It’s official: Joe Lacob is the anti-Cohan. As Nate Robinson and Dorell Wright fueled an unlikely fourth quarter comeback after the Warriors almost went the entire third quarter without a field goal, the on-court camera panned across a group of courtside fans standing and cheering. In the mix was the Warriors’ co-owner, and he wasn’t just fired up. He was out of his gourd.
Lacob yelled “YES!!! YES!!! YES!!!” But it wasn’t just what he yelled, it was how close he got to the camera and the maniacal look on his face.
Hey, who can blame the guy? You may disagree with some of the moves they’ve made in terms of personnel, but nobody can argue that Lacob is sitting back in his chair, satisfied that he finally gained entrance into one of the most exclusive clubs in the United States after he, Peter Guber and other investors purchased the team from Chris Cohan.
January 12 is Lacob’s birthday, but that wasn’t why he looked like the most excited fan in an extremely loud and lively Oracle Arena. In the short time he’s owned this team, this game against the Heat represents the mountaintop … at least so far.
Nate the Great
The Warriors came into this game with a 2-6 record, the worst mark in the Western Conference. They walked off the court with their heads up high after beating the best team in the NBA and Robinson sounding as if basketball had saved his soul in his postgame comments. And the Warriors certainly wouldn’t have won this game without Robinson.
From Mark Jackson’s postgame press conference:
It was great to see Nate Robinson, who people have questioned, doubted — and I’m not pointing the finger at people because I was one of the people. I thought he was uh … I didn’t know what he was when he was on other teams. And I understood the question marks. But I know he’s a fighter, and I know he’s a competitor, and — no pun intended — I know he’s a Warrior. And the guy left it on the floor. And I thank God for second chances because here’s a guy that, once again, just like everybody else in my locker room, whatever folks say about ’em, I haven’t seen it. He’s been great in the locker room, great on the planes, great on the bus and spectacular on the court.
Robinson missed his first six or seven shots, but still ended up with 24 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals and went 14-for-14 from the line. Most of all, he sparked a Warriors team with fearlessness that they didn’t appear to possess throughout the first three quarters. Robinson took it to the hole and was fouled … hard … on a few occasions by LeBron James and his teammates. But the little dude didn’t seem to mind. In fact, he seemed to enjoy it.
Wright’s resurgence was also remarkable in this game. He started out 3-for-10 from the field and looked as lost as ever, then turned it on. Wright made 4 of his last 5 shots, went 6-for-11 from 3-point range and grabbed 10 rebounds. David Lee also came up huge with a 24/14 game where he completely outplayed Chris Bosh.
Monta Ellis made a few nice plays but overall his night was extremely sloppy: 9-for-25 for 22 points with 9 turnovers and perhaps the worst play of the game when he failed to get a shot off at the end of regulation. But the Heat may be the toughest defensive team in the league, and they were collecting plenty of turnovers throughout. So it’s kind of insane that the Warriors won the turnover battle against Miami (they committed 20, the Heat gave the ball away to Golden State 22 times) and reached triple digits in scoring for the first time this season.
Insane indeed. Lacob’s emotional outburst fit right in.