Wednesday, November 09, 2005

On the Map

Alright. This is the one we were looking for. On the road against an improved Milwaukee Bucks team, a team which much of the basketball world was taking notice of. What did the Warriors do?

Beat 'em, that's what. 110-103.

Not only was this a good game from the standpoint of a win and the type of win it was, it was a great game from the aspect of seeing the Warriors fix critical shortcoming from their first three games. Like:
  1. Rebounding - no, it wasn't good, but it was better -- the Warriors were only outrebounded by two. Offensive rebounds given up was still high at 15, but I wanted to see some improvement, and I did. I believe part of it was coach Mike Montgomery going with a smaller, three-guard lineup for much of the 4th quarter, leaving Derek Fisher in the game down the stretch. Fair enough.
  2. Free throw shooting - at 73%, much, much better than any of the previous three games, and about where it needs to be for this team to win these tough road games.

But all that crap aside, what a game. Troy Murphy took most of his offensive game outside, and was putting daggers in the Bucks heart all night, scoring 25. One play I particularly like from him was a three-point play, but on a drive. After stroking it from outside all night, Murphy took a pass from Baron Davis and seemed to know he'd get a defender flying at him, so he immediately drove to the hoop and converted a tough, inside bucket.

Jason Richardson was his usual self, scoring 23 along with 14 rebounds. His outside shot has become silky smooth, and he seems to be able to get himself into the best shooting position even when a defender is on top of him (those crazy hops help a bit there). Announcer Jim Barnett made a very good point in observing that Richardson's scoring hasn't dropped off despite the presence of Baron, and in seeing these first several games, I now don't expect it. He's a star, and looking like he may be in the transition to becoming a superstar. He was also, much to my delight, instrumental in keeping Michael Redd's activities to a dull roar. Redd got 21 points, but only went to the line twice and was almost non-existent in the 4th quarter. After the first three games Redd was averaging 31 per contest, so this sends a nice little message that the Warriors are capable of containing the opposing team's superstar.

Ah, and then there's Boom Dizzle, Mister Davis. Fifteen assists, 20 points, and some clutch shots. Yawn. Another day at the office. It's hilarious -- the Bucks had to know what Baron was doing everytime he got a pass on the blocks, but they couldn't stop it. He'd back down T.J. Ford, or whomever was guarding him, drive towards the baseline or to the middle of the key, and pass the ball off to a cutting/waiting player around the basket after drawing a double team. It was methodical, it was deliberate, and it was beautiful.

The Mike Dunleavy Fidget-O-Meter will stand pat at a modest 3.1 for now. He didn't have a good game, really, but he was a factor in the 2nd half with a couple of nice shots.

So, they pass the "test", but have another one today in the Chicago Bulls in the 2nd half of a back-to-back against a dangerous team. Perhaps Mark Stein of will finally give the Warriors a bit of credit if they go 3-0 on an East Coast roadie.

Then again, who cares what he thinks?

EDIT: Craving for attention, I end up seeing a load of talk about Kobe Bryant instead. Yes, surely, the Lakers are an early season story, but then, so were the Bucks. And the Bucks just got beat by the up-and-coming Warriors at home, yet this seemed to garner little notice. Well, they'll have no choice but to notice if the Warriors come back to Oakland 4-1.

Go Warriors!


Post a Comment

<< Home