Warriors Update: We Still Believe.

I postponed my flight home ($300) so that I could attend tonight’s Warriors second round playoff Game 4 ($180). Coming from Friday night’s absolute BLOWOUT victory at home, it really broke my heart watching the Warriors struggle to find their rhythm in tonight’s ultimate loss to Boozer, Fisher, and the damn Utah Jazz.

Jason Richardson? Ice cold. Like where Omarion’s heart used to be.

Baron Davis? Shut down like my laptop after a Windows error.

This one really hurt, and not just because it emptied out my wallet.

A recap of “what went wrong,” according to the best Warriors blog in the world, Golden State of Mind:

Shooting blanks: After catching fire on Friday the Warriors went ice cold tonight. They basically shot themselves out of the game. Their free throw shooting or lack thereof was completely unacceptable. You don’t win in the playoffs missing 13 free throws and shooting under 62%. You don’t win in the playoffs missing a whopping 27 3-pointers and hitting less than 31% from downtown at home. The most frustrating part of tonight was that the Warriors did not take it to the hole even when they were in the bonus, which brings me to my next point–

No Points in the Paint: The Warriors settled for jumpers when they weren’t hitting them and it proved costly. Sure, most of them were open looks, but you don’t get points for taking open shots, you only get points when they go in. The Warriors were abused in the paint with only 32 points to the Jazz 50. Carlos Boozer and the Jazz exposed the Warriors’ soft and undersized interior big time tonight.

No BoomRich: Baron Davis and Jason Richardson form one of the NBA’s best backcourts. They’re strong, athletic, tough, good shooters, have nice post up games, can defend, and have heart. But tonight they didn’t show up and brought none of their worldly talents to the game. They were outplayed by the inferior Utah backcourt at home. Unbelievable. My biggest worry is that the NBA will come down on them hard with either a heavy fine or even a suspension for what transpired at the end of the game. I didn’t get a good look at either BD’s bump with Derek Fisher or JRich’s foul on Mehmet Okur from my seat in the nosebleeds aka The People’s Section, so I’ll hold off from commenting on those events until I catch the replays. In any event, both these guys are good folks. I hope the NBA doesn’t make a mistake and punish them as if they were dirty players. Now guys like Bruce Bowen, well that’s a different story…

Bring Back Dennis Rodman: ‘Cause the Warriors sure could’ve used the worm. Once again the Dubs were abused on the glass, collecting only 36 boards to the Jazz’s 52. I can’t say I’m really surprised. This has been a major pain point for the Warriors pretty much this entire season. Memo to Chris Mullin: bring in a rebounder/ enforcer this offseason. This team desperately needs to help on the glass.

Too Much Booze: Carlos Boozer is a BEAST…. Carlos Boozer is a BEAST…. Carlos Boozer is a BEAST…. (I’m worried I’m going to have nightmares all night long.)

4th Quarter Meltdown: This whole series the Dubs have pretty much choked down the stretch. Unfortunately things weren’t any different tonight. In the 4th quarter the Warriors surrendered 40 points to the Jazz and only put up 23 points. They fell apart at the seams especially during the final 6 minutes of the game. It was painful to watch all those missed free throws and easily surrendered baskets when it mattered the most.

No Energy: The Roaracle Arena crowd tried their best to pump up them up, but it didn’t really feel like the fellas had that much energy, intensity, hunger, or desire tonight. I honestly have no idea why. It was odd.

Nothing to Lose
Tonight the Warriors played like they had something to lose. They simply didn’t have that edge or that shock the world mentality that brought them so much success against the Mavs in the 1st round. On Tuesday night I fully expect to see that mentality return. It’s win or go home, but after the crazy season the Warriors have had this year, they’ve got nothing to lose.

And so we return to Mormon land on Tuesday night to fight for victory or be defeated from the playoffs for good. The new motto for all the fans, everywhere:

We STILL Believe!


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