I guess the title should be self explanatory. Warriors up by one with about 28 seconds left of the game and it all comes down to defense. Ask coach Mark Jackson. He’ll be the first person to tell you that defense win championships. ‘Hand down, man down.’ And defense isn’t just being in front of your man and stopping him. It’s about rotating to the right spot, the right person, the right time. It’s about seeing the ball and your man and muscling him up when he’s in the post. AND it’s about boxing out and rebounding. The defensive job isn’t finished until you’ve secured the ball, outlet to your point guard and are going up the floor to run your offensive set.
Again, that is what doomed these Warriors. They gave away the lead, stayed close in the game was up ahead with the opponent taking the last shot and again their defense fails them. And what is more irritating is that defense is an effort game. It’s not about talent but it’s about heart, dedication and just effort. And while, I won’t go the point to say that the Warriors don’t have effort, it’s the lack of superstardom that comes with playing great defense.
Right now, what’s in the news? What is showing on the highlight reels? Yes, it’s Jeremy Lin and his Asian-American background, but he is scoring like crazy. It’s not about his defense. Right after, there is a highlight with LeBron James throwing it to Dwayne Wade for a two hand jam (scoring) followed by James dominating the Magic. None of these highlights include any real defense. Why? It’s cause it’s boring. There isn’t a whole lot of stats and like I stated earlier, it doesn’t take a boat load of talent.
But what doesn’t need talent, need effort and heart. And right now, as much as the Warriors are saying the right things of finishing the game right and not giving away the lead, they can only look at themselves in the mirror and blame their lack of effort.
Losing to the Memphis Grizzlies, makes it three in a row and not a very good road trip so far. Stats wise, the Warriors did a great job. Against the Grizzlies, Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 36 points and six assists. He hit six out of nine threes and shot 13 out of 21 shots. His battery mate, Monta Ellis had an equally good game with 33 points and six assists. David Lee almost had another double double with 14 points and nine rebounds. However, he had a key turnover, an offensive foul, at the end of the game, when the Warriors were only down by one with five seconds left. Forget about Andris Beidrins and Dorell Wright. Wright had a big fat donut again while Beidrins only scored one basket. Useless.
The bench was no help either. Only Ekpe Udoh’s eight points were worth talking since he hit two big free throws to put the Warriors up by two with 28 seconds left. His stat line was so much better than Beidrins overall, though he did play a few more minutes than Beidrins, this guy is coming off the bench and is being paid way less. Amnesty Beidrins and let’s get a durable big man who can contribute more than him.
The Warriors shot 16 more threes than the Grizzlies and made 46% of them. They did shoot nine less free throws, though the percentage was better than the Grizzlies. They were out rebounded by the Grizzlies and gave up eight more points in fast breaks. And overall, they played well against the Grizz. It is unfortunate that they didn’t finish the defensive stance and get the rebound.
Warriors welcome “Lob City” Clippers on Monday night at the Oracle. Be there to see Griffin throw down some dunks!