“There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first or last time, I owe him my best.”
That quote is attributed to Joe DiMaggio, who really didn’t need to explain his effort or production to anyone. The Warriors still have a lot to prove, but lately all they’ve shown is they’re susceptible to bad losses. Especially at home, where their loyal and loud fans deserve so much better than what the Warriors provided on Tuesday night.
Those fans booed Golden State on multiple occasions throughout this debacle of a game, and deservedly so.
The Bobcats are one of the better defensive teams in the league, ranking seventh in both points allowed and defensive efficiency going into this one. But they surrender 97 points on average, not 75. That’s how many the Warriors scored in a deflating 16-point loss, which gave Charlotte a season sweep of a team that was supposed to clean up as the schedule got “easier.”
That’s right, Charlotte. The Bobcats. And they’ll be the Hornets next year, so the Warriors will never be able to say they beat the Bobcats again. Oh, the felinity!
Hey, a guy’s got to have some fun somehow. Watching this game was such a dreary experience, “Warriors Twitter” starting posting sadly comedic photos along with a hashtag that’s pretty much the opposite of #FullSquad: #WarriorsBobcatsGameHadMeLike.
Yet, even with such an awful offensive performance where the Warriors only surpassed 20 points in one quarter — including just 13 in the first — and shot 31% from the field, the Warriors didn’t look like a team at its breaking point. Whether that’s a good thing or cause for concern is unknown.
“It never is the right time (to panic). Never. Chaos and insanity happens when you’re in panic mode,” said Andre Iguodala, who had another game where he seemed content to drift offensively (six points, no assists in 34 minutes).
Mark Jackson held his press conference outside the locker room instead of the interview room where the pre- and postgame Q&As usually take place. He didn’t make a scene. Instead, he uttered two Jacksonisms in response to the first question and said something about the offense that didn’t make a lot of sense.
“This is a make or miss league. Just disappointing. Just another game where — give them credit, they came in and played well,” Jackson said.
“We have to find a way to get out of this. Right now we are taking the life out of the building and we are letting our offense affect our play.”
But that’s not the way Jackson should look at this. The offense isn’t just affecting their play, it’s affecting their win/loss record. The defense was mostly fine in this one … besides Al Jefferson having a field day (30 points and 13 rebounds) against Andrew Bogut, who Jackson referred to as a potential Defensive Player of the Year candidate on Monday.
Everyone in the starting lineup was either below average or just plain terrible offensively — no one made half their shots, everyone had at least two turnovers — and the bench wasn’t any better. And this game took place just three games after a similar stinker against Washington, when the Warriors lost at home while scoring just 85.
After these all-too-frequent losses against average teams, the conversation often turns toward the preseason expectations. But that’s misleading, because the Warriors are a lot closer at this point to the Bobcats, Timberwolves and Wizards than they are to the Pacers, Heat and Thunder.
“One of the most overused words sometimes is competing for a championship,” said Jermaine O’Neal, who scored nine points in his first game back from wrist surgery but didn’t specify which word is overused.
“If our effort is going to be every other night on the defensive end then we shouldn’t use that word. I don’t know if we understand just how difficult it is to win.”
— Joe Lacob made his feelings clear at the end of this one, with slumpy shoulders and dismissive waves of his hand after Bobcats baskets. Here’s how he looked:
— O’Neal on his return after missing 26 games: “The fan base that we have is fantastic. They know how to make a player feel very welcome. It just felt good to be back out there. Unfortunately we ended up playing one of our worst games of the year.”
— Klay Thompson made his first two shots. Slump over! Not quite, as he went on to make just three of his next 11. He also had just one rebound and no assists.
— Stephen Curry — who didn’t speak to the media for the first time after a game I’ve covered this season — had 11 assists. The rest of the starters had one (Bogut).
— Bogut also made one of the silliest behind-the-back passes of the season, especially considering the score (via @HPBasketball):
— David Lee had the most David Lee quote ever after this game, his first since missing Friday’s game in Utah with shoulder and hip injuries.
“If I step on the court, that’s saying I’m 100%. Obviously we know that’s not true, but I’m not going to use any of that an excuse for sure,” said Lee.
Which one is it? Are you 100% or aren’t you?
— Iguodala hasn’t been the same since his hamstring injury. David Lee scored eight points, snapping his streak of double-digit scoring at 123 games. I asked Lee if he had given any thought to sitting out on Thursday against Chicago, and he said he’d see how he felt tomorrow before making that determination.