Losing For Good Measure


Last night’s game was really good. I enjoyed watching it. I think if you weren’t even a fan of basketball you’d enjoy watching it. Monta Ellis was making ridiculous moves and finished with 32 points, Corey Maggette scored a sesaon high 35 points while young Stephen Curry added 26. What more could you ask for? The Nuggets have been out with Chauncey Billups, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Anderson, all riding the pine with various injuries. This seem like a sure steal for the Warriors, on the road, against a decent team and to snap their losing streak. Everything looked good. Monta made a turnaround jumper with 15 seconds left to give the Warriors the lead. After a wild scramble, the Nuggets ended up with the ball and called a timeout to set up a desperation play. J.R. Smith came off a screen and caught the ball near the sideline. Out of desperation, he through up a wild shot that was clearly short. As the Warriors were looking to celebrate the refs turn their excitement into shock. They apparently called a foul on Ellis as he leaped and swiped at Smith’s shot. With three free throws, Smith buried the first two and missed to third to seal the win for the Nuggets.

As a fan, I can yell and scream at the ref. Clearly, they need instant replay or some more reffing classes. In all the replays that were shown, it was clear that Monta did make a swipe at the shot, but I think that he grazed the top of the ball causing the ball to not even make it near the basket. Even if Monta didn’t graze the ball, I don’t think that the shot would even have made it to the basket nevertheless being scored. I didn’t see the foul nor did I see any contact by either Monta or Corey. I suppose great acting on Smith’s part, as he body looked contorted as he launched a desperation shot, might have given the refs the idea that he had been hit somewhere. Either way, I was screaming at the refs through the TV and how I could do a much better job than them and I’d give my glasses to them to wear.

With that said….

This was a game that the Warriors lost and not defeated. They matched the Nuggets’ intensity for most of the game and showed a lot of team play. They had a game they could have stolen slip through their fingers. It’s easy to blame the refs for a blatant mis-call, but at the end of the day, what was Monta thinking anyway. Smith was near the sideline and was literally 4 steps away from the halfway line. If he had thrown up a decent desperation shot, since there was only like 1.3 seconds left, and made it, then tip your cap to Smith and his luck. You can’t let the refs decide the game for you. It’s also 101 basketball knowledge. Don’t foul a jump shooter. Don’t foul on the last play of the game. Don’t look like you want to foul. Stay far away as you can but close enough to challenge him for a tough shot. These are simple basketball knowledge that everyone learns at a young age and hopes to carry them through whatever career. What makes it more irritating is that Ellis is a great basketball player with great vision, great knowledge and fantastic talent. He would have said this to his junior team if they had made the same mistake. He should have known to contend Smith’s shot not try to block it. Chances are, Smith wouldn’t have made it anyways.

But, even with the loss, there is always a next time. Hopefully, Ellis will remember what happen this game and carry it on throughout the season. However, last night’s game was once again, encouraging. The Warriors are missing one or two pieces to their puzzle. Though they aren’t on the same level as a team like the Lakers, they are on the brink of being a much better team than most believe them to be. Their play was exicint to watch and encouraging as a fan.