The Golden State Warriors have been a mediocre team for about the past two decades, ranging from almost-good to downright terrible. They won their last division title in 1975 and have made the playoffs a total of seven times after that; it's a small amount when compared to only part of the Spurs' success, having made the playoffs every year since the 1996 season, 15 in a row. Spurs fans are definitely spoiled, and I think have become accustomed to such high levels of success, not winning a championship, or even every game, is a huge disappointment. This isn't a problem, and we should expect greatness from some of the best players we have ever seen.
The last time that the Warriors had a team of great caliber was Run TMC, with stars Tim Hardaway, Mitch Ritchmond and Chris Mullin, one of the game announcers. They even defeated the Spurs in the playoffs in 1991, but only stayed together for two years, as trades broke up the core and they fell back into irrelevance except for one year when rookie Chris Webber and Latrell Sprewell led them to the playoffs. After that, they didn't make the playoffs until the 2006-07 season, (and haven't since).
However, that 06-07 team was pretty great, and only improved after making a trade at the deadline, trading Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy and Ike Diogu to the Pacers for Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson and Josh Powell, changing them from a soft jump shooting team to a...way more athletic jump shooting team and closed out the season 18-5 to clinch the 8th seed. Then they did what many thought impossible: they beat the 1st seed. You aren't supposed to do that! As the 8th seed, you're supposed to put up a little bit of a fight and then ride off into the sunset. But they went off-script, shutting down Dirk Nowitski (in his MVP year, to boot) and got by the Mavs in 6 games, which we appreciated very much, as it made the road to our last championship that much easier. The Mavs losing to a #8 that season also soothed the defeat we faced against the Grizzlies a few years ago, as we knew we weren't the only ones to lose so early in the playoffs with the best record in the conference.
An overhaul of the Warriors has been long overdue; a new coach was acquired in Mark Jackson, excellent draft picks were made in just the past four years: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes, all young players that will no doubt be a great core for the team in a couple of years. They also made nice trades and free agent signings, acquiring Andrew Bogut and Jarrett Jack in trades and offering David Lee way too much money to be a great offensive player, but a meh defensive presence. Jarrett Jack was the key signing in my eyes, even though Bogut got all of the attention, likely deserving attention given to a #1 draft pick. Now they're right in the thick of making the playoffs, and barring a collapse, will be a threat to a high seed once again.
Oakland now, San Francisco in 2017
- Oakland is one of the most diverse cities in the country, with over 125 languages or dialects spoken. Port cities tend to have lots of languages and diversity, which makes a lot of sense for Oakland.
- The original charter for the United Nations was drafted and signed in San Francisco.
- Oakland has the second most teams in the four major sports out of the major California cities, with the A's (baseball), the Raiders (NFL) and the Warriors. Los Angeles leads the way with 4 (or 5, depending on who you're talking to), with the Lakers, Clippers (NBA), Kings (NHL), and the Dodgers and maybe the Angels (MLB).
- San Francisco has a lot of rich people: third place behind New York and Dallas with Forbes 400 members in its city limits.
- Oakland has a good amount of people cycling to work, in the top ten of major cities, probably due to their exorbitantly high gas prices, higher than New York, Chicago and Miami (although still a little cheaper than San Francisco).
- Levi's denim jeans were invented in San Francisco, to give the Gold Rush miners durable clothing for harsh conditions.
Home Advantage: Oracle Arena
On a SEGABABA, and the 8th game of their 9 game RRT, the Spurs faced the Adidas Golden Short-Sleeved Warriors. After destroying the Clippers on national television Thursday night, I thought this would be a night to rest our starters (even though they didn't play that much against LA). But they ended up getting heavy minutes as the game went into OT.
Talking up a Storm
"You guys look marvelous...marvelous."
Mark Jackson seeing his team in those new Adidas jerseys. I think he was being funny.
"It's not how many you make, but when you make them."
Chris Mullin on Stephen Curry's timely shots late in the game
"Take that, Tony. Nothing but net."
Chris Mullin on Jarrett Jack shooting a clutch shot in OT.
In my opinion, the announcers for ESPN were outright biased towards the Warriors, and were almost attacking Tony Parker, as he's been added to the MVP discussion (along with front-runner LeBron James, second-best player in the league Kevin Durant, and Chris Paul) after he torched CP3 and the Clips for 31 points and 7 assists. Mullin and Jones are the Warriors announcers, which makes sense why they root for them, but I thought national broadcasts were supposed to be at least a little unbiased. Oh well, nothing to really get upset about.
Jarrett Jack could not be stopped last night, as he hit several clutch jumpers during the fourth quarter and in overtime. He brings his A game when he faces the Spurs.
We need Gary to be a gunner off of the bench. Someone who can shoot when he's open, and be the person that can create a shot while Tony or Manu are on the bench. He hoisted up six shots, made none, and only played 9 minutes.
Numbers to Consider
- 30 and 10 - According to ESPN Stats & Information, Jarrett Jack became the first player since 1996 to score 30 points and notch 10 assists from the bench, notching exactly the baseline.
- 3.25 - Blocks that Tim Duncan is averaging the past five games, which includes a game without any blocks. He's had four three times and five once.
- 25/22 - David Lee's points/rebounds box score.
- -2 - David Lee's plus/minus ratio. A plus on the offensive side, a negative on the defensive end. And no, those aren't letter grades.
- 2 - Quarters that the Spurs and Warriors tied their scoring output. They were off by one point each in the other two quarters.
- 6 - Points that separated the Spurs and the Warriors. Golden State made two more field goals, (one 3 pointer) and 1 more free throw than the Spurs, showing how close the game was. They needed a less than stellar night by our best players and great games by David Lee and Jarrett Jack to pull them out of this game at home, in OT.
- 23 - Fast-break points margin between Golden State and San Antonio: the Warriors destroyed us on the fast break, scoring 25 compared to the Spurs' measly 2.
- 7 - Rebound advantage that the Warriors had over the Spurs.
Odds & Ends
- Andris Biedrins is starting his 4th game of the season and what is likely going to be his lowest total for a season since his second in the league, 2005-06.
- The NBA's first ever short sleeve jerseys were okay, but the shorts that they were MISmatched with were horrid.
- It really sounded like Adidas paid ESPN to talk up their new shirts. They even said how much they cost on SportsCenter.
- During the first quarter, David Lee tipped in a Danny Green layup. Verde got lucky that he was helping him with layup drills.
- A shout-out to shooting coach Chip Engelland. Don't hear those too often, so it's nice that he's getting some recognition for his work with pretty much every player on the team, from Tony, to Kawhi and Tiago. Danny even seems to have altered his shooting form, and now gets more height on his shots, allowing him to shoot it without getting blocked and with a good view of the basket.
- The Duncan-Ginobili play out of the inbounds for the tying shot to force the game into OT was a beauty, perfect Spurs basketball. Doing the same in OT? I think they just wanted to go home.
- It seems like we can usually contain star point guards (Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Deron Williams), but we can't stop players like Jarrett Jack or Greivis Vasquez? It's confusing.
- The dream for 70 wins is but a distant memory now...