Thursday, November 03, 2005

First Impressions

Impressions of the Warriors first regular season game last night, which they won over the Atlanta Hawks 122-97.

We'll start with the first half, which saw the Warriors down 57-47 to the Atlanta Hawks:

  • Sloppy. Mike Dunleavy, he of the large new contract on which the ink is still dry, came out with six turnovers in the first two quarters, and looked just like I didn't want him to: lost. Opening night can have plenty of jitters and overflowing adrenaline for veterans as well as rookies, but Dunleavy looked to be having trouble figuring out just where he should be on the floor. The team had 13 turnovers in the first half, which isn't even a small number of turnovers for an entire game.
  • Free throws are free. Missed free throws are expensive. The Warriors got to the line plenty of times (23), but only converted 12. Not good, but I'll shrug it off for now.
  • Troy Murphy looked very good, but early foul trouble clouded his first half line of 13 point and seven rebounds.
  • Baron Davis looked good running the team, but couldn't finish his drives or hit his jumpers. 1-6 first half shooting.
  • Off the bench, Zarko Cabarkapa was very active, showing some nice athleticism, and Chris Taft made me feel much better about the Warriors inside defense outside of Adonal Foyle with a couple of nice blocks.
  • Both Bob Fitzgerald and Jim Barnett were spot-on in a comment at the end of the 1st half, saying that while it was obvious the Warriors could play much better, the same wasn't the case with the Hawks. They played their best basketball, the Warriors looked like they were near the bottom of their game, and the Hawks parlayed that into a 10 point lead. It was easy enough to believe they could come back.

Second half:

  • Poor start with more turnovers in the first couple of minutes, but the defense began to spark fastbreaks, and the comeback was on. Drives to the basket and three-point field goals were both there. After the comeback was complete, the rout was on. A 27-2 run saw the Warriors up by 15 after being down by 10. They ended up outscoring the Hawks in the 3rd quarter 39-16. Woo hoo!
  • Baron goes down with a leg-something-or-other, and every Warriors fan within 100 square miles of Oakland collectively rolled their eyes. I mean, I'm under the impression it wasn't a season-threatening thing, but to quote Steve Irwin, "Krikey!" Can't we watch this team for a week without this stuff?
  • To the team's credit, they kept rolling immediately following Davis' departure. Tell you what -- I heard Lakers' fans saying for years they wanted an upgrade of Derek Fisher at the point, but he makes a damn fine backup at the point. No, you don't want him starting, but off the bench you're not going to find better.
  • Dunleavy looked completely different in the 2nd half. He was live, active, and into the game.
  • Man, the Warrior Girls look particularly good this year, don't they?
  • Tyrone Lue is a punk. A little, annoying, punk. I've decided that I do not like him. Joe Johnson, while perhaps not a punk, made a punk play late in the game, along with Royal Ivey. I guess just being on the Hawks does something to you, knowing you won't win anything. All three fouls were flagrant, unneccessary, and stupid.
  • The youth of this team can and will be a spark at times this season. Taft, Aaron Miles, Mickael Pietrus...their athleticism and energy is evident. I like Miles' quickness -- he looks lightning fast, quicker than Davis, even. Both Taft and Miles were able to play significant minutes because of the injury to Davis and the foul trouble of Murphy. And think, Ike Diogu won't even lace 'em up for a couple of weeks.
  • Oh yeah, Jason Richardson. His scoring repertoire was fully utilized last night. Catch and shoots, feeds on the break, step back jumpers, drives to the basket, couple of post moves...very nice.
  • I'm wondering at the possibility of Pietrus eventually becoming a nicer, not-quite-as-tough-defensively Ron Artest. Just saying, you know? Just gotta polish off those offensive moves. Sometimes he looks...well, awkward.

It sure is nice to have garbage time for the team this early in the season, isn't it? It looks as if Davis' injury is a hamstring pull, not deemed serious at the moment.

They ended up shooting 58% from the floor (37% on threes) and had 24 assists, moving the ball around and doing a good job making sure the offense wasn't stagnant. Defensively, they shut down the Hawks in the 2nd half, only allowing 40 points and holding them to 42% shooting with 10 steals and eight team blocks. Very nice.

Things I didn't like was the Warriors getting outrebounded by nine (Atlanta had 20 offensive...ick) -- Foyle only played 21 minutes and Murphy had the foul trouble, so I'm assuming this had something to do with that. The turnovers were annoying in the 1st half, but they really cut it down in the 2nd half, so I won't gripe.

Can't wait for Utah on Friday...


Anonymous Pops said...

Let's hope the Warrior's 1st half used up all the bad vibes until All Star break. They certainly looked good 2nd half, huh? I can't remember another 122 point game in many years. Now all we need is a new nickname like "Run TMC" to return to nirvana.

10:02 AM  

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