.  I love Collison, but when the Warriors started their run, the team started to lose its composure.  Then, for the third game out of four, the  last few minutes of the game was “hero shot” after “hero shot” as the Hornets let fly from deep over and over rather than going back to what worked for 30 minutes.  That never happens with Paul out there.  He seizes control of the team, forces them to slow down, execute, and apply the brakes to the stupid train.

David West

Fluffy was again in full effect.  Simply a man among boys for most of the game.  He didn’t rotate as well as he should have on defense, but he was carrying a very heavy load offensively and was limping slight and looking exhausted by the fourth.  36 points on 26 shots, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 steal.  Only 4 turnovers.

No matter how irritating the game was as a whole, it was a joy watching David West operate.

Jeff Bower

I have very few quibbles with most of Jeff Bower’s rotations.  Keeping Thornton on the bench as a sixth man?  It has its merits.  Short minutes for Okafor?  There is typically ample reason for that.(The combo of Okafor and West was getting smoked by the Warrior shooting bigs tonight) 

But playing James Posey in the fourth against a team like the Warriors?  Indefensible.  He let Devean George get open 3 times.  He then switched to Morrow and let him get free.  Posey should come in to give West 8-10 minutes of rest, and then get off the floor.  That’s it.  In fact, play Julian Wright.  His defense is better than Posey’s, and at this point, his offense isn’t any worse.  Tonight, he was doing alright, too.

Unless, of course, Posey is Bower’s secret weapon.  Maybe the two of them have cooked up a scheme where Posey purposely plays this way in order to guarantee a better draft position.  Bower is GM too, you know.  Yay, lame conspiracy theories!

Other Observations:

  • The Warriors went 9-12 from three in the fourth quarter.  Just freaking dialed in.
  • For the first time ever, Thornton was not playing the way I’m used to.  He wasn’t attacking as hard as he usually does, particularly in the first half, and was instead passing off the ball more freely.  It led to him getting 6 assists, but I prefer the take-no-prisoners version of Buckets.
  • Peterson was shooting well, until he missed three straight free throws.  I’m tired of other teams being keyed by missed free throws by our players.  Particularly when the team, usually, is a great free throw shooting team.
  • Collison had 20 points on 14 shots, 14 assists, 6 rebounds, a steal, and 8 turnovers.  A great game, but four of those turnovers came in the third as the Hornets relaxed and let the Warriors cut the lead to single digits.  All of them were very sloppy, lazy passes that were easily picked off.

That’s enough.  It’s late.  Next game is tomorrow night in Denver. 

UPDATE: Game highlights…

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