After a pretty impressive comeback against an even worse team, Andre Iguodala seemed to have won the game on a buzzer-beater from just inside the three point line at the top of the key, but replays showed the red light went on when the ball was still in his hands. In overtime, we got played, as defensive ineffectiveness and poor rebounding kept us from getting the W.
I'll only touch on the negatives because they're the same ones we've seen all season: piss poor defense, especially against a team with a legitimate post threat, the inability to make good decisions late in games, and horrible 3-point shooting. Jrue played real bad, but didn't turn the ball over, which I guess is a positive. He got shredded on D by Baron Davis, one of the best offensive points in the league. Lou Williams was just as bad, and for the second time in a row, Eddie Jordan played an injured player too much, too soon in their first game back. He truly is an idiot.
But since we're in the Christmas spirit of optimism (!!!!!), let's look at the positives, shall we?
- Mo, Mo, Mo - He's a really good offensive player. He's tenacious, he's tough, he's clever, he's a whole lotta man. John said it somewhere that if he showed the same intensity on D as he did on the other end, he'd be a phenomenal basketball player. What he is right now is a great talent. He was the guy we went to in crunch time, and succeeded, drawing fouls, including a crucial 6th to Chris Kaman (who murdered us tonight), and a gutsy one-hander after a spin move and a bunch of uncalled slaps on the baseline. I love what he's been showing us, especially on the boards, where he seems to be going at it with more determination. He should be our starting center.
- Thaddeus Young - Against Boston he only got 3 boards after three straight games of 10+. Tonight he got his big ol' hands on 8 rebounds, showing some toughness against a notoriously angry Al Thornton, and played pretty decent defense, forcing him to take (and make) a tough shot in the waning moments of the game. His offense and fast-break improvements were on full display tonight, getting hot in the first quarter, then taken out by Eddie and never going back to him later. Thanks, Ed.
- Andre Iguodala - He's good. Human fast-break, defensive stalwart, getting into passing lanes, setting up teammates, and finally, coming super close to winning this game on a loose ball prayer. But to no avail. 20, 9, 7, and 4 steals are what we expect of Andre on a nightly basis, and it's good to take a moment every once in a while to say "hey, most guys don't do that." Kid can play, we're lucky to have him on our ballclub.
- Willie Green - He wasn't bad, and actually, he really hasn't been bad all season. I still don't want him to play because he's getting in the way of Jrue, but he's having a solid year despite all the crap we (and I) always give him. 45% from the field, 90% from the line, 3 to 1 assist to turnover ratio, 33% from beyond. I'd still trade him in a heartbeat, and he looks clueless out there from time to time, but compared to past years, he's....ok.
- 10 minutes for Dalembert - 5 fouls. Next year's expiring contract can't come soon enough.
So it turns out that last night's tease doesn't mean we're championship contenders. Go figure, they had me convinced. I already bought playoff tix! We're 7-20 people. Please realize what we have here and we can all move forward civilly in hopes of a future that includes a better draft pick and no Haitian center.
In sad news, the Cowboys won. The Saints were due for a loss after eeking out some close ones, but it's never fun to watch the 'girls celebrate. Can't wait for the Cowboys collective balloon to deflate next week when the Redskins beat them. Good luck with the snow everybody, and more importantly, Go Birds.