In my last piece, I wrote about about how lately you never know what you’re going to get from the Golden State Warriors on a game to game basis, either the team that plays to it’s elite potential or the team that can’t stop anybody on the defensive end of the floor. The ladder showed up in last night’s 122-109 loss to the Phoenix Suns, in what was an up-tempo style of game, jump shots and passing but little defense.
This is the second game in a row now, that the Warriors have played short-handed, as they were without the services of power forward David Lee(Left shoulder sprain/Left Hip strain and center Andrew Bogut (Left shoulder inflammation) but Warriors head coach Mark Jackson would not let his team use that as an excuse.
“We are a no-excuse team,” the coach said after the loss “Obviously we’re missing those guys but we still have more than enough to win ball games. Give the credit they played extremely well. They are a very good offensive team.”
Very good offense indeed, the Suns for all intents and purposes, have exceeded expectations this NBA season, as many sports-heads predicted that the Suns would be one of the worst teams in the NBA and would have been in the race for the Andrew Wiggins/Jabari Parker/Julius Ranlde/Joel Embiid sweepstakes (or 2014 NBA draft lottery for short). However under new rookie head coach Jeff Hornacek (should win coach of the year) the Suns have played fast and played with all out effort, with a very flawed roster to say the least. Oh and did I mention the Suns biggest off-season acquisition and best player, Eric Bledsoe, has been out most of the season with lingering knee issues?
Suns guard Goran Dragic (playing point guard due to Bledsoe’s absence) played with a great fire Saturday night as his 3 month old son, Mateo, was in the building for his first NBA game. Dragic put on a show, going for 34 points on 10-13 shooting (canning 6-7 threes) and dishing out 10 assists, he also scored 13 of those points in the final seven minutes of the game, helping the suns break open the game towards the end.
“I was a little bit hyped,” Dragic said after the win “I tried to show him (Mateo) what his daddy can do.”
Other unlikely sources helped the Suns stretch out the Warriors defense, Gerald Green (who is having a career year) put in 25 points and P.J Tucker had 16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.
Not having David Lee and Andrew Bogut definitely hurt Warriors but the Warriors have more than enough talent to compensate for the missing production, this loss not only put the Warriors back in 3rd place in their division, they were also put back at the 7th seed in the western conference standings as the Suns took the 6th seed.
The Warriors play 2 more games, both of which are home games, before the all-star break begins, they play the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night, then LeBron James and the Miami Heat come into town Wednesday night looking to avenge the loss they had against the Warriors in the previous match-up.
The Warriors can not keep doing the Jekyll and Hyde thing, it’s not working so well right now.