The Warriors’ main goal heading into this one was to show they can play the dregs of the NBA as well as they play against the teams featured most often on TNT and ESPN. The Charlotte Bobcats are firmly entrenched in that “dregs” category, and the Warriors bounced back from a miserable defensive performance in Sacramento to play good enough defense to keep the Bobcats from making 40% of their shots.
Offensively, the Warriors scored 115 points and had the Bobcats’ heads spinning by the end with an impressive display of unselfishness from all sides — 31 assists on 44 made field goals. Most notable among the passers was David Lee, who notched the third triple-double of his career. Lee has been a double-double machine all season, but the guy was like a bloodthirsty shark after he surpassed the points and rebounds portions of the milestone and stood only four assists away. He only admitted to over-passing on assist No. 9, when he hot-potatoed it to Jarrett Jack at the top of the key. But it was pretty obvious what was going on at the time. Here’s Lee in his own words after the game:
Stephen Curry had a statistical milestone of his own with a career high 8 threes.
Before the game, Mark Jackson said, “I have two guys that should be playing in the All-Star Game in Stephen Curry and David Lee.”
After the game he said close to the same thing, leading to a question on if he will campaign for those two players to get All-Star recognition.
“My responsibility as a coach and understanding what these guys mean to the success of this basketball team and the impact that they have made to change this culture, they deserve it. I would be doing them a disservice by not leading the parade acknowledging that … while this mic is in front of me I’m going to let people know how special these guys have been.”
Here’s a video I spliced together with all of Jackson’s All-Star comments, plus Lee’s thoughts on the matter.
Getting at least one Warrior on the All-Star team is clearly a huge priority. That’s not to say it supersedes winning, and as Lee said in the video they understand that the two go hand-in-hand. However, I’m not sure it’s a good idea for Jackson to “lead the parade” before and after every home game. After a while, it’s a little unbecoming.
Also a little much: the fans going insane for chicken nuggets. I know it’s something fans across the league do, lose all dignity for a fast food promotion. Everyone loves free food, I get it. But this year’s promotion (if the opposing team shoots under 75% from the line, everyone gets chicken nuggets) led to some silliness I’ve never seen before in an NBA arena.
Instead of clamoring for the team to score more points or to hold the opponents under 100, the crowd (with help from the scoreboard) knew the Bobcats were sitting around 75% as a team or a little above near the end. So they chanted “FOUL HIM, FOUL HIM” in hopes of another bricklayer from Charlotte heading to the line. Luckily, Jeremy Tyler can’t grab a cup of water behind the bench without fouling the Warriors’ trainer, so he quickly obliged with a foul that sent Reggie Williams to the line to a loud, repeating chorus of “WE WANT NUGGETS!” Williams clanked the second, sending Charlotte to 74%, and it was bedlam. Even the people in the luxury suite behind me were going crazy, and they serve food in there. And they can afford a luxury suite.
Oh well. The Warriors are 18-9, and the Lakers come in tomorrow night for a game that won’t require “food”-based prodding to get the fans on their feet.
Warriors Nuggets (I think I might keep this name for notes for the rest of this year after tonight)
– Lee talked a lot about chemistry after the game, so I asked him if this team has the best chemistry of any team he’s been on. He said yes, which probably isn’t surprising since he’s never been on a winning team before.
– I asked Jackson why the starters (and Jack) were replaced pretty late in the fourth quarter, and if that had to do with the Warriors squandering a fourth quarter lead on Tuesday to the New Orleans Hornets. Jackson scoffed at my idea (and didn’t say it was so his All-Star hopefuls could accumulate more points and assists, either).
– Here’s what Jackson said when I asked him whether Andris Biedrins earned some extra playing time with his 7-rebound, 3-block effort in a little under 13 minutes. Beans even scored 2 points!
– I’m surprised a “Jarrett Jack in the Box” promotion hasn’t been utilized yet. I demand royalties if and when this happens. And not in the form of free chicken nuggets.