All Boris Diaw could do is shake his head as an old man yelled in the background. (AP)
The Warriors are growing before our very eyes, folks.
Down by eight points to the Spurs with 4:48 remaining in Game 4 on Sunday, the Warriors roared back, going on a 12-2 run to force overtime.
In overtime, they outscored the Spurs, 13-3, en route to a 97-87 victory in front of the Warriors faithful at Oracle Arena.
What the Warriors did in Game 4 on Sunday frankly defied expectations. Stephen Curry was his usual lights-out self, scoring 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting (5-of-10 from beyond the arc), but the Warriors couldn’t have won without the collective team.
The mercurial Jarrett Jack showed up big-time, dropping 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting. The ever-improving Harrison Barnes also racked up 26 points. Jack and Barnes combined for 15 points in the fourth quarter alone.
Keep in mind, this came against the Spurs, a playoff-savvy team that has won three NBA titles with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
But there’s more. The Spurs are shooting 42.1 percent from the field against the Warriors. They shot 36 percent on Sunday.
“Who’s yo daddy, Popovich?!” – Signed, Mark Jackson (AP)
The Warriors have also averaged over eight rebounds more per game than the Spurs this series. They had a whopping 65-51 rebounding advantage in Game 4, led by Andrew Bogut (18), Barnes (10) and Jack (7). Seven different Warriors had five rebounds or more.
That’s not a fluke, either. The Spurs ranked 19th in rebounding differential during the regular season, while the Warriors ranked eighth. And while double-double machine David Lee hasn’t played much this series, Bogut (who is looking healthier than ever) and the rest of the Warriors have somehow found a way to fill the void.
And beyond the obvious rise in production from Barnes and Bogut, we’ve also seen bench players like Draymond Green and Festus Ezeli step up when called upon.
Of course, this goes back to the work that Mark Jackson has done with this young team. While there were doubts whether he was the man for the job in his rookie season as coach, those doubts have quickly evaporated. When you start going toe-to-toe with historic coaches Gregg Popovich and George Karl, you quickly gain respect throughout the Association.
The Dubs still have a long way to go in this series, and Game 5 on Tuesday in San Antonio is going to be a mighty tough battle, but, these days, upsetting the Spurs doesn’t seem so far-fetched after all.
*All stats via NBA.com
AP Photo/Ben Margot
In the last two wins against the Atlanta Braves, the Giants scored a combined 18 runs.
But we should be focusing more on the fact that the Giants allowed a combined three runs in those victories.
Pitching is the key for Giants this year, as it was in their championship runs in 2010 and 2012. It sounds simple, but, given some big games from the offense this season, some believe the offense can carry a squad that ranks 15th in baseball in team ERA.
That is the wrong assumption.
What encouraged me most in Friday’s 8-2 win, for example, was the fact that Matt Cain had his second consecutive solid outing of the season. He allowed two runs in eight innings, compiling seven strikeouts in the process. Cain’s improvement is more important than the fact that the Giants scored eight runs.
As we look ahead to Sunday’s game against the Braves, Tim Lineceum will be on the mound. As we know by now, he’s not the same Tim Lincecum who won two Cy Young awards back in 2008 and 2009. He’s allowed a combined 10 runs in his past two starts. He holds a 4.75 ERA for the season.
Lincecum’s performance moving forward, as well as Ryan Vogelsong’s, will determine whether the Giants make another run at the championship this season or fall flat.
The Giants (22-15) are half a game ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks for first place in the NL West as the Diamondbacks face the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night. Arizona ranks sixth in team ERA this season, and that is what should scare Giants fans. Former Oakland Athletics starter Trevor Cahill, second-year pro Patrick Corbin and third-year pro Wade Miley have been outstanding thus far for the Diamondbacks. Arizona also ranks a respectable seventh in bullpen ERA.
The Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies are the biggest threats to the Giants this season, due to their pitching (Colorado ranks 10th in team ERA).
If the Giants are to win the World Series again, let alone win the NL West, Lincecum and Vogelsong will have to pitch better.
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Drinking Game: Take a shot for every Jarrett Jack ill-advised decision.
Folks: I’m drunk.
All joking aside, there wasn’t much for Warriors fans to laugh about in Game 3 on Friday as they lost to the San Antonio Spurs, 102-92.
The Spurs shot 51 percent from the field. The Warriors shot 39 percent. Game: blouses.
Jarrett Jack only had two turnovers on Friday, but he has a way of mishandling the ball at the worst possible time. A Jack pass was deflected with about two minutes to go. He was able to get it back, only to launch an airball. With 47 seconds remaining, he lost the ball. Game: blouses.
It wasn’t just JJ, of course. Jack went 5-of-12, but Stephen Curry had a horrible shooting night, going 5-of-17. Klay Thompson went 7-of-20. Barnes went 4-of-10.
