Saturday, February 10, 2007

Golden State Warriors Thrilling Win in OT

Kelenna Azubuike and the Warriors Bench Celebrate Thrilling Overtime Victory!

They may not be the Lakers, but the Golden State Warriors have thrilled me for the second time this season at Oracle Arena as they defeated the Chicago Bulls 123-121 in overtime.

My last thrill at Oracle Arena had Baron Davis sinking a clutch shot over Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets in the final seconds. This thrill, without Baron, was induced by Don Nelson shuffling his bench players in and out of the game to give his starters just enough bounce in their legs to knock down 4th quarter shots.

As always with the Warriors, it was a game of runs. They came out hot and took the lead early in the first quarter, allowed Chicago to bounce back by the second, let Chicago shut them down and take a double-digit lead in the third, aggressively came back to tie it in the fourth, then leading by two with seconds remaining in overtime, pressured Chicago into a game-ending airball as time expired.

Yeah, they ain't the Lakers but when the game was on the line they pulled out the victory, and that's all that matters. I couldn't quite understand why the Warriors attack was primarily outside jump shooting, but as the game winded down I realized that without Baron Davis running the show, jump shooting while rotating fresh players into the lineup gave the Warriors their best chance to beat a tough, young Chicago team.

Actually, the two teams looked very similar in their style of play with Chicago shooting well from outside. Neither team really drove to the basket much and I don't think it was due to pressure zone defense.

Either I'm getting older fast or the NBA has gotten younger over time; the two Ben's for Chicago, Gordon and Wallace, were the only familiar players for the Bulls along with P.J. Brown. As for the Warriors, many new players and the second coming of coach Don Nelson made my night a real journey into unknown territory.

Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson, the two former Pacers, led the Warriors in scoring , with Monta Ellis still coming into his own as a floor general, sore ankle and all. Josh Powell seems to be a scoring spark off the bench for the Warriors along with Andres Biedrins scoring and rebounding. Pietrus, Barnes, Jasikevicius, Azubuike and even Adonal Foyle contributed mightly to this Warriors win, A Team Win.

So I'm 2-0 this season attending Warriors games. Screw L.A., bring on Kobe and those dreaded Lakers, I'm on a roll. I can say that I was there when.......
The Warriors Won in Overtime.

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