These Warriors won the season series against the #1 seed Utah Jazz?
Maybe the Dubs should make sure they get that #8 seed and guarantee a revival of We Believe hmmmm.
The Golden State Warriors narrowly escaped with a 119-116 victory over the top seeded Utah Jazz last night in San Francisco. The home team held a 103-85 lead with 8:01 to go in the final period, but we know these Dubs have a recent history of late game collapses. The Jazz roared back to lead 116-114 with 30 seconds to go, but the Warriors ripped their hearts out with these back-to-back clutch sequences.
GAME. BLOUSES. Steph Curry’s 36 points was yet another MVP-level display against a top-tier defense that was dedicated to harassing him. His running mate Draymond Green was quarterbacking like a prime Rich Gannon, dishing out 10 dimes to go with his 12 points. The Jazz were missing their star guard tandem of Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley, but the Warriors were missing like 50 players so I think it evens out. This also means the Dubs clinch the season series against Utah 2-1 and we all know that two outta three is not bad. How interesting, considering these two teams could very well meet in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
Despite getting hammered during the 4th quarter (Jazz outscored them 41-30), Golden State was able to right the ship in gritty fashion. This show of defiance and clutch IQ is a welcome departure from the epic collapses of recent months:
126-114 loss to Minnesota; held a 91-89 lead after 3Q.
118-114 loss to Washington; led 104-93 with 5:53 left in 4Q.
119-114 loss to Boston; led 109-103 with 3:40 remaining in 4Q.
110-107 loss to Washington; held a 107-104 lead with 19 seconds left in 4Q.
117-111 loss to Atlanta; led 84-81 with 11 minutes left in 4Q.
My wife plopped down on the couch with me for this game right when the Dubs took that commanding 18-point lead in the fourth quarter. When she remarked with hopeful surprise that the good guys were up big I jadedly muttered, “Yeah they’re for sure gonna blow this lead.”
But up-and-down games are what I expect from a team running a tattered 8-man rotation for weeks. This current lineup is heavily supported by a veteran minimum contract guy (Kent Bazemore), former G-Leaguers (Mychal Mulder and Juan Toscano-Anderson), and young draft project (Jordan Poole). On playoff contenders guys like these are often either fringe rotation pieces or waving towels from the bench. But last night with the season’s hopes in the balance those guys stepped up to be an edgy complement to the championship DNA of Curry and Green.
“A bargain ain’t a bargain unless it’s something you need.” - Sidney Caroll
If you’ve perused this community you know that our top-two articles came from our “My Worst Take” series where we analyze how some of our hot-take predictions went horribly awry. In the humorous piece discussing whether acquiring Andrew Wiggins had destroyed all future hope for the Golden State Warriors contending ever again, our buddy Duby Dub Dubs spoke to the real concerns Dub Nation have about rebuilding without cap space.
When I remarked that I had faith that the front office would figure it out much like the San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls dynasties did (who Coach Steve Kerr won titles with), Duby responded:
Who’s our Kukoc? Where’s our Steve Kerr? Rodman? Ron Harper was solid. That’s all I’m saying is that carrying all that extra salary ballast with Wiggins means a whole lot of minimum contract players that we’ll be counting on in the playoffs.
I answered it would be up to the front office to find those players via the draft and experimenting during a transitional year. It was only a matter of time before our good ole trusty GM Bob Myers worked his magic… I hoped.
So you can imagine my quiet amusement when Duby recently penned a brilliant deep-dive on former journeyman JTA, concluding that “In a season where so much hasn’t worked for the Warriors, JTA stands out because of how he thrives in this system. It’s not hard to imagine him doing so for years.”
Sounds like the Warriors located one of those cheap contract players to count on in the playoffs?
This mad dash to the play-in tournament with non-stop injuries is revealing the mettle of Golden State’s inexpensive role players. JTA played 29 minutes in a must win game and tallied 5 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals on a night the team could have easily been bullied and outworked by a bigger Utah team. TALK ABOUT A GLUE GUY.
This particular sequence was so Iguodalish I hollered as it was unfolding.
Did you see JTA catch the wild pass from Curry while simultaneously faking a pass to the corner to scramble the defense? And then the beautiful drive-and-kick to further expose Utah’s defenders to make sure Poole was open. Finally, he finishes by running away celebrating before the shot goes up, showing GSW’s trademark gold-blooded camaraderie and belief that their teammate will drill the shot. Folks, that’s peak Warriors IQ and arrogance from a guy who three years ago was playing basketball in Mexico!
Speaking of low-dollar high-impact players, Mulder was a +13 in 19 minutes with 8 points and two treys. The stalwart Kevon Looney pulled down 13 rebounds in a battle with the giant All-Star Rudy Gobert. And how about the sophomore Poole dropping 20 points with 4 triples and 0 turnovers? Would I be speaking out of turn to describe his performance as Barbosa-ish?
But I can’t finish my conversation about the (relatively) cheap rotation pieces without giving a major shoutout to Kent Bazemore. He was trending last night on social media for making a quip that annoyed Bradley Beal, the guy trailing Curry in the scoring title race. But it was Bazemore’s on court tenacity that helped will the team to a win, scoring 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting in 34 grueling minutes. Not a bad job filling in the wing spot where max contract Klay Thompson normally starts.
Oh wow, Baze and I BOTH don’t have time for Twitter trash! Oh man…he’s just like me!
Wow that was fun. The Warriors remain in the 8th seed but the Memphis Grizzlies are breathing down their neck with about a week left until the play-in tournament.
Time for our guy @Ivanbe to take us to the viewing board!
Tonight they face the #2 seeded Phoenix Suns, led by Curry’s old rival Chris Paul. If there was ever a tough back-to-back game, THIS IS IT. Dub Nation, I turn to the legendary Samuel L. Jackson to offer you some sage advice before this contest: