April 14, 2010

#82: GSW @ POR 4/14/10

Portland Trail Blazers
Record: 50-31 (t-9th) • Point Differential: +3.4 (t-10th) • Pace: 87.6 (30th)
Off. Efficiency: 110.8 (8th) • eFG: 49.8 (14th) • TO: 13.9 (3rd) • OReb: 28.3 (3rd) • FT/FG: 25.0 (5th)
Def. Efficiency: 106.9 (t-13th) • eFG: 50.1 (17th) • TO: 15.3 (t-14th) • OReb: 25.2 (7th) • FT/FG: 21.9 (t-13th)

Another lamentable Warriors season ends in the City of Roses tonight, against a playoff team that may have surprisingly little to play for. If the Spurs lose their season-ender to the Mavs (they're currently down by twelve), the Blazers are locked into the sixth seed no matter what happens in Portland tonight. But Nate McMillan ain't the type to phone it in, and while Brandon Roy is sitting out, it's not like the Blazers' cupboard is bare. The Miller/Fernandez/Batum/Aldridge/Camby starting lineup they're likely to resort to doesn't have many holes, and at least two of those guys are much better than any healthy Warrior...this team excels at rebounding, and they very rarely cough up the ball. The Dubs have been playing with impressive (if ill-timed) fire of late, and there's no reason to expect them to start phoning it in just as the curtains close. But this is the second half of a back-to-back, on the road, against a good team that matches up well against them. Don't be surprised if the Dubs can't make this one a thriller.

Warrior To Watch: Stephen Curry. Put some nice finishing touches on that ROY portfolio, young man.
Blazer To Watch: Marcus Camby, just so you can remember what defense and rebounding look like.

PostThoughts -- Warriors 122, Blazers 116
Well, fuck a duck.

Thanks to this win, the Dubs ended the season tied for the fourth-worst record... if the Wizards hadn't edged Indiana last night, the Warriors would have sole possession of the fifth-worst record. This after holding a pretty commanding lead for the third-worst record mere weeks ago. This spunky finish to the season has, in all likelihood, cost the Warriors two draft spots. That's a pretty heavy cost to pay for some meaningless April fun.

Having said that, this game was a ton of meaningless April fun, and it's hard to be upset about ending on such a high note. We got to see four more iron-man performances, we got a massive exclamation point on Stephen Curry's fabulous rookie season, we got a rare and welcome glimpse of Curry and Monta meshing well on offense, and we got some roster shenanigans to remind us just what a clusterfuck this season has been. It's not the way I would've drawn it up, but then these Warriors aren't used to having game plans to follow, anyway. No complaints.

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