Perhaps most concerning? Tony Parker went nuts, scoring 32 points on 13-of-23 shooting. Tim Duncan also scored 23 points on 10-of-21 shooting, while adding 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal.
What really worries me? Andrew Bogut is the only guy who has a conceivable shot of stopping Duncan, but in the fourth quarter, the Spurs resorted to Hack-a-Bogut, which led to Bogut getting taken out of the game with 6:15 remaining.
Let’s face it: The Spurs own us in the fourth quarter. They outscored us in the first two games of the series. If we don’t have the lead going into the fourth, it makes it mighty difficult for us to win.
As uplifting as the Game 2 victory was for the Warriors, Game 3 was a slow death.
The Warriors can’t afford to lose their shooting edge through the first three quarters, because when it gets to the final 12 minutes, San Antonio’s experience takes over.
Let us hope that the Warriors get back on track in Game 4. Game 3 didn’t give the Warriors faithful much to believe in.
“Wait, you’re the Spurs? Psh, I thought you were the Bobcats” (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Apologize we haven’t posted anything in, like, a year, but we have a legitimate excuse: We’ve been hanging out with Snoopaloop and Dr. Dre and we entered a cloud that made us forget about the real world.
But now we’re back, better than ever, and we will be giving you a full recap of Game 3 between the Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs tonight. We have so many thoughts about the season and some of those will undoubtedly emerge in our recap.
So check back here after the game and feel free to speak your mind! It’s a free country after all!
-Dark Side of the Bay staff
Me Zito. Me throw...ball...eighty...two...miles...per...hour. (Photo Credit: AP)
Barry Zito pitched his first shutout since April 18, 2003 on Monday…in Colorado. That is all.
Oh yeah, and don’t expect that to happen again. It was an anomaly caused by a meteor that changed the Earth’s rotation.
We’ve heard it all before: “We’re just a first-round pick away from the playoffs.” “All we need is a legit center.” “NEXT year will be our year.”
Warriors fans have come to realize such talk is generally rubbish. We’ve had plenty of lottery picks throughout the years, with nothing to show for it but one playoff appearance in 17 seasons (going on 18).
But this year’s crop of talent is truly special. The Warriors aren’t going to get Anthony Davis if they finish in the bottom seven and keep their draft pick, but they have a shot at numerous talents, including a lights-out small forward in Harrison Barnes or another big man like Connecticut’s Andre Drummond. A top-seven pick this year, combined with the first-rounder from the San Antonio Spurs, would position the Warriors for a transformation.
New owner Joe Lacob has heard his fair share of criticism this season, particularly when he was booed at Chris Mullin’s jersey retirement ceremony. I can still hear the boos cascading down upon his helpless little head.
It didn’t help when Lacob promised playoffs this season. Even the most insane people in the world know that is a bad thing to promise. Perhaps he didn’t know the history of the Warriors organization, perhaps he didn’t think our fan base would hold him accountable or perhaps he still thought he was part-owner of the Boston Celtics, thinking David Lee was really Kevin Garnett and whoever is starting at point guard these days was Rajon Rondo.
Why do people scoff at losing on purpose? What does winning the final 10 games or so do for the Warriors? And don’t give me that “building for next season” crap, I’ve heard it before. People, the next season isn’t for months. I’m pretty sure that “momentum” heading into the season has worn off by then.
We need a top-seven pick, we need two first-round picks. Heck, I’d take 10 first-round picks if it was possible.
Joe Lacob’s time is already running out in the Bay Area. He doesn’t do something soon, we may mistake him for the insufferable Chris Cohan.
Matt Cain imagines what it's like to hit a D-Bag in the face with a baseball (Photo Credit: AP)
Last season, the San Francisco Giants dropped off the nation’s radar after a World Series run in 2010.
Part of this was because Marlins rookie Scott Cousins decided to barrel into Buster Posey at home plate in late May, ending our beloved catcher’s season. There was also the fact that our overall offense flat-out sucked outside of Pablo Sandoval, Freddy Sanchez and the rising Nate Schierholtz.
But think of it this way: Even with an offense that scored the second-fewest runs in baseball, we still finished 86-76. We still finished a mere four games back in the wild-card race and we came in second in the NL West.
I was skeptical of the Melky Cabrera signing at first but he’s been swinging a red-hot bat in spring training and, honestly, there’s no way our offense can be as bad as last year. We had 11 players with at least 200 at-bats last season – SEVEN of them hit below .250. It really can’t get worse than that.
Beyond that, we still have good pitching. Yes, Barry Zito worries me, as always, but Eric Surkamp and Dan Runzler also have the capability of emerging into Zito’s spot this year. We still have a stellar bullpen.
There are a lot of questions concerning how our beloved Gigantes will bounce back this year. In the end, I see them answering those questions emphatically and giving the Arizona D-Bags a run for their money.