How Far Apart Two Wins? Can We Revive The Warriors?
(originally written 12/13/10)
I can still remember getting the text from a buddy of mine in the 650 who knows I bleed blue and gold (although I enjoyed bleeding the Skyy Vodka blue a little more than the Secret Anti-Perspirant blue introduced this season).
“The Warriors KICKIN' ASS, this our year baby! (followed by incoherent expletive-laden gibberish)”
That text came after Golden State knocked off New York for their sixth win in eight games to open the 2010-2011 season. I don’t recall exactly what I responded to my buddy, but it went along the lines of “It’s been eight games; I ain’t about to flip out yet.” Boy, was I prophetic or what?
The primary reason I haven’t written on the Warriors this season is because I doubt more than a handful of my audience would hold more than casual interest—I have one friend with whom I regularly compare Warrior notes. So why am I writing now? You try to watch tonight’s slow, methodical dismemberment at the hands of the Utah Jazz and keep your thoughts to yourself.
I think back to last season when Golden State’s roster consisted of…(sighs in sentimental bliss)…talented players. Of course, those talented players couldn’t even bathe without suffering season-ending fractures and sprains but at least when they were on the court, they looked like an NBA team. Shot-blocking, fiery Ronny Turiaf? Replaced with Dan Gadzuric, a stiff; who knew when they said they needed bodies they meant it that way. Spring-loaded Anthony Randolph? Replaced with Lou Amundson, who dribbles like Stanley from The Office. Cold-blooded C.J. Watson? Replaced with Jeremy Lin, whose sole use is bringing the ball past midcourt and then admiring Monta's tattoos from afar.
However, I’m not here to talk about the past.
Unlike the Warriors, the Jazz have talented NBA players. They do the most awesome things. They can shake defenders, or even run past them if need be. They can draw fouls and when they do, they make their foul shots. They find the open man. They stop fast breaks. They perform alley-oops! When was the last time the Warriors brought the home crowd to life with an alley-oop? Can’t recall. (There’s been plenty of “oops” without the “alley”, though.)
Meanwhile, we were air-balling free throws—I don’t care where Andris Biedrins is from or how young he is or how tall he is; if you’re a professional basketball player, you have no flippin’ excuse to not make half your free throws at the absolute minimum. Have you ever seen a secretary who can’t fax? A poet who can’t spell? An aphephobic masseuse?
We let Jeremy Evans, who I doubt has even heard of himself, dunk on us twice in a row, four times overall, and two of those four were those pesky alley-oops. (Go ahead, call out his name. He WILL reply “Who?”) We let C.J. Miles rain jumpers on us from all over the damn gym. Deron Williams was given such clear, unobstructed paths to the hole, you would have thought he was a fire truck with its' siren on. Layup after layup after layup. When the Warriors are about to give up a dunk/layup, they like to slap their opponents on the shoulder making for 3-point play opportunities and accelerated trips into the bonus. The Jazz, coached by the interminably tough Jerry Sloan, will either strip the ball away cleanly from their foes or, if that’s not feasible, do their best Ronnie Lott on said foe. In any event, no 3-point plays ever.
Let’s all shout it in our best Faye Dunaway-as-Joan Crawford: “NO…THREE-POINT…PLAYS…EVER!!!”
It’s the same crap we’ve seen 14 of the past 16 years, through what, a dozen coaches, about five dozen players, two arenas, two owners. I know this was supposed to be a transition year because of the ownership/coaching change. I KNOW we had to deal away most of our veterans and salary in the off-season with the sale pending. What I don’t know is what excuse we have to not try. To just lay eggs night after night.
Yeah, Golden State has the toughest schedule going right now, but you can’t blame the schedule for passing to guys wearing Jazz uniforms (which should have never been revised and probably wouldn’t have had their longtime owner not passed away).
Or for grabbing rebounds only to watch the Jazz rip them away or knock them out of their hands multiple times.
Is Vladimir Radmanovich going to tell the media “I lost that rebound because we played Dallas and San Antonio last week”?
From 6-2 to 8-16.
Is Latrell Sprewell still taking phone calls?