These rumors about Javale McGee are funny, especially after watching a game like tonight’s 102-93 win over the Bucks. This isn’t about McGee’s “Shaqtin’ the Fool” appearances, either.
Lately, the best Warriors lineups have featured players 6′ 8″ and shorter.
Golden State squandered a double-digit lead in the closing minutes of the second quarter, with Michael Carter-Williams draining a long two to tie it at 53-53 going into intermission. Steve Kerr stopped messing around after halftime, as he went with his long, feisty perimeter switchers … and Stephen Curry, who broke free from Milwaukee’s trap-happy defense to score 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter to help give the Warriors their closing cushion.
“I looked at some numbers today. When Draymond’s at the five, our defensive rating is just off the charts,” Kerr said to reporters. “To give you some context, we’re No. 1 in the league overall with a defensive rating of 98 points allowed per 100 possessions. When Draymond’s at the five, our number is 87.5. It’s crazy. But small ball is the way everyone’s going. It’s good for us. We’re good at it.”
It was Draymond Green’s birthday and he kept “Marching 4th,” a joke Bob Fitzgerald hammered into the hardwood (more on Fitzgerald in a bit). Green was the recipient of many open shots, and he went 9-of-14 from the floor (4-for-9 on threes), ending up with one of his best stat lines in a while: 23 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, three blocks, three steals (including one where he made Giannis Antetokounmpo look silly behind the arc, just swiping the ball away from him as if the Alphabet is some scrub with terrible handles, which he most certainly is not).
Then there was Shaun Livingston, who had his best game of the season (16 points, six assists) on a night when Klay Thompson again didn’t shoot well (5-for-16) and Curry was successful on just two of his nine shot attempts heading into the final quarter.
Livingston had two impressive dunks …
1. A soaring romp through the lane that he finished with a playful look toward the fans sitting behind the basket:
2. A lefty dunk over Antetokounmpo:
Six guys played big minutes in the second half.
- Harrison Barnes — 14:44
- Draymond Green — 24:00(!)
- Stephen Curry — 19:42
- Klay Thompson — 18:14
- Andre Iguodala — 18:35
- Shaun Livingston — 16:18
Andrew Bogut wasn’t that far behind at 8:27, and no other Warrior played at all in the third and fourth quarters. David Lee (7:19), Justin Holiday (6:09) and Festus Ezeli (5:03) saw time in the first half only. Mo Speights didn’t play all night for the second time in three games, and Leandro Barbosa is sick and didn’t play for the second straight game.
Fitz’s funny night
— Fitzgerald’s pronunciation made me grab the remote and press rewind. He did a promotional read for the NBA’s Spanish-language website, which is doing something called “Noches éne•bé•a.” Fitzgerald pronounced it “Noches uh•knee•bay” before telling fans to check out “uh•knee•bay dot com.” As someone who took Español for three years in high school and one year in college — and isn’t the least bit fluent, by the way — I found it amusing.
— However, that silly moment was trumped by his reaction to Greg Papa’s compliment for Rosalyn Gold-Onwude. Maybe she made a point that Fitzgerald already made during the broadcast, and Fitzgerald was annoyed at Papa for giving her credit … maybe Fitzgerald was just messing around and it came off weird … I don’t know, but you can check out the video and some screenshots of some epic Fitz smirks.
— Once again, Ezeli looked pretty good. He didn’t get much run, but he made a nice short turnaround shot with his right hand off the glass from the block, grabbed a couple rebounds, blocked a shot, and his plus/minus of +8 seemed to make sense.
— Livingston’s last four games: 12.5 ppg, 5.0 apg, 65.5% from the floor. He’s looking like a strong mid-level (NBA salary term) acquisition at just the right time.
— This game really shouldn’t have been all that close. Milwaukee went 20-for-25 from the line, while Golden State went just 14-for-25. Green was the worst offender, going 1-for-6.
— The Warriors had 30 assists and 16 steals. They blocked eight shots attempted by the Bucks, while the Bucks blocked just one shot as a team. It’s hard to lose at home with numbers like those unless you’re shooting horribly.
— Speaking of that, Thompson reportedly came back out to the floor — still in his game shorts, it would appear — and took several shots long after the final buzzer.
— It took a while for Curry to get cooking, but his showmanship just may be unparalleled this season. This game was over once he hit his third consecutive three in the fourth quarter, and while the ball was still about 10 feet away from the basket he turned away and faced the sideline, then his team’s bench. In the process, Curry sort of channeled a fellow Three-Point Shootout winner from the past in Larry Bird, who famously put his finger up in the air after releasing the final money ball.
Next thing you know, Curry will start attempting free throws with his eyes closed like Michael Jordan. Actually, with the way this team is shooting from the line lately, that’s probably a bad idea.