There's no easy way out for Warriors after defeat to Wiz; will they beat Rockets tonight?
They're still in the 10th spot, but they better get some more wins to keep from dropping out as the playoffs loom. CUE THE ROCKY MUSIC!
Last night’s bizarre 110-107 loss at the hands of the struggling Washington Wizards was the ultimate reminder that these Golden State Warriors have a razor thin margin of error. This game went back-and-forth the whole night, but I felt there was an air inevitability that the Dubs would pull it out. There were plenty of good things happening for Golden State as the game wound down.
Wizards star Bradley Beal (20 points on 16 shots with 6 turnovers) had been largely in solitary confinement thanks to Andrew Wiggins’ defense.
Kelly Oubre Jr. was having what LGW friend Dr. Tom called a “revenge game”, lighting up his former team for 23 points on 13 shots (4-of-8 from 3PT range). It was his eleventh 20-point game of the season, and he even hit his signature taunt on the Wizards bench:
Washington’s unheralded big man combo of Alex Len and Robin Lopez combined for 35 points and 13 rebounds, but only 2 of those points came in the final period. Warriors rookie James Wiseman had scored 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting and was as confident offensively as we’ve seen yet. Additionally, Golden State’s heavily criticized bench unit was showing some punch.
Stephen Curry (32 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) scored four points in the final minute, giving the Dubs a 107-104 lead with 19.5 seconds left. It appeared he had out-dueled his old nemesis Russell Westbrook, who seemed well on his way to another gaudy triple-double (19 points, 14 rebounds, 14 assists) in a loss.
107-104 lead with 19.5 seconds left at home? Yeah, I assumed the game was over, sigh. But then the basketball gods put a test on the Warriors beyond what they could bear. Should they have intentionally fouled the Wizards and played the free throw game to close it out? Or should they have played the final seconds out straight up, gambling against a team shooting an abysmal 4-of-17 shooting from 3PT range up until that point?
Warriors play-by-play announcer Bob Fitzgerald was ADAMANT the Dubs should foul, the tension in his voice rising like an agitated parent.
Lol. I BELIEVED IN YOU WIGGINS! YOU WERE THE CHOSEN ONE! It’s funny that he had the game saving block on Khris Middleton’s desperation three-pointer a few nights ago, and then ends up on the wrong side of that scenario against the Wiz. I guess that’s why they call it a m̶a̶k̶e̶ ̶o̶r̶ ̶m̶i̶s̶s̶ swat-or-foul league?
This shocking gut punch effectively broke the Dubs, as they ended the game with a Damion Lee layup-turned-horrible-turnover.
For the first time in my life I went back and checked ESPN’s magical win/loss probability chart after that contest just to see how close the computers thought the Dubs were to taking it.
OUCH. Coach Steve Kerr explained that the team didn’t want to foul too early considering there were 19 seconds left at the start of that huge possession, which I can understand:
If the Dubs get that Westbrick rebound, it’s a moot point. The salty fan in me looks back at the corner shot Curry hit against the Pelicans in the 2015 playoffs, you know the one where Anthony Davis speared him? If Beal can get a foul on that shot, how come Curry didn’t get a 4PT play when he got laid out? GRUMBLE GRUMBLE.
But what’s the best way to get over a hangover? E-40 said, “drink some more of it”, and the Dubs will have another shot tonight on the second half of a back-to-back.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (24-28) vs. Houston Rockets (14-38)
WHEN: Saturday, April 10th, 2021 // 7:00 pm PST
The Dubs are still hanging on to that 10th seed to be eligible for the postseason play-in game. So technically they’re still on schedule, albeit procrastinating mightily in the wins column.
But the Pelicans are surging behind them behind the stratospheric ascent of young phenom Zion Williamson. Did you see what he did to the elite Philadelphia 76ers last night? 37 points, 15 rebounds, and 8 assists?! Yeah the Dubs can’t afford to mess around with that guy’s team lurking.
The Rockets are a team in transition, but have a baller center in Christian Wood who is a lot better than the Wizards’ bigs who took a bite out of GSW last night. Can Golden State redeem themselves after their gaffes to get a HUGE win?
There’s no easy way out, there’s no shortcut home!