Recap: Warriors 91, Blazers 80
If you're going to be a playoff team, then you need to take care of business against the doormats of the league. And that's exactly what the Warriors did tonight from the opening tip off. They came into the Rose Garden and dropped 34 points in the first quarter and never looked back. The most impressive part of their win tonight was the all around defensive effort.
Zach Randolph, a legit 20-10 big man, was held to 13 points on 5-14 shooting. If you watched the game, Randolph seemed extremely quiet. The Warriors Charmin' soft interior looked like sandpaper against Randolph and the rest of the Blazer front line. Great defensive work by Foyle and Murphy. Troy "T-Double" Murphy dropped an efficient 13 and 10 and Foyle chipped in 2 swats to go with his 11 boards.
Months back you could possibly argue that Dunleavy was not the worst the #3 overall pick of the past 10 years by citing the enigmatic Darius Miles (see Worst #3?). Things have changed. Without question Darius is a better player than Mike Dunleavy. His jumpshot has improved by leaps and bounds. It's ironic, but Miles is developing an all around defensive and offensive game that would make him the ideal starting Small Forward for the Warriors. He can create turnovers resulting in some crazy fast breaks with him running along with Boom Dizzle and JRich. Murphy could continue to refine his outside shot with Miles developing a nice post up game. Pietrus could then contend for 6th man of the year honors year after year. I doubt the Blazers would trade Miles right now, but if the Warriors could swing a trade for him using Dunleavy as the bait they would have a great young and athletic 1, 2, 3 core with tremendous upside. Mismatches galore! But back to tonight...
The Boom Dizzle- JRich backcourt was on point. Baron's 16 points, 11 assists, and 3 thefts were a nice rebound from his off night against the Bucks this past Wednesday. If you love basketball, then you have to love the chemistry Baron and Jason have. It's fun to watch and great for Bay Area hoops.
The minutes distribution continues to make no sense. How does the slumping Mike Dunleavy play 32 minutes and spark-plug Mickael Pietrus play only 18 minutes? Dunleavy was having another awful game until he knocked 3 long open jumpers near the end of the game. He still clanked his fair share of wide open shots earlier in the game. Pietrus consistently contributes more to the team both offensively and defensively than Dunleavy in fewer minutes and tonight was no exception. The boxscore won't tell you this, but Pietrus showcased a new dimension to his game tonight by driving and dishing out to the open man. He is excellent beating his defender to the basket. If he can continue to work on his passing and find the open man when defenses collapse on him after he beats his man off the dribble, the Warriors can do a lot more damage. Looking at the inconsistent and limited minutes that Pietrus gets compared to the undeserved playing time that Dunleavy is unfairly rewarded makes you think that Pietrus is on the trading block. Are the Warriors showcasing Air France for a trade? Let's hope not. You have to love MP2's heart.
JRichie-Rich has blossomed into one of the premiere 2 guards in the league. He is arguably right behind TMac, Kobe, and Ray-Ray. Tonight's Inspector Gadget dunk, alley oop pass to B Diddy are further evidence of his arrival. 28 points (4 treys), 7 boards, 2 dimes, and 3 thefts ain't no joke!