Recap: Warriors 100, Bulls 82
The Warriors closed out the Bulls tonight with a convincing 18 point win. The Warriors are now 5-3, their best start in 11 years. And we all know what happened 11 years ago. The Warriors put it on cruise control in the 4th as they started the quarter up 19. This game showed that the Warriors can put away a team and not let them back into the game. They started the 2nd half up 13, and could have let the Bulls back into the game, but instead they pushed the lead to 19 by the end of the quarter and finally shut the door with a strong 4th.
Boxscore | Yahoo Recap
Tonight JRich came up big with 32 points. He was clearly the Warriors best player tonight as Baron struggled to get in a groove. It was good to see JRich step up tonight with Baron not able to get anything going. It shows that we can still win without our best player putting together a good game.
Did I call it or what? In the preview I wrote, "I'm predicting tonight that Dunleavy finally breaks out and puts up 15+ points to go with a few boards and a few helpers." It's good to know he's reading the blog as he finally played a decent game with 15 points, 6 rebs, 2 assists, and 3 turnovers. It wasn't a great game, but I'll give him props for playing well. He's not supposed to put up superstar numbers, he's going to put up role player numbers like tonight. As we've said before, if you play well we'll give you your props, but if you play poorly we'll rip you. So Mike, congratulations on your first decent game, keep it up because we need our starting small forward to produce. Hopefully Dun can consistently contribute like he did today, but with less turnovers.
Perhaps I was wrong about Fisher. He had a decent game playing backup to Baron and occasionally playing alongside him. The 7 boards and 5 assists were nice to see that he isn't only looking for his shot like he normally does. I'd love to see him put together this kind of effort every night. I wish he would shoot better, but when he brings his all around game along with the clutch shooting, he's a valuable member of the team.
Did anyone else hear Pietrus on the radio after the game? For all the talk of him being selfish, it was nice to hear him say that he doesn't care to start. He knows his role as the guy who's got to bring energy off the bench and get the crowd into the game. He even handled the question about whether he should be starting over Dunleavy with ease saying that he knows his role is important on the team and that as long as they're winning he doesn't care to start. He even ended it by asking all the Warrior fans to come out and support the squad against the Bucks tomorrow night.
The Warriors' defense has been great this year and while everyone talks about how explosive the offense can be, the defense gets ignored and is clearly underrated. In two games against the Warriors, the Bulls have scored 85 and 82 points. In their 4 other games, the Bulls have scored, 109, 99, 95, and 103. So it seems like the Warriors are playing much better defensively. One of the keys has been JRich's improved defensive effort. He seems to understand the team concept better and plays excellent one on one defense. Adonal is starting to become that rock in the center position. Before, he could only play 20-25 mintues without being a liability, but now he's soaking up 30-35 minutes with the same defensive effort that he's always given. The team as a whole is playing better defense, challenging shots, they're finally going to the boards more, and not giving up too many easy buckets. Monty's got this team buying into his scheme and they're playing much much better defense. The Warriors are the 7th stingiest defense in the league this year showing that they can play uptempo and score with you, or settle in and play a defensive game.
Jason Richardson: 32 points (12-21 FG), 6 rebs, 2 assists, 3 turnovers. He carried the Warriors tonight with a big game.