We Worriers are busy, and them baseballers in orange and black have been consuming what little sports energy we have. But a new Dubs season is upon us, and a fascinating one it should be.
The official Worrier predictions for the year: a 36-46 showing, and frequent mutterings from us and others about Anthony Randolph. These Rockets are tough; this conference is fierce; this offseason may not bear immediate fruit. But several monkeys have been stripped from our collective backs, and who the fuck knows, as they say on Opening Night. Best of luck to us all.
Rocket To Watch: Yao Ming, whose usage patterns will be fascinating.
Warrior To Watch: David Lee, who will provide us some happy memories if he provides any defense.
PostThoughts (Warriors 132, Rockets 128)
Let's get the obvious out of the way: OMGWEWONPLAYOFFSILOVETHISGAME
With that all said, this was not a particularly encouraging performance. Outlasting tired Yao-less teams in your building doesn't mean you have a future... it just means you have a pulse. We've seen performances like that from Monta before, and we've read all the ensuing puff pieces about how his devotion to the franchise is going to lead to a brighter day, as though 75% field goal shooting will become his new baseline. The truth is, Monta Ellis is going to continue to have many nights on which he misses a ton of shots. On those nights, the Warriors are going to have to figure out a way to win. Not much about this game indicated they have the ability to do so.
We're not saying there weren't positives here. Monta was indeed stellar, Curry was strong, and Dorell gave the kind of pitch-perfect supporting performance he was signed to provide. David Lee looked tremendous on the offensive end; Biedrins's strong play and increased minutes were welcome sights, as was Brandan Wright (we Worriers loooooove us some goddamn Brandan Wright). Keith Smart dipped his toe into the Pool of Misguided Smallball, but unlike Nellie, he willingly pulled his toe back out. There were positives. Plenty of 'em.
Still, when you add it all up, you get a team with monstrous defensive holes (ye gods, Lee is every bit the disaster on that end the metrics suggest), a team that can't stop fouling everybody (Biedrins and Curry were as egregious on that front as ever), and a team that can't field a credible second unit (why was punting away C.J. Watson a good idea again?). This will be a better Warriors team, and when the first unit is playing, a fairly competitive team. But without more of the three D's -- defense, depth, discipline -- this franchise won't make a dent in the landscape of the Western Conference, and no amount of passive-aggressive ref whining from Bob Fitzgerald is going to change that.