Golden State Warriors:
. I know the Warriors haven't been mathematically
eliminated from the Western Conference playoffs, but it sure feels that way, doesn't it? And that "sort of almost" fact leaves me feeling empty and a little sad.
It's so weird. The Warriors will probably end up seven or eight games better than last year and still not make the playoffs. What went wrong? I mean, besides a ridiculously stacked Western Conference (their record would make them a solid fourth seed in the East). A lot of things, I guess. Chris Mullin gave away Jason Richardson, for starters. The rich and trendy people came in and spoiled what had been an amazing, old-school homecourt advantage. Don Nelson relied to heavily on a seven-man rotation that forced his big guns -- Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, and Stephen Jackson -- to log about 40 minutes a night. And, of course, the team never committed itself to playing defense; they're dead last in PPG allowed (108.4) and they rank 20th in Defensive Efficiency (giving up 106.2 points per 100 possessions).
I was so sure they'd win last night. So
sure. Especially when they ran out to that huge lead. But B-Dizzle and Captain Jack...they look tired, man. And they only got more tired as the game went on. Davis played 46 minutes and shot 9-for-25 overall, 1-for-9 from downtown. Jackson put in 42 minutes and was 5-for-17 from the field, 2-for-6 on threes. Overall, the Warriors hit only 6 of their 27 three-point attempts. And as we all know, the three-ball is their bread and butter.
It's Nellie Ball at its best and worst. You live by the three, you die by the three. You depend on your best two or three players to have big games every night, and when they don't, you usually lose. Especially when you only get 7 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 assist out of your bench.
R.I.P. 2007-08 Golden State Warriors. We'll really miss you in late April.Utah Jazz:
No offense to Dirk Nowitzki, because that game-winning three was one seriously clutchtastic basket. But why in the name of Odin was he so wide open
? I know the play (if you can call it that) developed in transition and the Jazz were scattered all over the court, but there's no doubt in my mind that a Jerry Sloan-coached team has been specifically (and maybe profanely) instructed on what to do in such an end-of-game situation: Stick the opposing team's bests players. The Jazz didn't do that, and it cost them the game. Jason Terry said it best: "How do you leave the MVP wide open? It's unbelievable." Make that very unbelievable
The biggest problem was that the Jazz players thought Dallas was going to call a timeout. Only...they didn't have any timeouts left. So, really, Utah should have expected what ended up happening. But they didn't. Ouch. (Thanks to everybody for the e-mails and comments about this one.)Deron Williams:
This may have been lost in all the excitement of that redonkulous banked three-pointer he hit to tie the game with six seconds left, but Williams fell down on the shot to try and draw a foul. And trust me, there was no contact. Said Williams: "I think I was just trying to flop a little bit." A little bit, yeah. That faux fall might not have had anything to do with Utah's inability to get back on transition and prevent Dirk's shot...but then again, it might have. And judging by his postgame comments, it did. "It happened so quick. I fell on the floor after the shot, looked up and the ball was advancing. Kyle (Korver) was back, pretty much by himself. I don't even know what happened, or how they got so open." That sound you just heard was Jerry Sloan grinding his teeth. In fact, his mouth might just have blown up.Carlos Boozer:
Has anybody else noticed that Boozer is in the midst of a mini-slump? Last night, he scored 10 points (4-for-9) and had 5 rebounds while almost fouling out. His previous three games against the Hornets (10 points, 5-for-14, 6 rebounds), Spurs (16 points, 7-for-16, 7 rebounds), and Timberwolves (12 points, 5-for-12, 7 rebounds) were pretty sub-par, too. For April he's averaging 12 points (on 34 percent shooting) and 6 rebounds...quite a dropoff from his season averages of 21.3 PPG (on 54 percent shooting) and 10.5 RPG. Is he secretly resting for the playoffs or something?Dirk Nowitzki:
I like Dirk and, in general, he seems like a pretty classy guy. But he's become a jersey-popper. He did it last night
, and he did it last Sunday
against the Suns. Dirk: You must chill! You must chill! I have hidden your keys! You must chill! Seriously, dude, jersey-popping is such a douche move. Please stop it.Los Angeles Clippers:
Let me get this straight. Kobe scores only 16 points on 6-for-17 from the field, Derek Fisher shoots 3-for-10, and the Clippers still get blown out by 28 points? They are who we thought they were.ESPN box scores:
This picture was send in by Basketbawful reader Sky Flakes, who is with me in wondering: Who called time out?
Labels: Carlos Boozer, Deron Williams, Dirk Nowitzki, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz