This game was one the Thunder put easily in hand by the third quarter. The Warriors successfully came back against a pretty big post third quarter deficit last Sunday, but this time they just couldn't put anything together in the fourth. As a result, they got soundly trumped.
Below: Anaylsis, Awards
The Warriors lost this game as most young or bad teams usually do, with a complete third quarter collapse. This can be attributed to the horrible shot selection of Monta Ellis and Coby Karl. When the Warriors couldn't get a clear 3 point shot, they'd force one up. When they couldn't get a clear lane to the hole, they'd get blocked. The only player who was a true hero for them was Corey Maggette, and that's because he employs a totally despicable game of charging at the basket and getting fouled. Also, you have to marvel at just how ineffective Biedrins has become. If this game happened last year, he might have scored 20 points with all of the inside holes opening up. But now, nobody seems to be eager to run plays for him, and he rarely gets in position to score.
The Warriors are like a car in some ways. They started out as a beaten up, old 1993 Ford Taurus. Then, the owner decided to give it new paint, a bunch of in car upgrades, and pimped it out in general. But, the owner completely forgot that that car has to have a working engine and good tires in order to be an effective vehicle, so, while the owner had the parts available, he chose not to upgrade those components. Thus, the car breaks down often on the road, and it's lucky if it gets anywhere without a new problem springing up. In essence, the Warriors think that if they have enough high-powered offensive weapons, they think they can win over their opponents. But, without any serious post play, a complete lack of ball control, and very little defense being played, they're only going to win sparingly. Like the car, they're cool looking and awesome when they run, but when they don't, there's not much separating them from a wreck.
On the Thunder side of things, there were some below-average shooting performances, but that is to be expected when playing a fast-paced game like this, and most of those low percentages were made up for in the freethrow department. The Thunder played great defense, forcing the Warriors into lots of pointless turnovers, which lead to lots of fast break points for the Thunder. Leading the pack and earning the Thunder Wonder Award is Russell Westbrook, who had 21 Points, 10 Assists, 8 Rebounds, and 8 Steals. Almost a triple double, which is simply amazing. Kevin Durant is the runner-up and gets the Thunder Down Under award, but the name isn't very appropriate, as he got a whopping 29 Points, 8 Rebounds, 4 Assists, and 4 Steals. The 4 Turnovers still proved to be a problem, but in a game like this one, 4 is an excusable number.
The Thunder Plunderer is Stephen Curry, whom I like to think of as Monta Ellis, except with better shooting and better shot selection. He had 3 Points on 9 of 15 Shooting, with 4 Assists and 2 Steals. Corey Maggette had an equally good game, but while Stephen Curry got his 23 Points actually making shots, Corey Maggette got his 24 Points by cheating. Since this blog is my house, I can say/do what I want, and no matter how brilliant Maggette's strategy may be, it's boring as heck, so I'm not going to reward him for it. Hmph.
Lastly, the Thunder Blunder is B.J. Mullens. He missed the one shot he took, and everyone else had a solid performance, so there! Truth be told, he doesn't really deserve it, but I really hate giving out non-awards.
Next Game: At the Trailblazers, Tuesday, February 9th, 9:00 PM Central Standard Time