That boredom phase sure didn’t last long. The Warriors have largely been carried by Steph Curry since the All-Star break, and on a night when he shot 4-for-12, two role players looked as good as we’ve seen all season.
Mo Speights was +17 in 15 minutes, scoring 16 and grabbing 5 rebounds. He threw another one of those football-like passes, this time to Leandro Barbosa (who also played well, but that note in the first paragraph was in reference to the team’s other Brazilian). Speights hit Barbosa in stride, allowing the team’s fastest player to beat the clock for a layup to end the third quarter, and the play caused Twitter to become a series of “QB Speights” jokes.
- Mo Montana
- Hey Denver, if you’re looking for a quarterback …
- If Blaine Gabbert was throwing that pass, he would’ve targeted someone 10 feet away and thrown it at his teammate’s feet.
- If Colin Kaepernick was throwing that pass, he would’ve drilled Bob Fitzgerald in the coconut.
This is the Warriors at their best, when they’re having so much fun that we’re reduced to a puddle of giggling Vine-creators. And it helps when it’s not just Curry who’s showing off, although he managed to do just that on one of his four makes.
On a more serious note, Golden State’s 115-94 win over the Utah Jazz showed the Warriors at their best. They moved the ball gleefully and prolifically, totaling 36 assists compared to 15 turnovers — the latter being a low number compared to the turnover figures from their previous two games. Golden State also held a team under 100 for the first time in eight games.
They also seemed to fully embrace Anderson Varejao in a basketball sense for the first time, or maybe it’s the other way around. Varejao has progressed throughout his brief time with the Warriors after starting clumsily, but since joining the team he’s sounded like a player who’s truly happy just to be there (which makes one wonder about the state of the Cavs, both on and off the floor). Varejao made 4-of-6 shots in 13 minutes and finished with 9 points, which tied his season-high with Cleveland back in November. He’s seemed almost surprised with the number of layup opportunities he’s gotten with his new team in earlier games, but last night he appeared ready to run AND finish — one fast break reverse layup comes to mind in particular.
— Draymond Green, who came down with an illness over the weekend, played his most complete game in a while. 17 points, 7-of-13 from the floor and 2-for-4 on threes. That last figure might be the most noteworthy, since he was 4-for-24 from deep in his previous nine games. He also kept his turnovers to a relative minimum (three, compared to seven each in the previous two contests), got two steals and three blocks, and finished at a game-high +30.
— It’s probably no concidence that the Warriors looked like their old selves on the night when Andre Iguodala returned and looked much better physically than he did against Oklahoma City the other night. If Green is the heartbeat, Iguodala is this team’s pacemaker.
— Iguodala only took three shots in his 22 minutes. He made two of them, including this ridiculous baseline jumper from behind the glass.
— Iguodala also earned one of the Warriors’ three technical fouls (one was a dead-ball flagrant on Andrew Bogut, and the other was on Curry). Pretty amazing that the Warriors got so many techs and none were assessed to Green or Steve Kerr.
— The Warriors completed one of their easiest wins in a while in a game where four players outscored (Klay Thompson, Green, Barbosa and Speights) outscored Curry, who had 10 assists.
— They are now two wins away from tying the 1975-76 Warriors for the second-most victories in franchise history.
— They average 29.2 assists per game. The Atlanta Hawks are in second place at 25.5.
— Golden State leads the NBA in field goals, threes, three-point percentage (and opponents’ three-point percentage), two-point percentage, defensive rebounds, assists, offensive rating and points.